HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal



This issue looks at ways that school stakeholders experiment to use their time more effectively or in service of particular goals. Time is considered one of the “commonplaces” of education, something assumed to be as unchanging as the classroom walls and the sports field. There are the daily schedule, weekly schedules, and annual calendars; calendars for development, admissions, sports, assemblies, and more. And then COVID-19 burst into our lives, ripping up all of those calendars, throwing our best-laid plans out the window and challenging us to recreate them as best we can, in the eye of an ongoing storm.

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In the Issue: Time

by Elliott Rabin, Editor May 21, 2020

.לכל זמן ועת לכל־חפץ תחת השמים

A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven.

Kohelet 3:1

Magazines, like schools, undergo planning a year in advance. When we planned for this issue on the theme of Time, we naturally had no inclination that the world would be plunged in the middle of a pandemic at the time of publication. Perhaps we should have renamed the issue Timing, according to the old expression: Timing is everything. With no other issue has that been more true!

From the CEO: Standing Together While Apart

by Paul Bernstein May 21, 2020

Schools are virtual time machines, and Jewish day schools are a model possessing the most sophisticated settings. In one classroom we immerse our students in the past, train them in ancient languages like Aramaic, and introduce them to legal texts from the Roman period, while in the next one over, students are coding robots to solve 21st century problems. Jewish day school students, on a regular basis, visit each era of the past and find lessons, values and wisdom.

From the Board Chair: Hands on the Present, Eyes on the Future

by Yehuda Neuberger, Prizmah's Board Chair May 21, 2020

It is important that Prizmah practices what it preaches. We expend great effort in developing and supporting leaders, arguing that they must be capable of pivoting quickly in response to changing circumstances, while maintaining Jewish day schools as relevant, resilient and dynamic organizations. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown Jewish day schools at their best in this regard, providing education that is, for all its limitations, world leading, and nurturing a much-needed sense of community at a time of isolation.

The Advice Booth: Making Virtual Recruitment Real

by Amy Adler, Director, Enrollment Management, Prizmah May 21, 2020

Dear Prizmah Coach,

How can I engage prospective applicants when I don't have the ability to meet them and their families in person or access the campus to give them a tour?

A worried admission director

Commentary: Leading Like Firefighters

May 21, 2020

Consider this parallel to our own work: firefighters figured out that it's far better—for everyone, not just themselves—to prevent fires, rather than wait until they break out. And countless lives have been saved as a result.

To accomplish this feat, firefighters had to set aside any fear that they’d be seen as lazy or self-interested by promoting prevention. They had to set aside any pretensions of heroic martyrdom.

In effect, they had to become professionals, demand professional respect, and advocate for policies that would achieve the best possible results.

On My Nightstand: Brief Review of Books that Prizmah Staff Are Reading

May 21, 2020

The Biblical Hero: Portraits in Nobility and Fallibility

By Elliott Rabin

School Schedules that Reflect Values and Priorities

by Lena Kushnir May 21, 2020

“You gotta make it a priority to make your priorities a priority,” author and international speaker Richie Norton noted. It’s easy for school to become bogged down with relentless to-do lists, fires that need to be put out and many constituency groups.

What If? Teaching Young Children Skills for Their Whole Lives

by Jessica Kohn May 21, 2020

When we plant a tree, we don’t expect to wake up the next morning, or even the next week, month or year, and see a strong trunk, with high branches, beautiful leaves and delicious fruit. When we plant a tree, we are counting on time and optimal conditions to grow and nurture it, so that it can bear fruit for generations to come. We just need to be patient.

Time Out Puts Learning In

by Nina Bruder and Fayge Safran Novogroder May 21, 2020

Given the amount of student learning that must happen during a school year, you might think that every minute of a teacher’s time is best spent tending to the immediate needs of students and that every minute of an administrator’s time is best spent tending to the immediate needs of teachers, parents, students and boards.

If Not Now, When: Connecting Jewish Concepts of Time to STEAM

by Vanina Sandel and Zvi Weiss May 21, 2020

Educational systems operate on a timed schedule, and curriculum, especially at Jewish schools, is often a reflection of the holidays and events of the season. While the themes of the calendar year provide easy content and predictable timing for Jewish studies curricula, there can be equal advantages to leveraging the calendar for the development of curricula in other domains—in particular, STEAM.