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:

All of our summer classes are online. Please see each class description for details.




Enliven Your Classroom Through Active Learning

In-person class at Gratz College on the Mandell Education Campus in Melrose Park
4 Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 9:00 pm    June 9, 16, 23 & 30

Instructor: Dr. Mimi Polin Ferraro
Assistant Director, Jewish Community High School of Gratz

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.


Spotlight on Israel (K – 4th Grades)

Online class begins the week of June 8, 2015 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: Carrie Shames Walinsky, MAJEd
Educational Director of Kol Emet Religious School and doctoral candidate in Jewish Education at Gratz College

Empowering children to make a personal connection at a young age is vital to creating a lasting relationship with Israel. This class will provide teachers of students in kindergarten – 4th grades the tools, understanding and creative approaches to incorporating Israel education into your curriculum.

We will explore movies, books, resources, experiential learning and other unique and fun methodology to creating an appreciative Israel environment in your classroom. The content will include: the people and their cultures, the land, geography, cities and weather, the connection with Bible and Jewish holidays and the modern history and heroes.

Creativity is encouraged! A love of Israel is appreciated!


Jewish Family Education and Engagement: All Together Now!

Online class begins the week of June 8, 2015 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: Lisa Soble Siegmann, MSW
Director, JFamily (Jewish Experiences for Families) Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan said, “To educate a child without educating and involving the entire family can be compared to heating a house while leaving the windows open.”

Teachers need parents and parents need teachers. It’s a partnership that has powerful results! Learning how to engage parents and families in meaningful and compelling ways is an invaluable tool for enhancing the efficacy of your teaching.

Together we will learn what Jewish Family Education and Engagement is and is not -- and how you can make it part of your teaching at school, with expansion into the home.

What currently exists? What are you ready for? What talents and skills do you possess to create and implement Jewish Family Education and Engagement? What are ways in which you can inspire, engage, excite and teach families?

Get ready to look at texts and articles, brainstorm, be challenged and definitely think outside the box! Learn, share your expertise and grow Jewish Family Education and Engagement wherever you are. All Together Now!


Hebrew Reading is FUNdamental!

Online class begins the week of June 8, 2015 and will be five weeks long. There will be four asynchronous sessions. Plan to spend two hours a week on classwork, although you may choose any two hours that suit you. One session will meet as a live webinar from 7:00-8:30pm EST on June 25th. This will offer participants the opportunity to interact directly with each other and the instructor. Those who cannot participate in the webinar in real-time will be able to watch a recording of it.

Instructor: Dina Maiben, MAJS
Author of Alef Bet Quest & Ready, Set…Go Alef Bet!; co-author: Z’man L’Tefilah; teacher, educational consultant and doctoral candidate in Jewish education at Gratz College.

In the years following the introduction of basic decoding skills, Hebrew reading instruction presents unique challenges to teachers in supplementary schools.  In this five-session course we will explore general methods for improving prayer recitation as well as specific games and activities that will infuse energy into your classes.  From techniques for reviewing basic skills and practicing fluent phrase reading to ideas for teaching meaningful siddur Hebrew, you will learn what specific approaches motivate students to participate more actively. We will also examine the causes of the problems that are particular to teaching Hebrew and identify ways to solve them.


Jewish Essentials for Teachers

Online class with rolling admission begins the week of June 8, 2015. Eight 2 hour modules.

These modules can be completed at any pace. 

Instructor: Dr. Joshua Gutoff, EdD
Director of the MAJEd Program and Assistant Professor of Jewish Education at Gratz College. 

You know that feeling when it hits you that, as a Jewish teacher, you’re supposed to be an expert on everything Jewish? And, you realize that you have a few gaps in your background? Or that you know a whole bunch of discrete factoids about Jewish history, culture or practice, but don’t know how they fit together into a big picture? This class is designed to help teachers get (back) up to speed on the basics of Jewish knowledge, providing you with the foundation to teach with understanding and confidence.  We’re not going to try to swallow an encyclopedia’s worth of information. Instead, we’re going to be developing our own internal “maps” of the terrain – the key concepts, major themes and “big ideas” of the different  subjects. These will become valuable tools in our work as educators.  

