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Educational Mission Statement

Dr. Gary P. Zola speaking to JYP AccessThe AJA's educational mission is to give access and expose learners to primary source documents relating to the entirety of the American Jewish experience from its earliest manifestations to the present day. Primarily, these include records of enduring value created by organizations and individuals consisting of correspondence, photographs, memoirs, minutes and reports, genealogical records and audio-visual materials.

We aspire to assist educators by encouraging and providing access, understanding and interpretation of source materials relating to American Jewish history, by the creation of educational resources, including but not limited to, lesson plans, curricula, and exhibits.

We aspire to effect students in three ways:

  • By promoting awareness that documentary source materials are a reflection of the author's interpretation of past events;
  • By understanding that through study of the past, students gain a personal connection with individual and group histories that can affect understanding of their own lives, challenges, and choices; and
  • By helping students develop interpretative and analytical skills by working with primary source materials that cross disciplinary boundaries.

The AJA exists to seek out and preserve any and all records of the American Jewish experience for future generations and to increase the study of American Jewish history specifically in the context of American history writ large.

Visit Teaching Primary Resources for curriculum ideas and resources