A mentoring program in a Jewish supplementary school

Renee Frank Holtz, Fordham University


This hypothesis-generating study examines what new and seasoned teachers reported and experienced as participants in a mentorship program in a supplementary school. Research focused on 4 issues: (a) the focus of mentors' and mentees' dialogue and writings, (b) mentors' and mentees' concerns, (c) the characteristics of community the participants found, and (d) the effect of the part-time nature of the school on this religious community. Phenomenological analysis was used to analyze viewpoints and assumptions about the phenomenon of the mentorship experience. Content analysis was used to examine the content of the sessions, interviews, observations, and evaluations for meaning, themes, and recurring patterns. Issues about the part-time and religious nature of the school were underlying the technical and philosophical comments that comprised the majority of their interactions. Mentors and mentees explored technical pedagogical concerns and philosophical concerns. In the former, they addressed curriculum and discipline. In the latter, they addressed student relationships with peers, and teachers, and professional relationships with their mentorship colleagues. Five hypotheses were generated by this study: (1) Teachers in a part-time religious community perceive that their educational program is in competition with the secular community for students' limited time. (2) Teachers in a part-time religious educational community perceive that the material they are teaching conflicts with the material being taught in the secular educational community. (3) Mentors in a mentorship program in a part-time religious school emphasize philosophical concerns about their work. (4) Mentees in a mentorship program in a part-time religious school emphasize technical concerns about their work. (5) Teachers in a supplementary Jewish school may collaborate to learn from one another and create community. Recommendations for future research and suggestions for future consideration and implementation of mentorship programs were made. The potential for such a program appears to be great and this researcher highly recommends consideration of such a system in Hebrew schools and other similar institutions.

Subject Area

Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Holtz, Renee Frank, "A mentoring program in a Jewish supplementary school" (2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3021703.