HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal

Jewish Inspiration

Jewish Inspiration

Day schools aim to transmit a passion for Judaism to their students. Parents send their children to day school because they want them to cultivate a love of Judaism in all its dimensions. The articles in this issue explore the vital but elusive notion of Jewish inspiration from various angles. How do we define it, measure it, and recognize when we've achieved it? What does a school need to do to become a place that inspires students, faculty and all who work there? In what ways can schools undertake a process of change to improve in their work of inspiring students? And what do students and alumni tell us inspired them? Come to read, learn and be inspired for your work in Jewish education. 

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In the Issue: Jewish Inspiration

by Elliott Rabin, Editor Mar 15, 2017 Prizmah

I lift up my eyes unto the mountains—from whence cometh my help? Psalm 121:1

From the CEO: Inspiring Each Other

by Paul Bernstein Mar 15, 2017 Prizmah
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipJewish Studies

 It is a pleasure to welcome back readers to the second Prizmah edition of HaYidion, published as Prizmah enters the second half of its launch year. What our authors so generously share in these pages adds I hope to the vast universe of Jewish texts, religious and otherwise, that so richly inspire our communities through the generations.

From the Board: Inspiring Jewish Day Schools

by Kathy Manning Mar 15, 2017 Prizmah
RELATED TOPICS: Lay Leadership and Board

The theme for this issue of HaYidion is Jewish inspiration. As I sat down to write this column, I was overwhelmed with the effort to select just one example of inspiration from my Jewish heroes, Jewish history, our sacred texts or the remarkable story of the Jewish people. Clearly there are just too many good choices.

The Advice Booth: Teachers Teaching Teachers

by Melanie Eisen Mar 15, 2017 Prizmah
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersCommunity

Our teachers possess a wide variety of interests, needs and experience; how can our school offer professional learning that is relevant for all?

Dear How Can I Please Them All,

We often come into schools where teachers and leaders have heard of a new idea or are looking to add some spice to their routines. In such cases, we recommend forming Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). In schools where the mission statement includes “developing lifelong learners,” PLCs help the teachers model the very idea that learning never stops.

Commentary: Soul Doctors

by Dr. Dan Glass, Avi Baran Munro, Rabbi Yehuda Jeiger, Naomi Lev Mar 15, 2017
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersMission & Vision

[Samson] Benderly liked to tell the story about how [in 1900] he broke the news to Dr. Friedenwald that he was leaving medicine to devote himself completely to [Jewish education]. Friedenwald apparently responded by checking Benderly’s pulse to determine whether he was ill. He and his associates considered Benderly’s career decision to be “suicidal” and attempted to dissuade him. “You know, Dr. Friedenwald,” Benderly is said to have retorted, “healers of the body there are many, but there are very few healers of the soul, and I want to try my hand at that.”

Spotlight on... edJEWCon

by Andrea Hernandez Mar 15, 2017 Prizmah
RELATED TOPICS: TeachersPedagogyTechnology

edJEWcon exists to support schools in navigating the transformational impact of the technological, information age on teaching and learning. Coaches provide resources and support to Jewish educational leaders and organizations seeking sustainable, systemic change. We employ blogfolios (blogs + digital portfolios) to create a reflective culture in all areas of curriculum. Blogfolios provide the concentric hub of awareness and exposure to the skills and literacies necessary to communicate, collaborate and share in a connected world.

Innovation Alley: Taking it Personally: What it Really Means for Students to Own the Learning

by Dr. Jon Mitzmacher Mar 15, 2017 Prizmah

What’s the big idea?

Who owns the learning in a school?

On My Nightstand: Books Prizmah Staff Are Reading

by Alisha Goodman, Silvia Tolisano, Amy Wasser, Maccabee Avishur Mar 15, 2017

The Mystics of Mile End

by Sigal Samuel

Lessons from Pixar Studios: Staying Animated in Leadership

by Dr. Miriam Heller Stern Mar 15, 2017 Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles

Leaving a meeting wondering what was accomplished. Staring at the screen trying to decide where to begin. Ticking the easy items off the “to do” list because the big picture feels overwhelming to tackle. Pushing through a predictable routine of meetings and putting out fires. Educational leadership can easily get consumed by tasks that make us feel stuck.

How do we get unstuck?

The Inspiration Trap

by Rabbi Daniel Alter Mar 15, 2017 Moriah School, Englewood, NJ

I enjoy TED Talks. I find them both inspiring and enjoyable. I was listening to a TED Talks video with my children recently, featuring Benjamin Zander, who is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Zander shared that his goal for the talk was that “every single person in this room (1,600 attendees strong) will come to love and understand classical music.” Mr. Zander’s talk was exactly as expected: inspiring, pleasurable and funny. Some time has passed now since Mr.