Join us for five evenings of wisdom and conversation. Each gathering will feature 45 minutes of thought-provoking learning with a leading scholar, followed by a facilitated breakout session to think through practical implications for your own work and life with other professional and lay leaders from Jewish day schools and yeshivas across North America.

Engage with pressing issues of the day with marquee thinkers and organizations: emotional intelligence, spirituality, inclusive communities, resilience, helping children thrive.

Designed to give you a few moments to pause for higher-level learning and to connect with colleagues, Prizmah Perspectives will help replenish your energy and ignite your creative spirit.

Schedule and Presenters

Marc Brackett, Ph.D.,Yale’s expert on emotional intelligence and author of Permission to Feel

Emotional Intelligence: From Theory to Practice 

Thursday, November 5, 2020
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM ET
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM PT

Emotions can either hurt or help us. Dr. Brackett will describe how people can harness the wisdom of emotions to enhance decision making, leadership skills, relationships, well-being, workplace creativity, and organizational performance. Marc will teach the emotional intelligence framework developed at Yale, which includes five key skills that have been shown to help people achieve greater personal and professional success.

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., author of Permission To Feel,  is the founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University. His research focuses on: the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationship quality, and mental health; the measurement of emotional intelligence; and the influence of emotional intelligence training on children’s and adults’ health, performance, and workplace performance and climate. Marc is the lead developer of RULER, a systemic, evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 2,000 public, charter, and private pre-school through high schools across the United States and in other countries. RULER infuses social and emotional learning into the immune system of schools by enhancing how school administrators lead, educators teach, students learn, and families parent. Read more about Marc.

Lisa Miller, Ph.D., Teacher’s College researcher on the science of spirituality and author of The Spiritual Child

Spiritual Support for Youth in Times of Trauma: Science and Practice

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM ET
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM PT

Session description coming soon

Lisa Miller, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University, Teachers College and is Founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, the first Ivy League graduate program in spirituality and psychology. Dr. Miller is a foremost scientist on spirituality across the lifespan, with her work published in top research journals. Her innovative research has focused on quantifiable effects of spirituality in health, resilience and thriving, and an overall sacred and joyful life. Dr. Miller is the author of The Spiritual Child; The New Science of Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving, and her clinical and consultation work focuses on spiritual awareness and spiritual growth, for individuals, families, groups and organizations. Read more about Lisa.


Robert Evans, Ed.D. and Michael Thompson, Ph.D., psychologists, authors, and sought-after independent school consultants

Bearing Down, Bearing Up: The Emotional Challenges of Leading in A Pandemic

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM ET
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM PT

If the challenge of the last school year was to get through while managing  a huge, unprecedented challenge, and if the challenge of the summer was to plan for multiple possibilities and to engage in extensive professional development, the challenge for today is to sustain effort, energy, and skill in the face of continuing uncertainty. School leaders are bringing energy and passion to their work, but the future is hard to ignore; Michael Thompson and Robert Evans will engage us in a conversation about the challenge of sustaining our current work levels while remaining resilient.

Robert Evans, Ed. D., is a psychologist and school consultant. A former high school and pre-school teacher, and for many years a child and family therapist, he has consulted to more than 1,700 schools, public and private, throughout the U.S. and internationally, working with teachers, leaders, and boards. Rob received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his doctorate from Harvard. His particular interests are in leadership, in helping schools cope with change, in crisis intervention, and in improving collegiality and candor among educators. Read more about Robert.

Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D., is a consultant, author, and psychologist specializing in children and families. He is the supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School and has worked in more than seven hundred schools across the United States, as well as in international schools in Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia. He has authored nine books focusing on the emotional lives of boys, friendships and social cruelty in childhood, the impact of summer camp experiences on child development, the tensions that arise in the parent-teacher relationships, and psychological aspects of school leadership. Read more about Michael.

Registration coming soon

Shahanna McKinney Baldon, leader in equity education and advocacy and former Jewish day school teacher

Diverse Jewish Community, Diverse Jewish Schools

Thursday, February 11, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM ET
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM PT

In this session Ms. McKinney-Baldon, a former Jewish day school teacher, will share her story of growing up in Milwaukee, and will outline strategies for Jewish educators to increase belonging for Jews of color and diverse Jewish families in our day school communities.

Shahanna McKinney-Baldon is the founding Director of Edot Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity Collective, and she also holds several appointments at the UW-Madison School of Education WCER research center, including that of Special Assistant for Diversity and Inclusion. She is a longtime educator and trainer who has been an active public education advocate and Jewish diversity thought leader for over 20 years. A former public school and Jewish day school classroom teacher, Shahanna’s leadership roles have included Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Family and Community Engagement for large public school districts, as well as those of synagogue education director and Federation high school program director. Shahanna is also a leader in equity education and advocacy work, and has led local, regional, and national projects that focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, including in Jewish and other faith community settings and for a consortium of 30 US public school districts. Her current community activities include acting as lay co-chair for the Reconstructionist movement international Tikkun Olam Commission, and sitting on the board of Reconstructing Judaism.

Registration coming soon

Denise Pope, Ph.D., Stanford specialist on student’s voices and perspectives and co-host of the podcast, “Schools-In”

How to Help Students Thrive in Uncertain Times

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM ET
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM PT

Before the pandemic, students, parents, and educators often faced tensions over issues such as homework, grades, and the culture of competition. Many of our students were stressed, exhausted, and disengaged by the focus on test scores, rote answers, and standardized assessments. Now, our students face even more stressors, including family health, finances, civil unrest, climate change, and a global pandemic.  This workshop presents a research-based framework to help educators consider healthier approaches to pedagogy, curriculum, and classroom and school policies that promote student well-being and engaged learning.

Denise Pope, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, where she specializes in student engagement, curriculum studies, qualitative research methods, and service learning. She is also the co-founder of Challenge Success, a research and intervention project that provides schools and families the tools they need to raise healthy, motivated students. She is the author of, “Doing School”: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Yale University Press, 2001), and co-author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (Jossey-Bass, 2015). Prior to teaching at Stanford, Dr. Pope taught high school English in Fremont, CA and college composition and rhetoric courses at Santa Clara University. She lives in Los Altos, CA with her husband and three children. Read more about Denise.

Registration coming soon

Registration Fee:
$20 per person per session - network schools
$25 per person per session - non-network schools