PCJE Conference: Cultivating the Whole Child Through a Jewish Lens

Program Description

As Jewish educators, we are called upon to teach texts and content, inculcate skills and model Jewish values, all while inspiring students to embrace a Jewish life that has contemporary meaning and purpose. As 21st-century guides, we are tasked with developing moral character, nurturing spirituality, fostering healthy relationships, building resilience and cultivating independence.

  • How do we balance these roles and determine our priorities?
  • Is there a deeper understanding of Jewish text that could provide direction?
  • Are there new findings in education that offer guidance?
  • What skills and insights do we need to keep sharpening?
  • What will excellence in Jewish education look like in the next 5-10 years?

At our November 2017 conference, Cultivating the Whole Child Through a Jewish Lens – for PCJE alumni and their colleagues – we will explore these and other questions in a warm, spirited environment of collegiality and openness. We will learn together, reflect on our work and challenges, and share ideas and best practices.

This professional development opportunity will provide you with the inspiration and the tools to work towards cultivating your students’:

  • Social-emotional well-being
  • Creativity
  • Resilience
  • Initiative
  • Spiritual intelligence
  • Engagement with learning
  • Relationship building and collaboration skills
  • Independent meaning-making ability
  • Artistic expression
  • and other 21st-century skills and dispositions

… through the teaching of Jewish texts, exploration of middot, enrichment of Jewish life outside the classroom and more!

There will be over 20 workshops offered at the conference, here are just some of the topics that will be explored:

  • Experimentation, Risk, and Failure: Emboldening Ourselves and Our Students to Try
  • Cultural Competency and Inclusivity: Jewish Education for the 21st Century
  • Cultivating Graciousness and Grit through the study of Jewish texts
  • Whole-Child Learning to Promote Jewishly Informed Values, Identity, and Action: Becoming a Social and Emotional Learning Coach
  • Mahloket L’Shem Shamayim – From Text to Life
  • The Fine Art of Discussion: From Strategies to Practice
  • Tablet to Tablet Tanach; Bringing Ancient Texts to Modern Tech
  • How Will We Know It’s Working? In Search of Evidence

Becca Bubis currently teaches in the Jewish Studies department at de Toledo High School. Her education includes a B.A. in Philosophy from Barnard College, Columbia University earned concurrently with a B.A. in Bible from List College, Jewish Theological Seminary through the Double Degree Program. After attending Yeshivat Hadar in Manhattan, she completed the Pardes Educators Program through the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and received a Certificate of Advanced Jewish Studies and an M.A. in Jewish Education from the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College. In her spare time she enjoys biking, word games, and woodworking.

Hayley DeLugach is the Co-Dean of Student Life and Jewish Life at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) in San Francisco and has been teaching Tanakh and Rabbinics there since 2008. Her current portfolio at JCHS includes overseeing the Tefillah program, Shabbaton, and experiential education and serving on the Steering Committee for Anti-Bias and Inclusion. She also teaches adults through Kevah in San Francisco. She began teaching in 2006 at Saligman Middle School after completing PEP earlier that year as part of cohort 5. Hayley holds a BA from the University of Chicago and a MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She feels grateful for her partner R. Mark Melamut and their two children Kinneret and Geffen.

Tamara Frankel teaches Jewish studies and coordinates the Tefillah program at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School in suburban Chicago. Over the last seven years, Tamara has become particularly interested in the relationship between text study and social emotional learning in day schools. She is currently a doctoral student at The Davidson School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is also a proud graduate of the Pardes Educators Program and York University in Toronto, Canada.

Rachel Friedrichs came to Jewish education as someone who loves to learn Torah and enjoys the challenge of breaking down complex ideas. She is currently the Director of Pedagogic Instruction at the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators. She holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MA in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University; she is an alumna of the Pardes Day School Educators Program. Rachel has a taught Tanakh, Rabbinic literature and Jewish thought to students ranging from sixth grade through adulthood at a variety of different institutions, including: Young Judaea Year Course (Jerusalem), Yeshivat Hadar (NYC), Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan and Gann Academy (Boston, MA). She also taught English in Gujarat, India for a year and is a certified yoga instructor. Rachel lives in Modi’in with her husband and two sons.

Aviva Golbert, who serves as the Acting Director of PCJE, has worked at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies since 2009. In 2013 she was appointed the Director of the Pardes Educators Summer Curriculum Workshop, and the Assistant Director of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators in 2014. Previously, Aviva developed curriculum at Melitz and at the Leo Baeck Education Center, where she also taught Jewish Studies and facilitated mifgashim. She then served as the Head of Jewish Studies at Immanuel College, London. Aviva is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Midrash at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies.

Smadar Goldstein is recognized as one of the most dynamic and successful online educators in the world of Jewish education. In 2009, Smadar founded JETS, Jerusalem Ed Tech Solutions, an online provider of synchronous and asynchronous courses, professional development programs on incorporating technology in Jewish studies and Hebrew language classrooms, and school partnership programs.  Smadar has provided professional development in using EdTech in the Jewish Studies and Ivrit classroom, both online and face-to-face, to over 2000 teachers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Australia, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Holland, and Israel. She is also a Yoga Instructor at the YMCA in the city of Jerusalem, where she lives with her husband and 4 children.

