CAJE 33

The Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education

CAJE 33 Sneak Peak

Posted by Joel H. on June 27, 2008

This just in! The entire CAJE 33 program is on-line. Take a look!

We’re working on putting the entire CAJE 33 program — that’s hundreds of sessions! — on line. Look for it soon. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at the 27 sessions that will meet on Tuesday at 2:15PM, along with the people presenting them. That’s right, you have all this to choose from, and that’s just during one small part of only one day! (Obviously, this is preliminary information that may change.) Browse the session at your leisure, and click on the presenters’ names to get their bios.

Haven’t signed up? It’s not too late! Go to CAJE.org to get started.

Advocate and Navigate; Improving Relationships Within Your Congregation
Cathy Rolland, Jill Cimafonte, Tammy Vener

Building: Rowell
Room: 115
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

Join three experienced early childhood directors from three Reform congregations who use three important components to build: Connection, Community and Continuity with the early childhood center serving as the foundation. Jill Cimafonte, Temple Emanu-El, Westfield, NJ, Tammy Vener, Congregation Beth Israel, San Diego, CA, Cathy Rolland, former director at Temple Har Shalom, Warren NJ.This workshop is designed to give the ECE Director “hands on” tools to better navigate the “synagogue web” that often exits regardless of the size of a congregation. The power point presentation will be divided into three segments covering three major relationships the early childhood director is responsible for: 1. Lay leaders and how to build relations with the board of trustees, 2. Other members of the professional staff, and 3. The congregation as a whole. The presentation will address: 1. Advocacy and how to become an advocate, 2. How to build confidence so the congregation takes you seriously, and 3. How to talk to lay leaders and understand the “delicate balance” between “too much information” and “not enough information.” Choosing your words carefully so people will listen. Web design will be used to display the relationships: 1. With board/lay leaders as one web; 2. Relationship with professionals within your own organization; and 3. Image within the entire congregation. The common ground for all three areas will be: Connection, Community, and Continuity. The presentation will finish with tools for the directors which will serve as a “game plan” including samples of communication to share with the congregation.


Amazing Stories: Using Narrative Structures in the Classroom
Ira Wise

Building: Davis Center
Room: Jost Foundation (422)
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

There is a theory called teaching as storytelling which suggests that all learning can be communicated as narrative. In this session, we will explore how to use this theory in teaching. This is not a session in performing stories that is an art form rather, this is a methodology for structuring lessons that work as narratives in any type of class.


Are there Jewish Artists? Is there Jewish Art?
Laurie Bellet

Building: Living/Learning Bldg. B
Room: B132
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

The answer to the first question is yes! The answer to the second question is… well, this might need further exploration. Through discussion and creation, Laurie Bellet will introduce you to many artists of Jewish heritage whose work and technique will deepen your classroom experience no matter the grade level or setting. Ponder the challenge of the Jewish art predicament as you paint in a way you never thought was Jewish!


Avoiding Burnout: Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Self-Care
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Building: Kalkin
Room: 001
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

This session will deal with the emotional aspects of working for Jewish communities. The concept of m’sirut nefesh (self sacrifice) teaches us that we are commanded to give of ourselves for others. But if we give and give, we may be unable to provide enough for ourselves, our families, and the Jewish communities that we serve. As a Jewish professional, how can I treat myself as one of the Jewish people that I am serving? Am I being selfish making demands in my work place, or is it necessary? We will grapple with the complexities of setting boundaries and making priorities when we are torn about where our energy should go. This session will also help us learn how we can better take care of ourselves in order to sustain our work and give more.


Baby Love: Caring for Infants and their Parents in a Jewish Setting
Karen B. Goldstein

Building: Rowell
Room: 102
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

This session will teach you why you should consider welcoming infants into your existing program and what to do with them when you do so. Who should care for them? What do the parents expect and how do you talk to the parents of infants? Come to this session to have these, and other questions, answered.


Building a Program of Inclusion
Fran Pearlman

Building: Davis Center
Room: Frank Livak (417)
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

The majority of behavior issues in Jewish Education are attreibutable to bordom, repetition or cognitive skill level. How can a congregational or community school try to be all things to all people and address all needs? What can a program of inclusion look like? What questions need to be asked and what challenges will be confronted? Various models, full scale, and interim steps will be discussed and shared.