Topics include: Tefillah (prayer); Jewish History; Life Cycle Rituals; Ethical Principles; Religious Ideas; Home Practices; Classical Literacy; and Modern Jewish Life.


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

Online class with rolling admission begins the week of June 8, 2015. Nine 2 hour modules. These modules can be completed at any pace.  

Instructor: Rochelle B. Rabeeya, MA Jewish Religious Education
Assistant Director, NEXT Program of Gratz College

Every new teacher wakes up in the middle of the night worrying about setting up a classroom, planning for the first day, organizing lessons, and keeping everything engaging. This class will help you jump into Supplementary School teaching without feeling overwhelmed and offers you a solid introduction to many core aspects of teaching in a part-time Jewish educational program. Topics include: kehillah (community) building, classroom management, learning styles and multiple intelligences, special needs, child development, as well as syllabus, unit & lesson planning, instructional strategies, engaging students by asking the right questions.


Hebrew Through Movement

JECC logo

Online class with rolling admission. 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.

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 of the Greater Philadelphia area can register for Hebrew Through Movement directly at

For more information about Hebrew Through Movement visit


Planning Lessons that Make Sense – A Guide to Understanding by Design© 

Online class begins the week of July 6, 2015 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: Lynne Lieberman, MJEd
Senior Director for the Lorraine & Jack N. Friedman Commission for Jewish Education of the Palm Beaches

How do you maximize your time so that that every student is engaged in your lessons? Are you clear about what students need to learn and then plan engaging lessons to help students achieve the goals? When you use the framework of Understanding by Design©, you build lessons that consistently facilitate deep and substantive student learning. Starting with the end in mind, this process asks – What are the Big Ideas you want your student to grapple with? What are you trying to achieve? How will you know if the students learned?

This is a practical, hands-on class, in which you will design units and lessons to use this year. It is beneficial for those who are new to Understanding by Design© as well as those who have experience with this framework for designing lesson and units.


Beyond Apples and Honey:  Teaching the Fall Holidays

Online class begins the week of July 6, 2015 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
Technology Integration Educator for the Friedman Commission for Jewish Education; Independent consultant for Jewish educational enrichment programs. 

Teaching is transformed as we understand how new methodologies and technologies impact the way our students learn. Through the lens of 21st century learning skills, digital tools and methodologies, like Problem-Based Learning, we will explore innovative ways of approaching the Jewish Fall holidays, offering new ways for your students to experience the richness of them. You will leave the class with resources ready to make Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot different, engaging, and meaningful. You will expand your toolbox of strategies whether you are new or experienced with these methodologies and skills.


Problem-Based Learning: Students as Investigators

Offered in collaboration with Jewish Learning Venture

Online class begins the week of July 6 and will be four sessions long. Most sessions will be asynchronous, meaning that, while you should plan to spend two hours a week on classwork, you may choose any two hours that suit you.

The first session will be a live online/in-person class. It will take place on Monday, July 6th from 7:00-8:00pm EST. You are welcome to attend in-person at Gratz College. Participants can also participate LIVE over the internet. This session will be recorded for those who are not able to participate in real-time.

Instructor: Dr. Gloria Becker, EdD
Director of Learning Initiatives in Jewish Education, Jewish Learning Venture 

Do you ever find yourself standing in front of your students and realizing that you are talking "at" them more than you would like? Would you prefer to be the kind of teacher who creates compelling and engaging learning experiences for your students? Problem-Based Learning reimagines how learning happens in a classroom!

When you understand the theory and practice of Problem-Based Learning, you will be able to develop opportunities in which your students learn through the process of creating substantial and meaningful projects, rather than 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 dynamic, vibrant, and creative learning experiences in part-time Jewish education settings.


Ready to register? Visit our Registration Page now.