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  • Pesach 2019

    Debra Shaffer Seeman

    For almost 20 years, I’ve been taken by the idea that the haggadah is constructed as the movement from silence to words to song – the enactment of freedom through the very modality through which we express it. Meaning, at the beginning of the haggadah, there are no stories, no tales, no history lessons. There […]

  • Dare to: breathe, enjoy, learn, and explore

    Jordan Silvestri

    Over the past few days, I have been exposed to some of the most provoking ideas, questions, problems, and innovations—things that have pushed me in unique and unexpected ways. I came into the Prizmah conference with very little expectation and full of joy, excitement, and curiosity. What took place there was nothing short of transformational […]

  • Hearing a Call for Change in Jewish Education—Loud and Clear

    Sharon Freundel

    Mid-March was filled with a great deal of excitement and energy for Jewish day school educators, and I’m not simply talking about the festivities associated with Purim. Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools held its biannual conference in Atlanta, and I attended with my Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC) team and more than 1000 other […]

  • Tribute to the AVI CHAI Foundation

    Amy Platt

    Earlier this month I travelled to Atlanta, Georgia for the Prizmah Jewish Day School Conference. I found the conference enlightening and inspirational. I enjoyed presenting to my colleagues, learning from others and casually conversing with educators from around North America who, like me, are dreaming big for the Day School future. What I didn’t expect […]

  • Getting Comfortable With Discomfort: Reflections from Prizmah

    Rabbi Dov Emerson

    It was, as the kids say, a very cringy moment. About 30 of us from the Prizmah Day School Conference were sitting in a classroom in the Ron Clark Academy, watching THE Ron Clark give a math lesson to a group of 5th grade students. The Ron Clark Academy is a revolutionary school in Atlanta, […]

  • From Our CEO: Post-Purim, Post-Conference Reflections

    Paul Bernstein

    Last week, amidst all the Purim celebrations and hijinks, we also opened our wallets or checkbooks to fulfill the mitzvah of “matanot l’evyonim,” gifts to the poor, as mandated in Megillat Esther itself. When we paused to ensure that all members of the community could share in the festivities, we deepened the sense of joy […]

  • Cherished Colleagues Sharing a Dream

    Noa Grant and Rob Goldberg

    Father and daughter. Different generations. Distinctive life experiences. Unique worldviews. Yet they share a love of Jewish education and both are immersed in the professional Jewish world. They came to Atlanta with their teams, one from Buffalo and the other from Los Angeles. Noa Grant is Assistant Principal of Brawerman Elementary School East and her […]

  • First Day of Prizmah Conference 2019

    Dr. Sarah Levy

    After the first day of Prizmah 2019, the easiest way to sum up my experience so far is that I feel like I’m at a big family reunion. There are the people I talk to all of the time and are always there to lend support and encouragement. There are the people I don’t talk […]

  • On Purposeful Design: A Message from our CEO

    Paul Bernstein

    If you like putting together IKEA furniture, the Torah portions this time of year are for you. Parshat Terumah contains the remarkable blueprint for the Mishkan, the temporary tabernacle or dwelling-place for God that Bnei Yisrael built in the desert and transported with them in their travels to Eretz Canaan. I have especially wondered what […]

  • A Hanukkah message from Paul Bernstein

    Paul Bernstein

    The shamash candle on the hanukiyah is the one we use to light all the others. It has no sacred status on its own, but it is essential to fulfilling the mitzvah of the holiday. We tell children it is the “helper” candle, critical to enable the other functions of the hanukiyah to be fulfilled. […]

  • Thanksgiving Arguments, and Unity

    Elliott Rabin

    “You cut the turkey without me?!?” This classic line from Avalon, Barry Levinson’s 1990 film about a Baltimore Jewish family, illustrates the pitfalls of family get-togethers. The movie plays up the popular Jewish (self-)image that we are an argumentative people–a stereotype that many of us may acknowledge has a grain of truth. Thanksgiving presents the perfect backdrop […]

  • From Our CEO: Getting Beyond the Laughter

    Paul Bernstein

    We are deep into the “bitter” month of Cheshvan, the month with no holidays. Finally, after all the excitement, meaning and activity of the month of Tishrei, after the High Holidays and Sukkot, we are back to routine, and everyone seems relieved, or perhaps guiltily glad, for the sense of “normal.” Schools are places where […]

  • Moving Forward: Reflections on a Year of Summit Learning

    Yehuda Chanales

    Since so much of our goal in working with Summit Learning this year was about shifting teacher and students mindsets, I asked teachers and school leaders to reflect on how their own perspectives have changed over the course of the year. Each teacher’s brief reflection is followed by some commentary and background on how they […]

  • From Our CEO: Summer Update

    Paul Bernstein

    I recently spent an intense week in Israel with my Leading Edge CEO On-Boarding cohort.  Sitting in a café overlooking the walls of the Old City in a rare moment of quiet, I was struck by how, at least in Israel, some things never change (the vista of those ancient walls, for example) and yet […]

  • Summit Learning and Judaic Studies - Part 2

    Yehuda Chanales

    In my last post, I discussed the ways in which Summit Learning’s structures and outcomes align and suggest new (but old) ways to design Judaic learning in our schools. By using similar structures and systems in general and Judaic studies students can benefit from a more coherent experience where norms easily transfer from one class […]