Building a WikiParshia: A Collaborative Web 2.0 Workshop
Reuven Werber

Building: Votey
Room: 206
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

Today’s internet is a home for tremendous quantities of information but also a platform for creating and readily sharing knowledge. It is extremely important for us to help our students learn to inquire, think critically, create new knowledge and share it. Creating learning projects which utilize web 2.0 technology is a good way to accomplish this. In this workshop we will participate in a collaborative learning project by creating an online wiki-based book of Divrei Torah about the weekly Torah portions. (Project can be done either in English or Hebrew).


Eco Bet Midrash: The Divine Song of Life
Jonah Chanan Steinberg

Building: Votey
Room: 209
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

How do Jewish sources teach us to attune our souls to the natural world around us and what difference should such consciousness make? In this session we will explore biblical and Hasidic teachings that urge us to sensitize our hearts to the earth and its life and we will consider how we might put these teachings into practice in our own times.


Florence Melton Communiteen High School: An Innovative Approach to Teen Engagement and Jewish Learning
Ilene Cohen

Building: Davis Center
Room: Williams Family (403)
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

Can you imagine a group of teens excited to wake up on a Sunday morning to engage in serious Jewish learning? It’s not a dream. Communiteen is a new, two-year program based upon the internationally successful Florence Melton Adult Mini School. Communiteen engages teens in exploring Jewish identity, using Jewish sources to discuss life issues, family history, and their personal relationship to the Jewish people. More than 200 teens in Columbus, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Sarasota from different synagogues and schoolsare learning from one another, thinking about their place in the Jewish world. This session will introduce the Communiteen vision, mission and model, and explore how Communiteen can positively impact teen learning in your community.


Fresh Directions: Bringing it All Back Home — A Conversation With Covenant Grant and Award Recipients
Lisa Colton, Karen Jarmon, Peretz Wolf-Prusan, Nili Simhai, Pearl Gluck

Building: Kalkin
Room: 004
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

Follow FRESH DIRECTIONS all the way to your classroom! Capping two days of sessions offering some of the most exciting content available in Jewish education today, this session brings together a phenomenal group of educators for a practical, down-to-earth, and candid conversation about what it takes to bring new curriculum to a congregational school. Is your school ready to add some new dimensions to its programming? What’s getting in the way? How can we help? Take a hard and inspiring look at the challenges and the promise with people working on the ground to bring deep, innovative content into the supplementary school setting.


How Do I Change the World With My Teaching Excellence?
Lorraine Sandler

Building: Rowell
Room: 110
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

This session encourages the participation of new and young pre-school teachers. Here you will learn everything they forgot to tell you in college about the richness of teaching and the obligations involved in teaching within the walls of a Jewish early years setting. You will fill your teaching tool box with ideas, thoughts, stories, skills, and wisdom that will create confidence and propel you into your continuing career towards becoming a master teacher.


Ikkarim: A Look at a Values Based Curriculum for Parents of Very Young Children
Deb Kram

Building: Rowell
Room: 111
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

We will discuss the curricular content of Ikkarim and brainstorm concerning the challenges of recruiting parents of young children to a innovative nineteen session program in order to build adult Jewish literacy, strengthen community, and encourage future Jewish educational choices for the parents and their children.


Introduction to Montessori Education – Part 1
D’vorah Horn-Greenberg

Building: Rowell
Room: 244
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

This workshop will survey the history, philosophy, and application of Montessori Education. Participants will gain an understanding of, as well as some practical experience with, Montessori methods and materials.


Israel-Diaspora Relations
Haviv Rettig

Building: Kalkin
Room: 002
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

Israeli Jewry and American Jewry each constitute 40% of world Jewry. They are each immensely powerful and confident, and feel immensely vulnerable to their respective existential threats – the one military, the other cultural. We will explore the cultural underpinnings and identity structures of Israelis and Americans, trying to show that they are two radically different worlds that, despite institutional connections, do not understand each other. After learning the thesis, of course with much debate, we will ask if there is a way to bridge the gap between two very different cultures. The goal is not mutual understanding but creating a shared space, shared assumptions, and shared culture. We must bridge an all together different gap – the fashioning of a shared Jewish world. American identity will remain individualistic and spiritual, Israeli identity will remain ethnic. So what can these two different worlds really share?


