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L’Ecole juive moderne in Paris is committed to openness, innovation, and pluralism in Jewish education. It aims to serve as a model Jewish school taking into account the sociological and religious characteristics of today’s Jewish community in France.
Josée Vaisbrot is Head of l’Ecole juive moderne. The elder of four children and the only daughter, she was raised in a “mixed” family. She attended public schools all the while going to Sunday school. Her attachment to Judaism dates back to her joining the EEIF – Eclaireurs et éclaireuses israélites de France – at the age of six. For over twenty years, she was an active member of this scouting organization. There, she discovered a community that brings together young Jews of various social and religious backgrounds in their love for the Jewish people and in their connection to its history. Josée Vaisbrot studied Education in order to work in Jewish educational settings. While keeping up with her activities in the youth movement (serving as summer camp director and instructor at the EEIF), she prepared for the teaching certificate for primary education at the teacher training college Institut André et Rina Néher. She also obtained a diploma in Jewish Studies at the Alliance israélite universelle (SNEJ). In 2000, Josée Vaisbrot started teaching at the Yavneh elementary school in Paris. At the same time, she took part in training sessions at the Institut Néher.
L’Ecole juive moderne is opened to all families and children, regardless of the parents’ affiliation: traditionalists, reformed, and unaffiliated are all welcome. The observance of Shabbat and kosher laws makes everyone feel at home in a school greatly attached to pluralism and openness to the world. A major part of the curriculum is devoted to Modern Hebrew, field trips, and cultural activities. The school’s success has been immediate and lets us believe that this model will be followed and will contribute to the evolution of the French Jewish community.