Caffeine and Jewish Learning just go together


It’s been an amazing whirlwind over the past 2 days since my last post. It’s now the middle of Wednesday (day 3 of CAJE) and I’m in the “Blogger’s Cafe”, a place to experiment with my blogs under the watchful and knowledgeable eyes of Debbie Harris. Here are some of the incredible sessions I’ve attended day 2:

  • FAMILY EDUCATION TRACK: For the 3 days of the conference I’ve spent my mornings in the Consortium for the Jewish Family. Organized by family educators Joel Grishaver and Ron Wolfson, we have learned from the master teachers in Jewish Family Education. I chose a specific track on education for families of teens. My teacher, Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan, is an amazing Jewish family educator who enlightened our group on how to educate teens and their parents in meaningful Jewish learning….not an easy task. But there is common ground to be found and those opportunites for creating Jewish learning and dialogue (where often dialogue between these groups is missing) are priceless!
  • INCLUSION: A well presented and valuable session by Fran Pearlman on creating and maintaining inclusion opportunities for special needs students in religious schools.
  • IS PURIM THE ANTI-PESACH?: An intriquing session on comparing and contrasting these two holidays that fall only a month apart. Did the rabbis intentionally place Purim a month ahead of the grandeur of Pesach for a pedagogic purpose? Great material for a text study course for adults.

More tomorrow on Day 3 and a final wrap on the conference. Nighty night!!

August 14, 2008 Posted by | CAJE | , | Leave a comment


Greetings from sunny (?) Burlington, Vermont! Today was the first full day of the annual CAJE (Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Educators) Conference and it was an action packed day. So action packed that I’ve run out of steam to describe some of the amazing and invigorating (for a wary Jewish educator) sessions that I attended. It’s now 12:15am and I intend to get more sleep than I had last night. So here is a brief list of sessions and I’ll get to the details tomorrow…after some of the excellent Green Mountain coffee they serve here (it’s also a blog about coffee!!):

Morning: A full morning learning about the most important aspect of Jewish education for today and the future: Family Education. More specifically, how to engage and energize Jewish teens and their parents, to create strong family bonds even though teens and their parents are often on different planets. More about this over the next few days.

Afternoon: I’ve learned to become a techno-geek! Actually, I learned how to create a blog under the terrific tutelage of Deborah Harris¬†who is teaching oldies actually that’s anyone over 35) to love today’s technology and apply it to Jewish education and the students we want to reach. And for that matter, their parents too. We learned that a great way for teachers to showcase their student’s classroom work is on their own class blog. An idea I’m going to encourage our teachers to apply this year. We’re also going to begin blogs and wikis in our Media Center with our classes as well.

Well….that’s it for tonight. Got to get some sleep for another long but amazing day tomorrow.

August 12, 2008 Posted by | CAJE, coffee | , , | 1 Comment