Keeping Yiddish Alive In Song
Lil Rev

Building: Lafayette Hall
Room: 100
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

Join Award-Winning Musician Lil Rev as he teaches you how to deliver, present and utilize our vast cannon or Yiddish song repertoire to supplement both contemporary Jewish studies as well as compliment Hebrew song curriculum.


Personal Theology 101 for the Jewish Educator: Thinking about God
Cherie Koller-Fox

Building: Davis Center
Room: Chittenden Bank (413)
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

Does God listen to our prayers? Does God guide us in our daily lives? Is God the majestic Creator of the World whose footstool is the earth and who speaks from the Whirlwind? Is God just or merciful? Is God angry or loving? What are you thoughts about God at this time in your life? How do you experience God in your lives? How has your thinking about God evolved over time? This is a seminar involving writing and discussion of our personal beliefs. Hopefully sharing and articulating ideas will help us feel more comfortable discussing God with our students.


Rock, Rap and Religion
Aley Sheer

Building: Angell Lecture Center
Room: B112
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

Attendees will learn how to use music videos in both formal and informal settings. The session will show how Jewish values are reflected in the words and music of Jewish and non-Jewish artists. The presenter will share materials from his curriculum and will teach teachers and youth workers how to find these videos for themselves.


Roundtable Fishbowl Part 2
Ed Feinstein, Larry Hoffman, Mara Braunfeld, Steven M. Cohen, David Behrman, Linda Klonsky, Danny Zemel

Building: Royall Tyler Theatre
Room: Theatre (210)
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

What will Jewish education look like in 15 years? Find out now! This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity puts three rabbis, two PhDs, one principal, one lawyer, a change-management expert, and four graduate-school faculty members (these people all do more than one thing!) together for an interactive, in-depth, and honest look at the future of congregational Jewish education. Bring your Blackberry or laptop, or use one of the computers we’ll have set up to contribute to the discussion electronically. This is one of two rountable sessions. Feel free to come to one, or both!


Say You Want A Revelation or Why Revelation needs a Desert
Rabbi Michael M. Cohen

Building: Votey
Room: 207
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

This session will look at matan torah, the giving of the Torah, and explore among other notions, why the Torah was given in the desert. Aiding in the discussion will be Cecil B. DeMille, Charlton Heston, Steven Spielberg, Moses, Rashi, and the Talmud. Lively discussion will lead to concrete teaching ideas you can use back in your own classroom.


Siddur Teaching that Creates People Who Pray
Joel Lurie Grishaver, Ellen Dreskin

Building: Lafayette Hall
Room: 108
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

Last year Joel and Ellen began a conversation about ways of teaching Siddur that make a difference. This year they will continue this conversation with the specific focus on the outcome: What helps people learn how to pray?


The Book of Esther as Political Satire
Epi

Building: Angell Lecture Center
Room: B203
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

This is a close reading of Esther to support the notion that the Megillah was written as a political satire. Taught in Hebrew.


The S.P.A.C.E. Approach
Rachel Meytin

Building: Lafayette Hall
Room: 200
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

When you think service, do you think of making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or cleaning up a park? Break out of that rut! This session will introduce you to an innovative approach for exploring different forms of service (direct Service, Philanthropy, Advocacy, Community organizing, and social Entrepreneurship). You’ll come out with new ways to engage your students in innovative, effective, and creative service projects.


The Secrets of Hebrew Reading Success
Dina Maiben

Building: Lafayette Hall
Room: 102
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

Despite its centrality to the curriculum, Hebrew reading is one of the most controversial and least understood aspects of Jewish education. Participants in this session will explore the system that best leads to full mastery of Hebrew decoding and will learn what the relevant research can tell us about why some students struggle to read Hebrew, and how to help all of them succeed.


