Now Enrolling for Fall 2019! Courses begin November 11.

Registration - Fall 2019

Meaningful Modifications: Meeting the Diverse Needs of B’nai Mitzvah Students and Their Families with Howard Blas - ALL

Young Jews “become” bar and bat mitzvah at ages thirteen and twelve respectively.  How individuals, families and communities “have” b’nai mitzvah and mark this rite of passage has varied through place and time.  This course will offer a framework for assessing student and family needs and suggest accommodations, modifications and options which can be implemented in synagogues in all denominational settings, based on the individual learner’s interests, passions, strengths and areas of challenge. The course will also explore a number of creative “do it yourself” options.

Reimagining Classroom Relationships: Affective Behavior Management Strategies with Jodi Gross - ALL

Participants in this course will learn practical strategies that will help them create a positive teaching and learning environment. The class will focus on how to set clear expectations; how to create and implement a positive behavior reinforcement plan; how to respond to student misbehavior; and how to handle challenging situations. The class is appropriate for both experienced teachers who need a little brush-up on their skills as well as for novice teachers.

Fertility Matters in Jewish Education  In collaboration with UpRooted with Dalia Davis, M.A., and Dr. Julie Bindeman - ALL 

One in up to four families faces some kind of fertility challenge, (eg. conception, adoption, loss) meaning that multiple children in a classroom or group likely come from families that have faced and/or are dealing with fertility struggles. Participants will learn about the myriad ways in which students may be affected, and gain an understanding of how they can support these students and families. Jewish texts and teachings will be explored. For more information visit

Project-Based Learning in Jewish Education (PBL) 101 with Jed Filler - ALL 

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered learning experience through which students master knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge over an extended period of time. Authenticity is the essence of PBL -- the ‘project’ must be clearly relatable to the student. Participants will learn the seven core components of PBL, apply them to a lesson plan, and develop lesson sets on a topic of their own choosing. 

Inclusion as a Jewish Value: How and Why with Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer - Gr 5-12

Jewish sacred texts address how to treat people with differences, teach students who may need extra support, and recognize the humanity in all individuals. This course explores the types of disabilities that teachers might encounter. Participants will learn specific strategies to transform Jewish educational environments into inclusive spaces that serve students of all abilities and reduce disability stigma.  Additionally, participants will discover ways to implicitly and explicitly teach students that inclusion is a Jewish value. This course will empower and support educators and communities working to raise awareness and foster inclusion of people with disabilities and mental health conditions.

The (Jewish) Pursuit of Happiness Through Positive Psychology with Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath- Gr 7-12

Jewish educators are competing with a cadre of real-life responsibilities and constant digital distractions to connect with busy, stressed students. Positive psychology – the study of what makes life most rewarding and fulfilling – offers a compelling theory and concrete practices that can help Jewish educators design activities and programs that will invite Jewish teens to engage in compelling, meaningful ways. The principles of positive psychology align with core Jewish texts and values. By identifying the points of intersection, we will position ourselves to more consistently create gratifying opportunities for our teens.

At the end of the course, Jewish teen educators will have a foundational understanding of positive psychology and a series of tactics for applying its wisdom to the feat of successfully engaging Jewish teens.

Upcycling Jewish Life Cycle Learning: Creative, Contemporary Customs with Laurie Fisher - Gr 4-7

Marking Jewish time and life milestones with rituals is a continuously evolving and dynamic process, and when our students have an authentic understanding of life cycle customs, rituals and their meanings, the relevance of these sacred moments is elevated. To teach about rites of passage in ways that will resonate with our students, we must understand these events through a contemporary lens. In this course, we will explore traditional and innovative ways of celebrating, mourning, and marking time throughout a Jewish life. The four sessions will include the following topics: Birth: More Than Just a Bris; B’nai Mitzvah: Coming of Age in the 21st Century; Marriage: Expanding Definitions of Tradition; Death and Mourning: Kaddish and Beyond.

More than Common Cents: Equipping Students to Make Meaningful, Enduring Contributions (Tzedakah) with Terri Bersohn- Gr PK-6

For many of our families, a primary expression of Jewish identity is through tikkun olam (repair of the world) or social justice work, rather than through prayer or ritual. There is no shortage of real and immediate needs that require our attention: international refugees, hurricane victims and lonely people within your congregation are only a few examples. It's not enough for students to bring in quarters that their parents hand to them as they leave for school. Not only are your students capable of so much more; they want to do more, and it is our job to empower them and to encourage them. In this course we will explore ways to develop students' tzedakah (justice) and chesed (benevolence) "muscles" and create individual plans for projects by grade or by school-wide theme. 

Values in Action: Torah, Teens, and Today's Headlines with Laurie Fisher Gr 6-12

Many of today’s news headlines -- immigration policy, #MeToo, mass shootings -- underscore differences of opinion and polarize people. In this course, we will turn to underlying values in Torah and other Jewish teachings for clarity, and to pedagogical principles for best practice, in preparation for addressing these topics with teens in meaningful and informative ways. 

Navigating and Nurturing Complicated Conversations with Teens Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath Gr 7-12

With the minefield of tough topics faced by today’s teens, Jewish educators are challenged to reach teens in authentic, meaningful ways that highlight the relevance of Jewish tradition and foster Jewish community. This course will explore best practices for addressing issues of consent, gender identity, gun control, Israel, or any emotionally loaded topic, preparing the educator to decide when to remain neutral and when to name a bias, and how to create safe space around the conversation. Participants will receive broad content and context to frame their approaches, and tangible takeaways to enhance their work with post b’nai mitzvah students and teens in both formal and informal settings.