Shira Heller designs learning opportunities for Jewish day school teachers and leaders, connecting them to valuable resources and to each other. A dynamic presenter with an ability to build relationships with and among a variety of audiences, Shira is a sought-after teacher, consultant, and coach. Before joining Prizmah, Shira worked in diverse educational settings. She was the Assistant Director for Professional Development at YU School Partnership, and she served as a classroom teacher, a campus Jewish educator at Boston University, and an adult educator at the Manhattan Jewish Experience. Shira has done postgraduate work in teaching English at Florida Atlantic University and received her MSW from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

Rabbi Zvi Hirschfield teaches Talmud, Halakha and Jewish Thought at Pardes. In addition, Zvi is a faculty member of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators and has been training and mentoring Jewish Educators for over ten years in Tefilah in educational settings, critical issues in modern Jewish thought, and Israel education. Zvi holds a B.A. in History from Columbia University and did graduate work at Harvard University in Medieval and Modern Jewish Thought. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel and has rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He was the director of Judaica at the JCC of Cleveland and an instructor at the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies for many years. He also serves as a curriculum writer and is involved in staff training for the Nesiya Institute. His wife, Dina, is a faculty member of the Hebrew University School of Public Health, and they have four children.

Dr. Jeff Kress is the Bernard Heller Associate Professor of Jewish Education at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education – JTS. His interests include social and emotional learning and experiential education. He is also conducting research and professional development on inclusion of learners with disabilities in camp settings. His book Development, Learning, and Community: Educating for Identity in Pluralistic Jewish High Schools (Academic Studies Press, 2012) won a National Jewish Book Award. He has a degree in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University. “

Dr. Sarah Levy has been involved in the field of Jewish education for 15 years through family education, supplemental education, experiential teen education, adult education, and day school education. A graduate of the Pardes Educators Program, she holds a masters in Jewish education, a doctorate in education, and certificates in advanced Jewish studies, day school education, and Jewish educational leadership. She has taught middle and high school students in Jewish day schools and has acted as an elementary school administrator. Sarah currently serves as the K-12 director of Jewish life and learning for Denver Jewish Day School in Denver, CO, where she resides with her husband and four kids.

Yonatan Rosner is the Co-Director of Jewish Life at de Toledo High School where he has been working for the past ten years.  He earned a double BA in Cognitive Science and Jewish Philosophy, as well as, a MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University and a MBA from California State University Northridge. In 2013, Yonatan was chosen as one of five Jewish educators from across the country to receive the Pomegranate Prize award by The Covenant Foundation. His professional achievements are based on the following core competencies: strategic planning, collaborative leadership, educational technology, curriculum design, and mentoring of both teachers and students.

Edna Sackson is the Leader of Teaching and Learning at Mount Scopus, a Jewish Day School located in Melbourne, Australia. She blogs about teaching and learning at What Ed Said. She is a workshop leader for the international Baccalaureate Primary Years Program and has presented in Australia and other countries In the Asia Pacific region. She is one of the chapter authors of the book, Journeys in Communities of Practice. Edna is also an administrator and active ‘Granny’ for the School in the Cloud project, interacting virtually with teachers and children in disadvantaged settings in India.

Joan Vander Walde is a Jewish educator whose 4 decades of experience have inspired her to keep learning.   She holds a BA from Brandeis University in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and an MA in counseling psychology.  Joan has worked as a teacher, counselor, educational leader and Middle School Principal at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland and conducted field research on Jewish and Israel experiential education at camps in North America for the Avi Chai Foundation.  Currently she serves as Director of the Pardes Rodef Shalom Schools Program, mentors teacher leaders through Legacy Heritage Teachers Institute, and prepares educators to implement meaningful school twinning programs for the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Susan Yammer comes to the Pardes Educator’s Program as someone who spent over 30 years in the classrooms and camps in America and continues to be involved in Jewish Education  in Israel by serving on staff at PCJE, The Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy and Young Judea Year course. She holds an MA in Jewish education from JTS. Throughout her years in this profession she has seen facilitating quality discussions as one of her central classroom aspirations.

The conference, held at the Pearlstone Retreat Center, Reisterstown, MD, will begin at 12:30 PM on Sunday November 5th and will conclude at 2:30 PM on Tuesday the 7th. (For non-PCJE alumni who are coming from out of town, you should arrange your travel so that you arrive at BWI airport or train station by 11 AM on Sunday, and depart no earlier than 4:30 PM on Tuesday.)

$75 travel subsidies are available for conference participants (non PCJE alumni) traveling from outside the DC/Baltimore area.

Participant categoryFee
 PCJE Alum – Early Bird/discounted rate $250
 PCJE Alum $300
 Returning PCJE PD and Rodef Shalom teachers – Early Bird/discounted rate$425
 Returning PCJE PD and Rodef Shalom teachers$500
 Non-Alum – Early Bird/discounted rate$450
 Non-Alum$550
 Colleague discount offered to school sending more than one educatorInquire for details

$75 travel subsidies are available for conference participants (non PCJE alumni) traveling from outside the DC/Baltimore area.

Click here to request a registration form.

For more information contact Rachel Friedrichs at rachelf@pardes.org.il.