The Sisterhood/Brotherhood of the Traveling Tallit
Janie Grackin

Building: Waterman
Room: Grace Coolidge
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

Ritual and personal story come together as we create a new tallit to take along on our journeys. Based on the experience of a group of teachers in an Israel/USA exchange program, the tallitot they created have hung in City Halls, Art Exhibits, schools, homes, and synagogues. This project will bond together groups in B’nei Mitzvah, Sisterhood, Youth Groups, more.


Why CHAI?
Joanne Doades

Building: Kalkin
Room: 110
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

This session will provide participants with a basic introduction to the CHAI: Learning for Jewish Life curriculum developed by the Union for Reform Judaism for grades 1-7. Currently in use in several hundred congregational schools, CHAI focuses student learning on the big ideas (enduring understandings) in the foundational areas of Torah (study), Avodah (worship), and G’milut Chasadim (deeds of loving-kindness) that will serve as the basis for a lifetime of Jewish learning and living. Participants will explore the conceptual framework behind CHAI and will analyze and evaluate actual lesson plans that are being taught in hundreds of schools.


Yad B’Yad – A Synagogue Based Inclusive program for Jewish Adolescents with Developmental Challenges
Felice Miller Baritz, Karen Millman, Jessica Yablow

Building: Living/Learning Commons
Room: 216
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 5:00 PM.

We would like to share the success of the pilot program we’ve developed for teens with developmental challenges. Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah, there is a void in programs for Jewish teens with developmental challenges and heightens the risk of them becoming alienated from their Jewish community. During this workshop, we will share the process of creating an inclusive synagogue based program for this group. Included in the workshop will be specific information about curriculum, inclusion opportunities and developing a successful peer mentoring program, parent education and the process that we went through to train and educate our entire school community about welcoming differences.


You Can Teach Talmud!
Alexander Seinfeld

Building: Waterman
Room: 427
Tuesday 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM.

Can you teach Talmud if you’ve never learned Talmud? Yes you can – if you enjoy critical thinking. This session will give you five keys to engaging adults in a lively Talmudic discussion: history, structure, rhythm, language and context. If you are motivated and willing to work hard, you will learn how to create your own Talmud class that you and your students will love. Not interested in teaching Talmud? Learn how to use the Talmud for your own enrichment.




Alexander Seinfeld
Alexander Seinfeld graduated from Stanford University with degrees in Classics and Anthropology. He recently relocated with his wife and children to Baltimore in order to launch a national organization for revitalizing Jewish education, Jewish Spiritual Literacy. Rabbi Seinfeld engages audiences from all Jewish backgrounds with his humor and depth of insight into spiritual and philosophical topics.


Aley Sheer
Aley Sheer is a composer, performer and Jewish educator who creats authentically Jewish hip-hop and rock music which are linked to a curriculum. For over 20 years, Aley has built his Techno Torah Video Library and has served as the Founding Director of Camp Fiesta, a summer camp for children with cancer. Aley is the Youth Director of Congregation Bnai Israel in Boca Raton, FL.


Cathy Rolland
Cathy Rolland is the Director of Early Childhood Education at the Union for Reform Judaism. She assists affiliated congregations by helping them launch new early childhood centers and strengthen existing programs. Her areas of expertise include: strategic planning and budgeting, lay leader partnerships, curriculum development, and integration of Reform Jewish values in the early childhood classroom. Cathy was a founding member and the first President of the Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism.


Cherie Koller-Fox
Cherie Koller-Fox is a founder and past president of CAJE and served as chair its Advocacy Commission. She has written and spoken extensively about family education, innovation in Jewish education, and spiritual practices. Along with Everett Fox, she has established the Ezra Institute to promote the study and teaching of Bible. Cherie is the rabbi of the Chapel Minyan and is learning and practicing the art of chaplaincy.


D’vorah Horn-Greenberg
D’vorah Horn-Greenberg, M.A., M.Ed., founded one of the first Jewish Montessori Schools in North America in 1984. Presently, she works as an independent educational consultant and professional development trainer. She has developed a curriculum for use in Jewish early childhood programs and is launching a line of Jewish educational enrichment materials. She is a certified Montessori educator in early childhood and elementary education.


