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  • From the CEO: Focus on Parents

    Paul Bernstein

    While many people attribute the pervasiveness of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day each year to Hallmark’s marketing budget, I take a longer view and see these days as linked to the fifth commandment, “Honor your father and your mother.” Jewish tradition demands honor and respect to parents year-round; for two days this time of year, […]

  • JDS Stories: Putting Parents to Work for Your School- Denver Jewish Day School Revamps Parent Ambassador Program

    Donna Von Samek

    One of the more common roles parents play in Jewish day schools, either informally or “officially,” is as ambassadors to the prospective families.  Shayna Friedman, Director of Admission at Denver Jewish Day School, recently shared their school’s experience with parent ambassadors and how Atidenu helped them rethink their model, resulting in healthier recruitment and retention. […]

  • Good Kids

    Amy Wasser

    I just read an article from Curious Mind Magazine https://curiousmindmagazine.com/parents-who-raise-good-kids/ about what parents need to do to raise “good” kids. The experts quoted are psychologists from Harvard University and state five relatively simple goals that will help solidify the parent/child relationship. I immediately thought if schools are partners with the home, then similar actions need […]

  • So Lonely

    Shira Heller

    I remember when I was a new mom. My husband had returned to work, and I spent all of my time with this relentlessly demanding (lovable!) little baby. He never slept, so we were together all the time. Never in my life did I have less time to myself. And never in my life have […]

  • Let’s stop saying “lazy.”

    Shira Heller

    About 13 years ago, I had a student in my 7th grade English class I characterized as lazy. On the rare occasions he contributed to class, he was remarkably articulate, mature, and insightful. But he seldom did homework, his exam grades left a lot to be desired, and since he didn’t do assigned reading, he […]

  • Goals Are Dreams With Deadlines

    Elana Alfred

    I love working out and this past fall I joined one of the hot trends that is Orangetheory Fitness. For those that do not know what it is, it is a heart-rate and interval based intense workout with over 400 locations globally. I have become obsessed. While there are so many things that I love […]

  • Building Blocks

    Melanie Eisen

    As a kindergarten teacher, the block corner was my most and least favorite center in my classroom. I loved to watch the kids create buildings and castles every day. The intricate designs, the risk taking of can we add one more block before it topples over, the endless questions and links to the lessons we […]

  • Making the Case for Jewish Day School Support

    Helen London

    As a member of Prizmah’s Financial Vitality Team, I am frequently asked by development professionals about how to build community support for Jewish Day Schools. Those of us involved in Jewish Day Schools see the richness of experiential Judaism transmitted in and out of the classroom; how do we reach those who are not involved […]

  • The Culture Club: Building Deliberate Culture at Prizmah

    Andrea Hernandez

    Culture: a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization  Every organization, be it a school, business, or even a family, has a unique culture. Whether the culture is deliberately cultivated, whether or not it is identified, defined and discussed by its members, the culture nevertheless exists. Organizational culture has been on […]

  • 20 Minutes with … Lisa Schopf about life after YOU Lead

    Shira Loewenstein

    Lisa Schopf, the Middle School Director at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital (JPDS-NC) in Washington, D.C. took twenty minutes to sit down with Shira Loewenstein, the Director of YOU Lead to talk about her experience in the program and reflect on the year since. Before YOU Lead… I was a sixth-grade Social Studies […]

  • What do YOU Leaders talk about?

    Shira Loewenstein

    A few weeks ago, twelve Jewish day school leaders from across the country gathered together to listen to a problem that their colleague was having in his school. He spent a few minutes presenting his dilemma about supervising a teacher who was having trouble taking feedback. The room full of his peers spent 45 minutes […]

  • Commemoration and Celebration

    Paul Bernstein

    After celebrating Passover, often considered the birth of the Jewish people, we plunge headfirst into the most recent additions to the Jewish calendar, the commemorative days of Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Haatzmaut. These holidays are marked by day schools in diverse ways, often in collaboration with or alongside a school’s local community. After […]

  • Interview with Rabbi Harry Pell

    Donna Von Samek

    Associate Head of School for Jewish Life and Learning, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester Rabbi Harry Pell’s resume is as diverse and wide-ranging as they come. With a degree from MIT in architectural design and more than a decade of experience serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy and with his local fire and […]

  • Innovators, Find Your Tribe!

    Andrea Hernandez

    Somehow, in the course of my career as an educator, I became known as an “innovator.” [I even have certification from Google as such]. My secret is this: I never thought of, or think of, myself as innovative. I’m amazed by other people’s innovative ideas and solutions, but I am simply passionate about my work […]

  • There is a Price to Pay for Having a Price to Pay: Where Should Innovation Live in the Jewish Day School Ecosystem?

    Jon Mitzmacher

    When you live your life by the school calendar – as I have only ever done – you know that we are in the season for closings and openings.  The period of the omer in many Jewish day schools is not simply the counting up from Passover to Shavuot; it is often the mad rush to do […]