NEXT Summer Classes

Study online or on campus. Learn more and apply online

Details about each class can be found below by clicking on the name of a class or simply by scrolling down.

Here are NEXT's Summer classes:



Except where noted, all classes are appropriate for teachers of pre-K through 12th grade.


Enliven Your Classroom Through Active Learning

In-person class at Gratz College on the Mandell Education Campus in Melrose Park, PA                     

4 Wednesday evenings July 9, 16, 23, 30 from 7:00-9:00pm

Instructor: Dr. Mimi Polin Ferraro
Director of Education at Old York Road Temple – Beth Am, Abington, PA

Active Learning is about capturing the students’ attention and keeping them highly engaged rather than simply relaying information to them.  The more we involve students in their own learning, the more invested they are and the better they integrate the learning.

Discussion techniques that keep all the students talking and debating, games that keep them jumping and rooting, activities that let them unearth meaningful connections for themselves – these are some hallmarks of Active Learning. Mastering a repertoire of these teaching techniques will keep the students’ bodies bustling and their brains humming.

If you want to “amp up” the level of your students’ engagement, you are sure to get a lot out of this class.


After the Hebrew Primer: Teaching Prayer to 4th – 7th Graders

Instructor: Dina Maiben, MAJS
Co-author: Z’man L’Tefilah & author: Alef Bet Quest
Educational consultant and doctoral candidate in Jewish education at Gratz College

In-person class at Gratz College on the Mandell Education Campus in Melrose Park, PA                   
Tuesday, June 17 & 24, July 1 & 8, 2014 from 7:00-9:00pm

Once our students have mastered the basics of Hebrew decoding, those of us who teach prayer have fairly similar goals. We want our students to read the Hebrew prayers with fluency, find personal meaning in them, and have some idea of what they are reading. Authentic and meaningful prayer can be difficult to achieve, let alone to teach. The question becomes, “How can we achieve all of these goals in a limited amount of time?”

Participants in this course will explore an approach that combines reading skills with some Hebrew vocabulary with discussions and affective experiences. From techniques for reviewing phonics and reaching fluent phrasing to methods that convey siddur (prayerbook) Hebrew, to explorations of Jewish ethics and meaningful worship experiences, you will learn to teach both kavanah and keva-- both the art and the craft of Jewish worship.


Problem-Based Learning: Students as Investigators

Jewish Learning Venture Logo

Offered in collaboration with Jewish Learning Venture

Online class begins the week of June 16, 2014 and will be four sessions long. Plan to spend two hours on classwork over each two week session. You may choose any two hours that suit you. An online Student Orientation begins June 9, 2014.

Instructors: Dr. Gloria Becker, Program Director for Educational Technology, Jewish Learning Venture
& Linda Block-Love, MSM and MEd, Director of Educational Leadership, Jewish Learning Venture 

Do you ever find yourself standing in front of your students and teaching "to" or "at" them more than you would like? Would you prefer to be the kind of teacher who creates compelling and engaging learning experience for your students? Problem-Based learning reimagines how learning happens in a classroom.

When you understand Problem-Based Learning, you will be able to develop distinct learning opportunities in which your students learn through the process of creating substantial and meaningful projects, rather than simply doing projects that demonstrate what they have already learned. Your students will gain a new sense of ownership of their Jewish education, while your role as teacher will shift from being the “sage on the stage” to being the “guide on the side.” This Problem-Based Learning class offers you critical tools for creating more dynamic, vibrant and creative Supplementary School learning experiences.


Boot Camp for New Teachers (and those with minimal formal training in education)

Instructors: Rabbi Erin Hirsh, MAHL, Director of the NEXT Program & 
Rochelle B. Rabeeya, MARE, Coach & Consultant, the NEXT Program

Online class with rolling admission. Eight 1.5 - 2 hour modules. These modules can be completed at any pace.
Every new teacher wakes up in the middle of the night worrying about setting up a classroom, planning for the first day, organizing lessons, using textbooks and keeping everything engaging. This class will help you jump into Supplementary School teaching without feeling overwhelmed and offers you a quick and solid introduction to many core aspects of teaching in a part-time Jewish educational program, including child development, kehillah (community) building, classroom management, multiple intelligences, special needs, as well as syllabus, unit & lesson planning.

As a bonus, we will support you when school begins through an online group specifically for new Supplementary School teachers.


Diving into Torah with Both Feet

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Offered in collaboration with the Lorraine and Jack N. Friedman Commission for Jewish Education of the Palm Beaches

Online class begins the week of July 7, 2014 and will be four weeks long. Plan to spend two hours a week on classwork, although you may choose any two hours that suit you.

Instructor: Peter Eckstein, MS in Elementary Education; MA in Jewish Education
Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Beth David in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida & Technology Integration Educator for the Friedman Commission for Jewish Education

Studying Torah for its own sake is a Jewish value. But when we learn Torah in order to teach it, we begin to explore the text differently. No longer are we just finding personal meaning; we are discovering how the words can shape the lives of our students, whether they are children, adults or families. In this class we will explore Torah collaboratively, learning from both ancient and modern commentaries.   We will interpret the text together and as a learning community, learn how to translate the messages into concrete learning experiences. 