Danny Zemel
Daniel G. Zemel has served as rabbi of Temple Micah in Washington, DC since 1983. He is active in a number of local and national organizations, including Micah House, a group home for homeless women. He has also served as president of the CCAR Mid-Atlantic Region and is on the CCAR national board. Rabbi Zemel earned degrees from Brown University and HUC-JIR in New York.


David Behrman
David E. Behrman is President and Publisher of Behrman House, Inc. David holds a J.D. from Stanford University and a B.A. in Economics from Haverford College. His experience includes five years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. working on strategy, marketing, and operations with globally known financial, consumer, and non-profit organizations, and practicing securities law with Davis Polk & Wardwell. Under David’s leadership, Behrman House has pioneered innovative digital technologies for the Jewish classroom, especially for teaching Hebrew, as well as innovating in the area of traditional textbook and nontraditional educational material.


Deb Kram
Deborah Kram is the Director of Adult Learning at the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, where she oversees the flagship programs of Me’ah, Ikkarim, and the Genesis Forum. Kram is the co-founder of Ma’ayan, an award-winning lifelong learning program for women in Boston, where she taught Jewish thought and rabbinics. She is an alumna of the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows, was a faculty member of Brandeis University’s DeLeT program, and served as the Family Education Consultant for the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Boston.


Dina Maiben
Dina Maiben has served as Director of Religious Education at Temple Shaari Emeth in Manalapan, NJ since 1989. She has published extensively for both adults and children. Nationally recognized for her work in the area of Hebrew reading instruction, she is co-author of the Zman Likro (Time to Read Hebrew) and the Zman LTefilah (Time for Prayer) series, as well as numerous journal articles on all aspects of the field. She is co-author of Abrahams Great Discovery and How Tzipi the Bird Got Her Wings, and authored the teacher guide for Volume 1 of The Explorers Bible. Dina serves on the editorial board of the Jewish Education News, and chairs Monmouth County’s Commission on Jewish Education.


Ed Feinstein
Ed Feinstein is Senior Rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino,California. He serves on the faculty of the Ziegler Rabbinical School at AJU, the Wexner Heritage Foundation, theWhizen Center for the Jewish Family, and the Synagogue 2000 initiative. He is a columnist for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and lectures across the United States. He is author of Tough Questions Jews Ask – A Young Adult’s Guide to Building a Jewish Life. His stories have been published in a number of anthologies, including Sacred Intentions and Restful Reflections.


Ellen Dreskin
Ellen Dreskin is a cantor and a teacher of liturgy, synagogue transformation, and Jewish mysticism. She has served as a faculty member at URJ Summer Kallot, Hava Nashira, and Kutz Camp, and is on the Board of the American Conference of Cantors. She has also served as the Associate Dean of HUC-JIR in NY and as Program Director of Synagogue 2000. Her congregational work includes Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, NY, Fairmount Temple in Cleveland, OH, and extensive engagement as scholar/artist in residence at synagogues all over the country.


Epi
Seymour Epstein (Epi) is the Senior VP at Centre for the Enhancement of Jewish Education at UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Epi has worked in all domains of Jewish Education and for 18 years served in the JDC as a Jewish Education consultant in North Africa, Western Europe, and Russia.


Felice Miller Baritz
Felice Miller Baritz is the Religious School principal at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY. She brings 20 years of creative energy and experience from the business world to her job as a Jewish educator. She is currently participating in the Leadership Institute for Congregational Educators. Felice holds a B.S. in Special and Elementary Education from Boston University and has worked in early childhood education and early intervention. She is a certified North Star life coach.


Fran Pearlman
Fran Pearlman has been working in Jewish Education for over twenty-five years. She is currently pursuing an EdD at JTS in the area of Jewish Education and Special Education. She holds an MA in Jewish Education Administration from Spertus Institute of Chicago and a BA in Hebrew Education from Wisconsin-Madison. Fran has worked in Day Schools, congregational schools, Jewish summer camps and public schools. In addition to her coursework, Fran is currently working for both MatanKids, an independent organization providing special education services to the Jewish community and Rosh Hodesh: Its A Girl Thing! and is a past President of CAJE.


