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Chanover, Hyman


CHANOVER, HYMAN (1920–1998), U.S. Conservative rabbi, educator, and author. Born in Poland, Chanover was brought to the U.S. as an infant. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1945 and earned his Ed.D. at New York University in 1971, where he later served as adjunct professor of education in the graduate school (1974–78). In 1972, the Seminary awarded him a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa. Although he spent the first 10 years of his career as a congregational rabbi, he left the pulpit to work full time in Jewish education, joining the *American Association for Jewish Education (aaje, later the Jewish Education Service of North America) as director of personnel services and subsequently director of the Department of Community Planning and director of the National Curriculum Research Institute. He championed continuing education for teachers and developed a national licensing program for principals of Jewish schools. He edited Our Teachers (1958–63) and widely provided consulting services to organizations, including Jewish federations, the U.S. Office of Education, the National Institute for Education, the Educational Research Council of America, and the United Federation of Teachers. Upon his retirement from the aaje in 1977 after 21 years of service, he became executive director of the Baltimore Board of Jewish Education and Isaac C. Rosenthal Professor of Jewish Education at Baltimore Hebrew College. He retired for a second time in 1984.

As a member of the United Synagogue's Commission on Jewish Education, Chanover contributed greatly to the shaping of Conservative Jewish education and the three-day-a-week congregational Hebrew school, writing more than 50 volumes of textbooks, prayer books, story books, curricula, syllabi, and teachers' guides. He was a member of the executive committee of the Jewish Book Council of America and vice president of the National Council for Jewish Education and the National Ethnic Studies Assembly. He served on the advisory board of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting and wrote nine programming manuals for Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. In 1980, he was cited for distinction as the innovator of the popular "Home Start" family education program adopted by Jewish communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. He is the sole author of seven books on Jewish education and culture and teaching the holidays and prayer in Jewish schools, and co-author of seven more, including When a Jew Celebrates (with Eugene Borowitz and Harry Gersh, 1971); When a Jew Prays (with Eugene Borowitz and Seymour Rossel, 1973); and When a Jew Seeks Wisdom (with Seymour Rossel and Chaim Stern, 1975).


P.S. Nadell, Conservative Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (1988).

[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]

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