Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

Edith A. Rusch, Chair

Second Committee Member

James Hager

Third Committee Member

Gene Hall

Graduate Faculty Representative

Linda Quinn

Number of Pages



The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine and analyze tefilla (prayer) programs in three Jewish community high schools, as well as professional leadership practices in these schools as they related to prayer. The questions that guided this research were: (1) What does prayer education and practice look like in Jewish community high schools? (2) How is prayer education and practice perceived by key constituencies in Jewish community high schools? (3) How do educators and students in Jewish community high schools describe authentic prayer?

Site observations, interviews with students, faculty, and administration, as well as data collected from sources such as school websites and marketing materials were used to create narrative portraits of the schools' tefilla programs and a cross-case analysis of the programs using the portraiture methodology of Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot. Marshall and Rossman's seven phases for analytical procedures guided the research analysis, and Barry Chazan's philosophy of Informal Jewish Education was used as an interpretive framework for analyzing the case studies. The research infers implications for Jewish philanthropic organizations, Jewish teacher training programs, researchers, and site-based educational leadership interested in prayer improvement efforts in Jewish community high schools.


Generation Y; Jewish day schools; Jewish youth; Prayer — Judaism; Postmodernism — Religious aspects


Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Sociology | Religion

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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