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  • Violence and Holiness

    Jeremy Winaker

    Cross-Posted from Chadds Ford Live “‘Should,’ ‘have to,’ and ‘must’ are among the most violent words in the English language because they are extrinsic.” Think about that quotation for a minute. If I say to you, “you should…,” or “you have to…,” or “you must,” you are likely to feel a tightening in your body, […]

  • Design Thinking Workshop

    Andrea Hernandez

    with Shara Peters, Head of School and Lauren Quient, Academic Director Adat Ari El Day School  The Challenge: Design a way one school might partner with another school in order to increase mission-compliant social opportunities for its students. Shara and Lauren skillfully led participants through the stages of design thinking: Empathy Define Ideate Prototype Test […]

  • Celebrating Small Schools

    Andrea Hernandez

    By sharing and celebrating what is wonderful about our schools…

  • 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 […]

  • Schechter School Leaders Talked. I Listened

    Amy Wasser

    Listening is so important. In a world where there is so much chatter (both in-person and virtually) the learned skill of listening is crucial, especially in fields where we depend on building relationships. This past week I had the opportunity to take part in a Think Tank for heads of the Schechter Schools along with […]

  • It’s Not About Expertise

    Shira Heller

    I’m glad to be able to say that I’m reasonably intelligent and fairly well read. I take my work seriously, and try to keep up with what the world is learning about education, child development, and mental health. But I’m not a scholar. Or an expert. I believe I have the capacity to be an […]

  • Communication is Key!

    Amy Wasser

    Rabbi Jonathan Sacks discusses just what has been on my mind in the chapter Toledot: The Price of Silence in  Lessons in Leadership.  He states,  “Life is relationship. And human relationships only exist because we can speak. That is why any leader, from a parent to CEO-must set as his or her task good, strong, […]

  • 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 […]

  • From Our CEO: On Reflection

    Paul Bernstein

    When Prizmah’s founders considered names for our now year-old start-up, they made sure, like any parent, that the name would embody characteristics they would like to see the organization grow to represent.  A prism has many attributes, and the name lends itself to metaphors about vision, light, and diversity of color, among others.  We mostly […]

  • 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 […]

  • Will The Roller Coaster Ever Stop?


    By Jill Kessler You’ve checked your schedule from home and know your day is jam-packed.  Back to back meetings and a coffee with parents give you scant time to accomplish much else.  You pull into your parking spot and as you are getting out of your car, one of your teacher’s approaches you upset about […]

  • What You Can Do When Stressed?


    By Jill Kessler In my last blog post I described a true scenario that caused a great deal of stress.  Some days in the headship are harder than others.  I remember a statement one of the facilitators said when working with the group I was in at The Art of Leadership, at The Principals’ Center […]

  • Authentic Leadership

    Jane Taubenfeld Cohen

    Our work at Prizmah connects us to leaders from all kinds of schools across North America. We know that our schools have a lot in common, and we also know that each school is unique and special for its students, teachers, and families. When we are asked, “What makes a great Head of School?” the […]

  • 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 […]

  • The Heroic Article

    Elliott Rabin

    In his classic study The Hero with a Thousand Faces from the mid-20th Century, Joseph Campbell describes patterns of behavior and character that are found among heroes of all cultures around the world. Here is his summary of the “monomyth,” the universal story, of the human hero: A hero ventures forth from the world of […]

  • 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 […]

  • Schools Are For Humans

    Shira Heller

    Well, that’s obvious! If I say schools are for humans, you may think I’m wasting my breath. Who (or what) else would school be for? But from what I’ve seen, I think it can’t be said enough. Sometimes, in an effort to build an institution, to articulate a value proposition, maintain standards, ensure a rigorous […]

  • The Hardest Conversation: Dismissing Faculty and Staff

    Maccabbee Avishur

    I remember still a challenging situation from over a decade ago. On my staff was a veteran faculty member who had been teaching at the school longer than either the Head of School or I, as Director of Judaics, had been involved in education—combined! But her effectiveness in the classroom had declined significantly, and she […]

  • Using Design Thinking to Create the #Prizmah17 Playground

    Andrea Hernandez

    In planning the #Prizmah17 Playground we started, basically, from scratch. We knew the playground would be the “innovation space,” but what exactly did that mean? We had the good fortune to be able to partner with educational design team Wonder By Design in order to think through our ideas as well as to turn those ideas into reality. Image […]