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Teacher’s Guide for Jewish Sages of Today Launches

August 8, 2012 – Teachers, lifelong students, and others who are looking for new and innovative material that will inspire, provoke, and get students and readers thinking not only about the material they are learning, but about their values and goals in life will find it in a new resource that Targum Shlishi has just launched. Targum Shlishi has created and is making available for free a Teacher’s Guide for Jewish Sages of Today: Profiles of Extraordinary People, a collection of highly praised profiles of people who are making a positive difference in the Jewish world. The Teacher’s Guide, created by noted educator and rabbi Alan Zelenetz, is flexible and adaptable to a wide range of students and classroom settings. It is suitable for day schools and congregational schools and for middle school through university and adult students. If you are not an educator, the materials can still enhance your reading of Jewish Sages of Today; Targum Shlishi also hopes you will forward this notice to educators you know.

After receiving an extremely positive response to the book Jewish Sages of Today, TargumShlishi moved forward to develop the Teacher’s Guide so that the book can be used productively in an educational setting and to enhance the experience of readers in general. Describing his goals for this resource, Aryeh Rubin, the editor of Jewish Sages of Today and director of Targum Shlishi, says, “I hope that it nurtures a spark, a nitzutz, in the students who read it and also in you, the teachers. My wish, above all, is that this book will make a positive difference in the lives of our children.”

The Teacher’s Guide is not a traditional curriculum, but instead is designed to help teachers access the rich material in Jewish Sages of Today by suggesting multiple avenues for sharing the profiles with students. The Teacher’s Guide contains a wealth of creative ideas and information organized in a way that allows teacher’s to pick and choose their individual approach.

To that end, Targum Shlishi has made the Teacher’s Guide available online for free and has also posted all of the materials in the book online for free downloads for educational purposes only.

The original impetus behind producing Jewish Sages of Today was to provide an alternative to the widespread celebrity worship in the dominant culture. “Being a celebrity does not equate with being a hero, with being a righteous person, with living an admirable life. We are starving for real heroes. The sages in this book, and others like them, are true heroes…who have a purpose, a mission in life, who are working to improve the world,” Mr. Rubin writes in his letter to educators in the Teacher’s Guide.

Who are the sages?

The sages profiled are: Yossi Abramowitz, Rachel Azaria, Michael Berenbaum, Mira Brichto, Ruth Calderon, Debbie Friedman, Yitz and Blu Greenberg, Judith Hauptman, Laurence Hoffman, Tobi Kahn and Nessa Rapoport, Aaron Lansky, Daniel Libeskind, Shalom Lipskar, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Hankus Netsky, Robert Pollack, Dennis Prager, Gary Rosenblatt, Susan Weidman Schneider, Alice Shalvi, Michael Steinhardt, Adin Steinsaltz, Joseph Telushkin, Avivah Zornberg, and Efraim Zuroff.

About Alan Zelenetz, developer of the Teacher’s Guide

Rabbi Alan Zelenetz, M.Phil., has been a yeshiva day school and yeshiva high school principal for twenty-five years, during which time he also served as director of curriculum development for Teachers College Innovations at Teachers College, Columbia University, and as associate director of the university’s Center for Social Imagination, the Arts and Education. As academic and creative director of the Millennium School Project, he designed in blueprint a model twenty-first century bicultural high school. He has also chaired and served as senior member of the Administrative Leadership Group of the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education. As a writer for Marvel Comics he co-created The Alien Legion and worked on Conan the Barbarian and The Mighty Thor.

To access the Teacher’s Guide

Go to the Jewish Sages of Today website,, to access the materials. In addition to the Teacher’s Guide, the website includes a comprehensive section of multimedia resources on each of the individuals profiled in the book that complements each written profile.

About Targum Shlishi

Targum Shlishi is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’sinitiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information on the foundation, visit its website at

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