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Jewish Experiences

  • 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 […]

  • Trefa Banquet Revisited

    Elliott Rabin

    There is no event in American Jewish history more notorious, more iconic, than the Trefa Banquet (recently recreated in a TB 2.0). The story is usually told roughly as follows: For the first graduating class of rabbis at the Hebrew Union College, the first rabbinical seminary in the United States, the leaders of the nascent […]

  • Cloud, Sand, Knot? Finding the Right Metaphor on the High Holidays

    Elliott Rabin

    Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the holidays of literary tropes. We invoke blessings for the new year by eating symbolic foods (simanim) associated with good outcomes through qualities of the food (sweetness, seeds) or wordplay: After eating LEEK or CABBAGE, say: “May it be Your will, God, that our enemies be CUT OFF.” After […]

  • From the CEO: Prizmah

    Paul Bernstein

    Prizmah exists because of the extraordinary power of Jewish day schools. In all their beautiful diversity, they are uniformly sacred places. Those who work there are engaged in holy service. Every day, in a kindergarten classroom, on the soccer field, in a high school science lab, around a board table, in the carpool line, teachers, […]

  • From the CEO: Joining

    Paul Bernstein

    We have been delighted as we prepare for the start of the school year to welcome many schools as members of Prizmah. Our goal is to maximize participation among schools as members.  As we reach out to achieve this, I have been reflecting on what it actually means to join something or to sign up […]

  • Prizmah Reshet Update


    From Reshet Prizmah For many schools, the most rewarding benefit of Prizmah membership is access to Prizmah’s more than 20 Reshet networking groups. By connecting to our forums, you will gain access to the wisdom, expertise, and support of thousands of Jewish day school colleagues. Discuss opportunities for growth, celebrate successes, and brainstorm solutions to challenging scenarios common among day […]

  • 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 […]

  • Telling Our Story: Stolpersteine- Stumbling Stones

    Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

    The internationally recognized date for Holocaust Remembrance Day corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. In 2017 it falls on April 24th, my father’s birthday. He would have turned 78 years old. Yom Hashoa is about remembering the victims of the Holocaust. […]

  • The Same is Always New

    Amy Wasser

    I grew up celebrating all of the Jewish holidays, well almost all. I have to admit that as a child I did not embrace the minor fasts and did not experience Tisha B’Av until I spent my first summer at Camp Ramah. But all the major Chagim were marked by special foods (I still have […]

  • Pesach 2017

    Paul Bernstein

    Each Pesach for nearly 60 years, my family in the UK has gathered at the same home for Seder. The same hosts, the same guests (new spouses, children, and friends are, of course, warmly welcomed), the same story. Sadly, one of our hosts recently passed away, and her husband is in declining health. My family, […]

  • One Last Story

    Amy Wasser

    I have always loved to read. As a child I remember staying up with a flashlight under my blanket, unable to go to sleep before finishing whatever book I was reading. Yet, I never gave much thought as to what the books I read say about who I am. Today I am sitting on the […]

  • Staples + Cashier = Jewish Day School

    Jim Blankstein

    I was in my local Staples today buying two items I needed and six items that I will never use but they make everything look so appealing. As I dropped my far-too-full basket onto the cashier’s desk, he said, “Hello, Mr. Blankstein.” After turning around to see if my father was standing behind me but […]

  • My JDS Story

    Andrea Hernandez

    This is the most personal post I’ve ever shared in a professional blogging space. It makes me feel quite vulnerable. However, I believe that making the case for day schools for non-Orthodox Jewish families might be best achieved one story at a time. Here’s mine. My Jewish Identity and Upbringing I grew up in a very assimilated but […]

  • You Are the Future: A Yom HaShoah Insight on Day School Investment

    Jim Blankstein

    (Original publish date, April 23rd, 2012) The other day I spent $100,000 (ok, so I spend it over the last nine years on tuition) for my son to learn four words. And I was glad to do so. Let me start at the beginning… last week was Yom Hashoah and The Rashi School, where my […]

  • Elephants in Rooms & From Playgrounds to Planning

    Jon Mitzmacher

    Well that was quick and interesting timing! I can assure you that sharing out with the field the relaunch of my blog at Prizmah and the news that I would be leaving Prizmah at the end of this school/fiscal year at almost the same time was a mere quirk of happenstance and the joys of […]

  • 10 Innovative Ideas for Any School or Grade Level

    Jon Mitzmacher

    [Cross-posted from an interview I did for Prizmah’s December Newsletter.] 10 Innovative Ideas for Any School or Grade Level by Dr. Jon Mitzmacher, Executive Director of the Schechter Day School Network and VP of Innovation, Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools All schools have different capacities for incorporating innovation into their curricula; however, using new teaching […]

  • The Power & Promise of Prizmah

    Jon Mitzmacher

    So…it’s been a while. 🙂 A certain pause seemed perfectly appropriate.  When last we spoke, I was tying up (or at least naming) the loose ends of an independent Schechter Day School Network winding down in preparation for the launch of Prizmah.  (At that time, you may remember her best as our old friend “NewOrg”.) […]