Haviv Rettig
Haviv Rettig is the Jewish world correspondent at The Jerusalem Post. Born in Jerusalem and raised on both sides of the Atlantic, Haviv writes about the changing Jewish world, focusing on the identities and challenges of the two major communities, Israel and the US. He studies Jewish thought at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, continues to serve as a combat medic in the IDF reserves and travels widely, from Washington to Moscow, Tblisi to Luxembourg, for his work.


Ilene Cohen
Ilene Cohen, National Director of the Florence Melton Communiteen High School, has more than twenty years experience working in Jewish and community-based non-profit agencies in planning, fundraising, and grant writing. Her tenure at the United Jewish Federation in Pittsburgh included extensive work in Jewish education planning and administration. Much of her volunteer work centers on synagogue-based Jewish education activities.


Ira Wise
Ira J. Wise, R.J.E., is Director of Education at Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport, CT. He has been coming to CAJE since 1985 and presenting since 1989. He is a mentor for the Leadership Institute for Congregational School Educators. He has authored several books and articles including Betman’s Book of Hebrew Letters and I Can Learn Torah. He is a graduate of Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR.


Janie Grackin
Janie Grackin uses the art of storytelling to inspire and educate through programs for intergenerational populations in synagogues and schools in the United States, England and Israel. She was inducted into the National Womens Hall of Fame for her commitment to AIDS education and awarded the Solomon Schechter Gold Award for Family Education. Her debut storytelling CD is The Key: Jewish Stories of Heart and Heritage.


Jessica Yablow


Jill Cimafonte
Jill Cimafonte received her BS in Business Administration from Rutgers University and MA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Hunter College, graduating with high honors. She has a NJ and NY elementary teaching certification. Jill has been the Director of Early Childhood Education at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, NJ for 9 years. Jill is a founding member of the Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ), an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, and is currently serving on its Executive Board.


Joanne Doades
Joanne Doades RJE is the Director for Curriculum Development for the Union for Reform Judaism’s Department of Lifelong Jewish Learning. She is the national coordinator of the CHAI: Learning for Jewish Life curriculum. Joanne received a M.A. in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where she was awarded two prizes for excellence in Jewish education. Joanne is the author of Parenting Jewish Teens: A Guide for the Perplexed (Jewish Lights Publishing).


Joel Lurie Grishaver
Joel Grishaver is a Jewish writer, teacher, cartoonist, and storyteller. In 1981, he and two friends started Torah Aura Productions. Joel is a founding board member of CAJE, a consultant to the Consortium for the Jewish Family, and a winner of the Covenant Award.


Jonah Chanan Steinberg
Dr. Jonah Chanan Steinberg is Associate Dean and Director of Academic Development at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College where he is also Director of Talmudic Studies. Dr. Steinberg received his PhD. in 2003 from Columbia University. He has received the New Scholar Award from the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and is a founder of Hebrew College’s Open Bet Midrash.


Karen B. Goldstein
Karen B. Goldstein, Director of Early Childhood Education at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, has developed and implemented a developmentally appropriate and fully integrated Jewish curriculum for infants through Kindergarteners at The Gan Yeladeem Learning Center. Karen founded Karen’s House Family Child Care where she educated and nurtured infants and toddlers exclusively for nearly 10 years. Karen is on the general board of the Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism. She is also part of a newly formed inter-agency Infant/Toddler Task Force concentrating quality infant and toddler care in a Jewish setting.


Karen Jarmon
Karen Jarmon is the Program Director of The Jewish Lens curriculum which provides a powerful connection for teens to Jewish values, traditions, text, and peoplehood through the medium of photography. Karen has 20 years of experience teaching students and facilitating inquiry-based teacher training in public schools and museums. She has worked at Yeshiva University Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Karen holds a B.F.A. in Education and Art History from the University of Massachusetts and a M.S. in Education specializing in museum leadership from Bank Street College.


