Caffeine and Jewish Learning just go together


Well..I’m back in Philly and thinking about the CAJE experience that we just went through last week. First, I’d say that having now attended my third consecutive CAJE Conference, this was the best one yet. Perhaps it was the verdant setting of the University of Vermont campus. Having lived in Burlington some 30 years ago, it was quite amazing to come back and see how much had changed both on the UVM campus and in the downtown area of Burlington. Both are highly attractive, modern and clean. Burlington is truly a tourist destination these days and you are urged to spend some time there if you’ve never done so.

But even more energizing than being in the fresh (although wet and rainy) air of Vermont is the way I returned to my work as a Jewish educator in my home synagogue. There is something revitalizing about being out of touch with newspapers and TV for four days and immersing oneself in an atmosphere of Jewishruach (spirit) and learning. The amount of session offerings over the course of three full days is truly staggering, and the best way to handle this is to attend with a group of people from your institution. Next year I am going to strongly urge our rabbi, Preschool Director and several teachers to team up with me so we can attend several different sessions and share our experiences afterwards.

And if you are a Jewish educator who has never attended a CAJE Conference (or it’s been several years since you’ve gone) please consider this experience next year in San Antonio. It will make a difference in how you proceed in your career development, both personally and professionally.

Finally, a few reflections on Burlington and Vermont. My wife Debbie and I drove up to Vermont the week before CAJE and went camping. Yes, in a tent with all the accessories. Actually I call it “Jewish Camping”: 3 days in a tent followed by a night in a hotel! Because it rained for much of the time we went touring in our car to see different sites.

Being the foodie and coffee lover I am, I was rewarded with much of what Vermont has to offer in the way of farmers markets, beer micro breweries, vineyards and coffee roasters. And everything in the state is “super Eco friendly”. Among my favorites around the state were:

  • Long Trail Brewing-Excellent variety of beers
  • Lincoln Peak Vineyard-Just south of Burlington, they have a tasting location on Rte. 7. Unusual selection of locally grown/produced wines.
  • Several superb, Eco-friendly coffee roasters, two of which are listed to the right in my Cool Links.
  • And of course, the world’s best variety of cheddars at Cabot Cheese. If you like it hot, try their Habanero cheddar…outstanding!

More posts to come!

August 20, 2008 Posted by | CAJE, coffee, Vermont | 2 Comments