Guest Post by Nancy Parkes

Change is hard. It takes time, patience, a lot of soul searching, and a community that is willing to take risks. It also takes some hand holding. I’m not sure anyone really tells you that when you first start any change project. Maybe they tell you that change is “necessary” if you want to stay … Continue Reading

Guest Post by Sarah Attermann

When I was first approached to become a member of the Ramah Service Corps and create “Ramah style” programs to implement in the synagogue setting, I was thrilled. I would be given the opportunity to bring the magic of Ramah to others through experiences and activities often found only at camp. To me, Ramah has … Continue Reading

On Hebrew School Change: An Opinion

By Rabbi Paul Steinberg I hated Hebrew school as a kid. So, I suppose it’s kind of ironic, perhaps funny, that I now oversee a Hebrew school and am working so hard to develop a program that is meaningful and, dare I say, enjoyable.  Admittedly, it’s not easy.  It’s not easy because there is a … Continue Reading

Camp and School: Context Matters

By Rabbi Joshua Rabin I have never been comfortable with the question, “How we can make schools more like camp?” Yes, Jewish camps and other experiential programs are blessed with many elements that create holistic Jewish experiences leaving children with a warm feeling inside of them. However, camps are not bound by the parameters by … Continue Reading

Learning and Living: What USY Teens Can Teach Our Congregational School Teachers

USY Education in a Congregational School Setting Guest Post by: Amy Dorsch Reframe Key Question: What obstacles might stand in the way of ReFraming Jewish education in complementary schools to be more experiential?  How would you overcome those obstacles?  Congregational Supplementary schools are faced with challenges to restructure and reimage their content, goals and mission. For … Continue Reading

Why Is This Religious School Different from All Other Religious Schools?

Originally posted at by Aaron Starr Most conversations about Jewish education focus on the “how” and rarely get to the “what.” Should we invert the two? When those of us who are leaders in the world of Jewish education seek to define and, consequently, improve synagogue-based schools, we appropriately desire to engage the most … Continue Reading

Excellence in Experiential Jewish Education

Guest Post by: Rabbi Avi Katz Orlow Excellent Experiential Jewish Education: Is executed with kavanah, intention, in which each activity is done with the purpose of achieving a larger goal Activity for activity’s sake is not experiential education—it’s just an activity. Educational experiences should be intentionally designed to convey Jewish learning outcomes and values in an … Continue Reading

Guest Post by Daniel Silverman

People involved in supplementary or congregational school education – administrators, teachers, parents and even learners – know that instructional time is short and precious.  When describing the challenge of time, I often revert to the following analogy.  In our school at Beth Tzedec Congregation in Toronto, learners begin a two day per week program in … Continue Reading

What is a “Camp-Like” Approach?: Bringing the Magic from Cabins to Classrooms

GUEST POST BY: Michelle Shapiro Abraham Twenty years ago, I walked in to my first Religious School teaching job.  I had just finished an amazing summer as a camp counselor at URJ Camp Swig and was filled with ideas.  On that first day of school I covered the walls with giant posters of text, created a … Continue Reading