Karen Millman
Karen Millman is the Program Director for Yad B’Yad a Synagogue based inclusive program for post B’nai Mitzvah Jewish teenagers with developmental challenges. The program includes social skills, life skills, and Jewish education with an extensive peer mentoring component. In addition to spearheading Yad B’Yad, Karen has an extensive background as a community leader and advocate for families of children with special needs. Karen has over 15 years of experience in the education field, the last six creating and implementing programs for children with special needs. She was a co-chair of the Scarsdale, NY SEPTA and in this role was a catalyst in bringing collaborative and co-teaching models into the mainstream classroom. Karen also created an alternative sports league in Scarsdale for children with special needs. For the past three years she has co-produced and co-hosted a televeison show for Scarsdale and Larchmont/Mamaroneck cable channel 77 entitled Kids and their Challenges. Karen has a M.A. in Education and a B.A. in Communications.


Larry Hoffman
For over thirty years, Rabbi Larry Hoffman has combined research in Jewish ritual, worship, and spirituality with a passion for the spiritual renewal of American Judaism. Larry has written and edited a total of thirty books, including The Journey Home (Beacon, 2003), a study in Jewish Spirituality derived from Jewish texts. He is also the general editor of My People’s Prayer Book (Jewish Lights Publishing), an award-winning multi-volume edition of the Siddur accompanied by modern commentaries from across the spectrum of Jewish life. Larry was ordained as a rabbi in 1969, received his Ph.D. in 1973, and has served since then as Professor of Liturgy at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York where he was named the first Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Ritual.


Laurie Bellet
Laurie Bellet is the Art Specialist at Oakland Hebrew Day School. As a creator of classroom texts and art curricula, Laurie is a regular columnist with Torah Aura Productions and a contributor to SchoolArts Magazine. Laurie is a popular speaker at Limmud Conferences, Day Schools, Synagogues, and Early Childhood Programs throughout the country and abroad.


Lil Rev
Marc “Lil Rev” Revenson is an award-winning, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and story-teller from WI. Called the “Jewish Pete Seeger” by Rabbi Larry Milder, Rev’s shows are well known for the high energy, participatory nature firmly rooted in the past while honoring the present. Lil Rev was voted 2004 Best Folksinger in Wisconsin as well as 1996 National Blues Harmonica Champion.


Linda Klonsky
Linda Klonsky is a Johns Hopkins Fellow in Change Management and has also completed the Leadership Educators Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Organization Development at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. In addition, Linda was awarded the Certificate of Achievement in Organization Development by the National Training Lab (NTL) Institute in Applied Behavioral Science. She has an M.A. from Fielding, an M.Ed. from Towson State University and a B.A. from Yeshiva University. Linda consults to organizations on strategic planning, designs leadership development workshops, and facilitates board and staff retreats. Additionally, Linda is an adjunct faculty member at Hebrew Union College in New York City where she teaches Leadership and Change to Rabbinical students. Prior to opening her consulting practice, Linda was the Director of Consulting for Synagogue 3000, a national non-profit consulting to synagogues across the U.S. and Canada.


Lisa Colton
Lisa Colton is the founder of Darim Online, a nonprofit providing Internet strategy consulting, website development and professional development to over 120 Jewish organizations. Darim received a 2007 Covenant Foundation grant to help congregational educators use Web 2.0 tools. A graduate of Stanford University, and an alumna of the Pardes, Lisa was the recipient of the Jewish Communal Service Associations 2005 Young Professionals Award.


Lorraine Sandler
Lorraine Sandler has been a preschool teacher, director, consultant and advocate for over 40 years. Her passion for early childhood Jewish education is informed by her philosophy that early Jewish education is the portal to Jewish identity and belonging, not only for the child, but also for the family. She lectures, writes curriculum, consults with schools and guides parents in Jewish parenting and creating Jewish memories.


Mara Braunfeld
Mara Braunfeld serves as the Director of Education at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, NY. After graduating from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Sociology, Mara spent a year living in Jerusalem where she began her studies at HUC-JIR. After two more years of study at the Rhea Hirsch School of Education in Los Angeles, CA., Mara received her M.A. in Jewish Education from HUC-JIR.


