Prizmah’s innovation team (Jon Mitzmacher, Andrea Hernandez and Silvia)  spent a day with the Wonder by Design team in Chicago. As you can read on their website, Wonder by Design’s tagline is “EXPLORING THE POSSIBILTIES OF LEARNING IN THE FUTURE.”, which is right down our alley.


We are embarking with Le, Sam and Christian on

A learning and design expedition.

And in the spirit of expeditions, we believe:

ONE: Each expedition needs to be guided by a bold manifesto.

TWO: We must team up with remarkable explorers and visionaries.

THREE: Getting lost along the way is just as important as final solutions.

The innovation team partnered with Wonder by Design to create a playground of learning experiences for the Jewish Day School Conference #Prizmah17 in February 2017 in Chicago. We had more questions than answers when we arrived at the Design Studio.

How do we learn best? What does innovation mean for education? How do we experience learning in the 21st Century? How do we translate our own experiences as learners to our schools and into our classrooms? How do we create spaces and time for strategic reflection? How do we share our learning?


But preparing and designing these learning experiences for the conference was not the only purpose of our visit.

In Jon’s words:

Prizmah believes in the power of innovation to transform teaching and learning in Jewish day schools. We know that many of you [Jewish Day Schools] are currently investing in innovative practices and many more are considering how innovation can impact your students, families, schools, and communities. Prizmah is committed to the work of fueling the research and design work that will secure the future as well as sharing and amplifying the extraordinary work Jewish schools are doing at present. Prizmah’s Innovation Department was created to be a hothouse, a clearinghouse, a laboratory, and an R&D engine.

Prizmah’s Innovation Department’s goal is to be a hothouse, a clearinghouse, a laboratory, and an R&D Engine

Part of working together as a team, requires to learn about each others stories.


Who are we as educators? What has our journey been? What fuels our passion to move education forward?

The discussion, talking, brainstorming and reflecting did not keep us inside the deign thinking studio. Getting up and out, walking, changing scenery are all important components to develop new types of thinking…


…think from and about different perspectives…


… seeking inspiration from different areas…


… taking the user experience in… and in mind…

… incorporating reflection…img_1486

… not forgetting nourishment as we continued to share, think, take in, push back, agree, wonder and design….


Our day continued by visiting the physical site of the conference to add the space into consideration as the plans for the Innovation Alley and the playground were concretizing.


We continued to use different techniques to summarize, brainstorm further and make our thinking visual….


… the documentation, part of the learning process …. always present… in different forms…. typing… handwritten notes…. visual …sketching….




Exciting? Yes!

Breaking down the steps of Design Thinking to document and making them visible? Always!

Looking forward to being a Research & Development engine? Absolutely!

More interesting things to come from Prizmah’s Innovation department? Can’t wait!

Stay tuned…