We will focus on the first four portions of the Torah:  B’resheet, Noach, Lech Lecha and Yayeira.  Our goal is to first learn each parasha, and then create learning activities that will be ready to be used at the beginning of the year. We will explore different learning modalities, and utilize various tools and technologies, such as art, drama, narrative, and 21st century digital technology, to help us create an environment  that will enable our students to  find meaning in the text.

So, whether you are comfortable in the kiddie pool, or are ready to swim in the deep end, this course will help you dive right into the wisdom and lessons of Torah.


Special Needs Jewish Education: Reaching and Teaching all Learners

Offered in collaboration with Matan

Online class begins the week of July 7, 2014 and will be four weeks long. An online Student Orientation begins June 30, 2014. Plan to spend two hours a week on classwork, although you may choose any two hours that suit you.

Instructor: Meredith Polsky, MSW and MA in Special Education
Co-founder and Director of Training and Advocacy at Matan

Supplementary School educators face unique challenges in addressing the needs of all learners in the classroom. You contend with limited hours in which to get to know your students and cover the required material; you see students after they have already put in a full day of school, or on a Sunday morning following a sleepover at a friend’s house or a late night movie.

This class will explore the ins and outs of select learning disabilities and developmental issues, how they may present in a Jewish classroom setting, and ways to respond effectively. By increasing our knowledge of a variety of special needs (including ADHD, sensory issues, processing challenges, and more) and the Jewish values with which to approach these challenges, we will discover how accommodating these students actually benefits all students in our classrooms.

During this course, we will explore:

  • Our own learning styles, and the impact this has on our students.
  • Creative ways to assess students’ knowledge from a strengths perspective.
  • What differentiated instruction can look like in a Supplementary School setting.
  • How to shift our views of challenging behavior in our classrooms.
  • How we can communicate with families to get the information we need and provide the support they need


Art Works: Integrating the Arts in Supplementary Settings

Avoda Arts logo

Offered in collaboration with Avoda Arts

Online class begins the week of July 7, 2014 and will be four weeks long. Plan to spend two hours a week on classwork, although you may choose any two hours that suit you.

Instructor: Deb Krivoy, MEd
Director of Avoda Arts

Are you looking for creative, meaningful ways to help learners participate more actively, have a voice in the classroom, and feel part of the learning community? Come tap the potential of the arts for Jewish learning, self-expression and engagement. Experience how the arts embody whole-person learning and develop strategies for integrating the arts into your own teaching practice. When used productively in a classroom setting, the arts can focus students, trigger an emotional response and provide a catalyst for thoughtful consideration and discussion of an idea or theme. Through readings, visual response, group discussion and personal reflection, this course explores how the arts allow us to express both our individual identity and our connections to the broader Jewish community.


Truly Welcoming Children of Interfaith Families 

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Offered in collaboration with InterfaithFamily
Online class begins the week of June 16, 2014 and will be three weeks long. Plan to spend two hours a week on classwork, although you may choose any two hours that suit you.

Instructor: Rabbi Robyn Frisch, MAHL
Director of InterfaithFamily/Philadelphia

Most supplementary schools officially welcome children of interfaith families today, but what does it really mean to be welcoming? Supplementary school teachers of children of interfaith families stand at the intersection of Jewish communal beliefs and values and the complex lives of children with parents who are not Jewish. We are tasked with cultivating our students’ Jewish identities while simultaneously navigating the policies of our respective schools, our own personal beliefs and values, and the need to honor our students’ realities.

Using our own experiences and case studies, we will explore “best practices” for handling issues that come up with students from interfaith homes and their families with grace, respect and integrity. We will consider everything from the language we can use to the ways we can structure activities in order to be integrate these children effectively. You will leave this class with a deeper understanding of your role as teacher to children of interfaith families, as well as tools and strategies to make your classroom truly welcoming.


Hebrew Through Movement

JECC logo

Offered in collaboration with the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland

Online class that takes place on a rolling basis. Ten one hour modules. The modules can be completed at any pace.

Hebrew Through Movement, which is both a curriculum and a technique, is widely recognized as one of the single best tools available to Supplementary School teachers who want their students to effectively and enthusiastically learn Hebrew. When you learn how to use Hebrew Through Movement, you will be able to create a more positive and joyful Hebrew learning experience for your students in just 15 minutes per session. Additionally, your students will build enough vocabulary to comprehend core segments of common prayers or rituals. The curriculum is fun for both students and teachers. Students are engaged and enjoy learning Hebrew!

Hebrew Through Movement is an online course offered by the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. By special arrangement, NEXT is making this innovative course available to Philadelphia Supplementary School teachers.

Teachers outside Philadelphia must register directly with Hebrew Through Movement. For more information about Hebrew Through Movement visit


Ready to register? Visit our Registration Page now.