Nili Simhai
Nili Simhai is Director of the Teva Learning Center (www.tevacenter.org), North America’s foremost Jewish environmental organization, serving thousands of participants annually from Jewish day and congregational schools, camps and community groups. Nilis background includes work in ecological concerns ranging from wildlife conservation to wetland remediation, as well as 20 years in Jewish education. During her tenure as Director, Nili is proud to have helped create Tevas Shomrei Chayyot, Yitziah, and Bringing It Back to Our Schools programs.


Pearl Gluck
Pearl Gluck is a filmmaker whose films include Divan, which has earnered several awards, a nationwide art-house theatrical release, and a one-hour TV documentary, Williamsburg. She won a 2007 Audie Award for her audio tour for Soundwalk. She is co-writer of Goyta and is currently in post-production on her first narrative short, Where is Joel Baum. One of her prior works include the award-winning short Great Balls of Fire (2001), a homeless man’s response to September 11, which continues to screen worldwide. Gluck has also been producing short documentaries for organizations such as the Covenant Foundation.


Peretz Wolf-Prusan
Peretz Wolf-Prusan graduated from the rabbinic program at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati, Ohioand the San Francisco Art Institute. Rabbi Wolf-Prusan received a Covenant Award for revolutionizing Family Education in a large urban historic Reform Congregation. He continues work with the Consortium for Jewish Family Education where he shares his work with teens, a segment of the Jewish population best locked in busses until emotionally mature.


Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Menachem Creditor is a STAR:PEER fellow; founder of ShefaNetwork: The Conservative Movement Dreaming from Within; co-founder of KeshetRabbis: The Alliance of Gay-Friendly Conservative and Masorti Rabbis; and author of TheTisch, an electronic commentary on Jewish Spirituality. He is a popular speaker at synagogues, college campuses, and various Jewish communities on questions of Identity, leadership, and spirituality. As one half of Shirav, a Jewish folk-music group, he has spread passion, comfort, and joy to audiences around North America and Israel. Menachem earned his master’s in Jewish Education and his rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His website is http://www.menachemcreditor.org.


Rabbi Michael M. Cohen
Michael M. Cohen graduated from the University of Vermont and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He was the Rabbi of the Israel Congregation in Manchester Center, Vermont from 1990-2000 and since has been working for the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and is a co-founder of the Green Zionist Alliance. He also works for the Arava Power Company bringing Solar Power to Israel and Jordan.


Rachel Meytin
Rachel E. Meytin is the director of the Center for Jewish Service-Learning at PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values. She holds an M.Ed. and an M.B.A. from the University of Judaism – Los Angeles and a B.A. from Boston University. Rachel has participated in an advanced service-learning training session through the National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC) and is working toward a graduate-level advanced certification in service-learning through NYLC and the University of Wisconsin.


Reuven Werber
Reuven Werber has been a member of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion in Israel since 1970. He has taught Jewish history, Talmud and Jewish thought at Neveh Channah High School, and educational technology, and instructional design at Herzog Teacher’s College. He developed and supervised Neveh Channah’s ed-tech curriculum and has worked as a national ed-tech counselor for Israel’s Ministry of Education. Reuven currently serves as Content and Pedagogical Editor of the MOFET-JTEC Global Jewish Education Content Portal.


Steven M. Cohen
Steven M. Cohen is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at HUC-JIR and Director of the Florence G. Heller / JCCA Research Center who also taught for 14 years at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Previously, he taught at Queens College, with visiting appointments at Yale, Brandeis, and JTS. Steven has co-authored two books, The Jew Within and Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences, and written several other books including American Modernity & Jewish Identity, and American Assimilation or Jewish Revival? He also serves as research consultant to the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, and Synagogue 3000.


Tammy Vener
Tammy Vener is the director of Early Childhood Education at Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego where she has held this position for the past twelve years. Tammy is a founding board member of the ECE-RJ (Early Childhood Educatiors of Reform Judaism) and is in her second year as VP of Communications for this organization. She is the early childhood liaison to the PARDES joint task force for Reform Day School Education in North America. Tammy holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts and a California Multiple Subjects Credential.

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