Mental Health Summit 2024

The Mental Health Summit is offered with support from and in collaboration with Ruderman Family Foundation.

Registration Closed
Past Event
Registration Fees:
Prizmah Network schools $280 per person
Non-network schools $350 per person
Canadian Prizmah Network schools $210 US per person
Canadian non-network schools $262.50 US per person (Code: CADNON)


Group Discount: We encourage school teams to attend the summit together in order to maximize learning for your school. Schools that register two or more participants will receive $50 off per person. In order to activate the group discount all participants from a school must register together.

The registration system will automatically determine whether or not your school has joined the Prizmah Network, and will charge the appropriate price for all US schools and for Canadian Prizmah Network Schools. Participants from Canadian non-network schools should use the discount code CADNON to activate Canadian school pricing.

Dr. Erica Brown, Dr. Todd Whitaker
Rachel Dratch, Dr. Oshra Cohen
Educational Administrators / Directors of Teaching and Learning, Principals, Student Services Professionals / School Counselors / School Psychologists
Registration Closed
Mental Health Summit 2024 - Register Now

For school counselors, school psychologists, learning specialists, educational administrators, school service professionals, and principals


Engage in high-level learning and collaboration around mental health challenges and opportunities in Jewish day schools and yeshivas. This year’s theme is “In The Moment: Navigating Difficult Times With Dignity, Empathy, and Growth.” Over the course of two days of interactive learning and discussion, you will gain skills, perspectives, and approaches to navigating difficult times in your school.

Take the dedicated time and space to nurture your skills and grow your knowledge to enhance your practice.

The Program

During this online summit, school mental health professional teams are encouraged to participate fully and engage in interactive workshops focused on navigating moments of hardship, empathy, and growth in schools through a Jewish lens. The program will include group plenary sessions as well as opportunities to focus on topics meaningful to you. There will be plenty of time to discuss the content with a group of colleagues curated to match your school’s dynamics and culture.

Please note that to preserve confidentiality and create space to share ideas and challenges, sessions will not be recorded. Participants are encouraged to share experiences and reflections in real time with colleagues.

Schedule at a Glance

Tuesday April 2, 2024: Keynote: What Great Teachers Do Differently


12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET // 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM PT

The summit will open with keynote speaker Todd Whitaker, one of the nation’s leading authorities on staff motivation, teacher leadership, and principal effectiveness. This kick-off session will inspire and equip school professionals with language, skills, and approaches to navigate challenging situations effortlessly and organically to fuel growth as an exceptional teacher.

During this designated time, there will be 30 minutes to meet your homeroom–your core group of colleagues–to frame the summit learning, set intentions, and process the summit experience.


1:40 PM - 3:15 PM ET // 10:40 AM - 12:15 PM PT

Listening to the Impact (choose one session)
Choose between two panel session options, which will each include a student, parent, teacher, and expert, where you will dive into real-world examples of navigating challenges in Jewish day schools. After the panel discussions, meet back with your homeroom to debrief and share learnings.

Panel 1: The Impact of Antisemitism, Anti-Israelism, and Being a Jewish Student After October
This discussion will dive into the impact of the current situation on the mental health and well-being of students, faculty, and the Jewish school community. This session will be facilitated by experts from Natal—Israel’s trauma and resiliency center, specializing in the field of war and terror related trauma, PTSD, and resiliency among civil society.

Panel 2: Body Positivity
This discussion, facilitated by Dr. Oshra Cohen, will focus on the mental health and well-being associated with body positivity and school policies, and will include topics such as dress code, self harm and other coping mechanisms, food as a social opportunity, and inclusion.


Wednesday April 3, 2024: Interactive Workshop Development


11:00 AM - 12:30 PM ET // 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM PT

Collaborate with colleagues to analyze student and teacher profiles, brainstorm, and create a checklist of considerations to help learners thrive by looking at key moments in the life of school members (recess, lunch, siddur party, overnight trips, etc) from the perspective of each person.


1:30 PM - 1:50 PM ET // 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM PT

In the Aftermath: The Impact of the Language and Framing We Use
Join Rabbi Dr. Dovid Fox from Chai Lifeline to introduce language around ethics, guiding principles, and protocols, followed by breakout discussions on how these relate to Judaism and our schools. You will choose from the following breakout sessions to hear from school leaders about navigating these topics.


1:50 PM - 2:30 PM ET // 10:50 AM - 11:40 AM PT

Session Breakouts (choose one session)

  1. Responding to Suicide in School Communities
  2. The Loss of a Student, Parent, Alum, or Faculty Member


2:30 PM - 3:00 PM ET // 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM PT

Reunite with your homeroom to unpack, debrief, and share perspectives from all three sessions.


3:30 PM - 4:30 PM ET // 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM PT

Closing Session: Holding Each Other Up in Crisis
The summit will conclude with an inspiring closing session with Dr. Erica Brown, challenging participants to process, engage, and return to school fueled to make change. This motivating session will branch hope and humanity, building resilience through trauma.


Dr. Erica

Dr. Erica Brown is the Vice Provost for Values and Leadership at Yeshiva University and the founding director of its Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks-Herenstein Center for Values and Leadership. She was a faculty member and a student of Rabbi Sacks’ at Jews’ College, where Rabbi Sacks served as her Masters’ thesis advisor.

Dr. Brown has Master’s degrees from the Institute of Education (University of London), Jews’ College (University of London) and Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Baltimore Hebrew University. She was a Jerusalem Fellow, is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation, an Avi Chai Fellow and the recipient of the 2009 Covenant Award for her work in education. Dr. Brown has authored 12  books on leadership, the Hebrew Bible and spirituality.

Dr. Todd Whitaker
Dr. Todd

Dr. Todd Whitaker is a leading presenter in the field of education sharing messages on the importance of teaching. He is a professor of educational leadership at the University of Missouri and professor emeritus at Indiana State University. Prior to moving into higher education Todd was a math teacher and basketball coach in Missouri. He also served as a principal at the middle school, junior high, and high school levels. He was also a middle school coordinator in charge of staffing, curriculum, and technology for the opening of new middle schools.

One of the nation’s leading authorities on staff motivation, teacher leadership, and principal effectiveness, Todd has written over 60 books including the national best seller, What Great Teachers Do Differently. Other titles include: Dealing With Difficult Teachers, Ten-Minute Inservice, Your First Year, What Great Principals Do Differently, Motivating & Inspiring Teachers, and Dealing With Difficult Parents.