PCJE Testimonials Page

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“For many years, I have felt there was always something greater. I knew I had a ton of potential but did not know how to harness that properly and direct it into something good. I now feel like I am walking down the path that I have been meant to walk down all my life. I owe Pardes a great deal of credit for that!” – Rabbi Joseph Shamash, Year ’12, Pardes Experiential Educators Program ’12-’13



“The Pardes Educators Program is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for someone like me. I know that I am in the right place when I read a text and right away lesson plans start filling my head about exciting ways to teach it to my future students. I am always surrounded by teachers and colleagues who are ready and excited to share in my excitement and curiosity. The passion that I am cultivating here along with the solid skills will set me up for a lifetime of inspiring students to truly care about Judaism and personalize their relationships to our collective memory.”

– Laura Marder, Pardes Day School Educators Program ’12-’14


“Amazing! I want to stay at Pardes forever. I am a more complete person now.” 

– Andrea Wiese, Year ’12, Pardes Day School Educators Program ’12-’14


Every time I’m asked about my classes at Pardes, I feel an embarrassing smirk take over my face. I can’t help but smile because I feel like I’m telling a gushy love story. The learning I’m taking part in at Pardes is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. From looking at the evolution of Jewish consciousness to then actually joining the conversation of great Jewish minds found in the Gemara and actually sourcing my discussions in the Chumash, the deep wisdom that I feel I’m able to access here is palpable. The faculty share their knowledge and passion about the topics so strongly it is contagious. Every morning I look forward to coming to Pardes, and am constantly excited by the insights and perspectives I get by studying here.”

– Jessie Lavintman, Pardes Experiential Educators Program ’14-’16 

“I’m really loving havruta learning. I didn’t think that I would at first, and even tried to find crafty ways to work on my own. (That only lasted about 10 minutes; then teachers found me in the corner by myself.) This type of learning challenges me and forces me to think in a new way. I have a different havruta for each class, and I find that I enjoy working with each person for a different reason. Some are patient. Some keep me focused. Some inspire me to think differently. Some I like to argue with. These are all good things, and I’m grateful to have found partners who bring out the best in my learning.”

– Lauren Schuchart, Year ’11-’12, Pardes Experiential Educators Program ’12-’13


“In order to teach Jewish text on a college campus, I need to acquire skills for studying Tanach, Philosophy, Hebrew and Halacha. I need to learn how to draw out concepts and insights from text and be able to skillfully illuminate to students the opportunities for richness that engagement with a Jewish life provides. Students should be able to feel connected to the community as a result of exploring their questions through the Jewish canon. College students are most likely to listen to an adult educator who is knowledgeable and passionate about the content of the Jewish canon, and the only way for me to acquire this knowledge is to fully immerse myself in Jewish texts for an extended period of time.”

– Leah Kahn, Pardes Experiential Educators Program ’11-’13

“Before the Aleinu Leshabe’ach Conference, I thought that to transform tefilah would be a daunting, almost impossible task. Now, I am confident that I am capable of being a major force at improving tefilah for my students.”

– Day School Teacher, Aleinu Leshabe’ach II Conference, June 2016

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