Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Reeda Toppin


The Abraham Joshua Heschel School was founded in the early 1980's by Peter Geffen and other Jewish professionals and laypersons who were committed to a school that was independent of any synagogue or organization. A school where a wide range of Jewish beliefs and practices along with secular studies could be integrated through intellectual, academic, ethical, artistic, social and emotional realms.

By conducting interviews with 4 or the 8 people who taught or worked at the Heschel school when it opened in 1983, it was possible to collect an oral history that revealed aspects which were significant in founding and beginning a new school. Data analyses consisted of constructing an historical narrative, identifying recurring themes in the stories told and being able to view comparatively which issues were and continue to be important in the school's history and representation.


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