Those of us who know the field of American Jewish education have long heard, read, and debated the Benderly revolution and its impact. But until now, the evidence on which we based our understanding was incomplete, scattered and ill understood. Krasner brings together information from diverse sources to create a rich, nuanced picture of Benderly, helping us better understand his motivations, goals, accomplishments and frustrations. Building on this, Krasner helps us understand for the first time the varied ways in which Benderly’s protégés built on his ideas while extending them in unique ways that fostered their own vision of Jewish education. We get
a palpable feel for the achievements of the Bureau, the struggles to professionalize the field, the uniqueness of the Central Jewish Institute, the power of Camp Modin, and the breadth of activities of the JEC. We also appreciate the specific strengths and weaknesses of Benderly’s boys, Dushkin, Chipkin, Berkson, and Schoolman. At the same time, by bringing all of this together in one book, Krasner gives us a real sense for the first time of the breadth and scope of this revolution in American Jewish education.