The Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education

Posts Tagged ‘Vermont CAJE conference’

Gearing up for CAJE 33

Posted by Joel H. on August 6, 2008

Zac staying on top of things

Zac Staying On Top Of Things

Thirty Walkie Talkies

Thirty Walkie Talkies

Allan Making Arrangements

Allan Making Arrangements

Abby Hard At Work

Abby Hard At Work

We’re gearing up for CAJE 33!

Fifteen-hundred people, hundreds of sessions, thousands of handouts, 18,000 evalutation forms, 30 walkie-talkies, a slew of workstations and laptops, 8 golf carts, and 1 dromedary. (You only see the dromedary if you drive up Vermont Route 22a. It’s not on campus.) All to get ready for CAJE 33.

The Dromedary on VT Rte. 22a

The Dromedary On VT Rte. 22a

I arrived in Burlington on Monday, and the massive preparations have been going exceedingly well. The weather is great (and the views from campus are outstanding). The people are friendly and helpful. The buildings are new and welcoming. The food is delicious.

All that’s missing is you.

David Takes a Phone Call By Lake Champlain

David Takes a Phone Call By Lake Champlain


Posted in CAJE 33 Information, Joel M. Hoffman | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Details on the Roundtable Fishbowl on the Future of Jewish Education

Posted by Joel H. on July 21, 2008

By Joel M. Hoffman

(See the full-size graphic.)

(Also take a look at some results from the Roundtable Fishbowl.)

“What does success look like?”

“How do we get there?”

These two huge questions will occupy seven leading Jewish thinkers and practitioners over the course of two days at our Roundtable Fishbowl. And in preparation, we want to hear from you! If you have questions you’d like addressed, or ideas you’d like to contribute, e-mail them to Fishbowl@Caje33.Org — then come to the fishbowl to see if we’ve included your suggestion in the discussion.


The Roundtable Fishbowl sessions will take place on Monday and Tuesday, August 11-12, from 2:15 to 5:00 in the Royall Tyler Theater.


The topic of the first day is “what does success look like?” Each synagogue has a certain number of children aged 5-17. What should we do them? Why? Is “seating the children behind desks for 2-5 hours a week” a good answer? What are our goals? How do we balance formal and information information? What is the role of curriculm? What about teachers?

The second day is devoted to “how do we get from here to there?” What should we keep of our current programs? What can we modify? What must we abandon? How will we staff our new programs? How will we fund it?

Our seven participants will dicuss their views on these all important topics, and you will even be able to join the conversation electronically via SMS and e-mail. (We’ll have wifi for your laptop, or you can use one of several computers we’ll have set up.) You can even get a head-start by sending e-mail now.


Participating will be:

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman will moderate the event.


Get involved now! Send your comments, ideas, and questions to Fishbowl@Caje33.Org. You can also contribute during the fishbowl itself by sending e-mail to that same address. Use your own cell phone, Blackberry, PDA, or laptop computer; or use one of the stations we’ll have set up.

Don’t miss out

This is only going to happen once, and only at CAJE 33.

Posted in CAJE 33 Information, Chair, Joel M. Hoffman, Roundtable Fishbowl | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Packing for CAJE 33

Posted by Joel H. on July 17, 2008

Coming to CAJE 33 and wondering what to bring? How do I register? Will there be Internet? What about laundry? Air conditioning? Dress code? Food?

We’ve just posted everything you need to know before you arrive, including:

  • Important Numbers at a Glance
  • Welcome to the University of Vermont and Burlington
  • Traveling to Burlington
  • Arrival and On-site Registration Information
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • University Accommodations: UVM Residence Hall Information
  • Internet Connection
  • Campus Services
  • CAJE 33 Conference Information (CAJE Page, CAJE Office, Emergency Numbers, Hospitality Desks, Job Board, Lost and Found, Meals, Name Tags, Prayer service Schedule)
  • What to Bring to CAJE 33
  • CAJE 33 Off Campus Trip Descriptions (pre-registration required)

If you have any questions, post them here as comments. If one of your fellow CAJE-goers doesn’t know the answer, we’ll chime in.

Posted in CAJE 33 Information, Chair, Joel M. Hoffman | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 to get started.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in CAJE 33 Information, Roundtable Fishbowl | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

CAJE 33 T-Shirts

Posted by Joel H. on June 20, 2008

CAJE 33 T-shirtYes, that’s right. CAJE 33 T-shirts are already on sale! You can pre-order your T-shirt right now and have it waiting for you at the conference. Here’s how:

  1. Go to
  2. Press the “Register Now” button.
  3. Press the red link that says “Already Registered?”
  4. Enter your email and password. Press “Continue.”
  5. On the new screen press the button that reads “Finalize.”
  6. If you have followed along you will be looking at a photo of the shirt. Scroll down and select the size and quantity you want.

Order by July 4, 2008 to make sure the size you want is available.

Not going to be at CAJE? You can still get a shirt! Fill out this form and we’ll send you one.

CAJE 33 T-shirts are stylish, chic, and environmentally friendly.

Posted in Joel M. Hoffman, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Building the CAJE Conference

Posted by Joel H. on May 20, 2008

By Joel M. Hoffman

Putting the CAJE conference together is a monumental task, because scheduling many hundreds of sessions is complex. People from all over the world submitted hundreds of excellent session proposals: new Hebrew programs, music, Torah, history, administration techniques, storytelling, Israel, the environment, art; young children, family education, teens, adults; programs for learning-disabled children and tips for gifted learners; and much more!

Our task (that’s me, Mel, David, and Abby) over two long days was to schedule as many sessions as we could, making sure each hour of the five-day conference had variety, and double checking that we didn’t make any mistakes like putting someone in two places at once, or denying someone a lunch break.

This year we augmented our software with a massive 8-foot by 20-foot display device popularly called a “wall.” We used colored cards to represent topics, and colored circles to represent age groups. (We used a ladder to schedule morning sessions. There’s probably some hidden irony there.) A quick glance showed us what kinds of sessions were available during each session block.

In the end, we didn’t have room for everything, but the nearly-final program is exceptionally exciting. And more than any other conference I know of, CAJE 33 has something great for everyone.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at UVM in August.

Posted in CAJE 33 Information, Chair, Joel M. Hoffman | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

CAJE Goes Green

Posted by shomreiadamah on May 1, 2008

By Ellen Bernstein

Dear Friends,

For the first time in its 33-year history CAJE will offer an ECO-Track at its conference at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

We have put together a wonderful array of 59 sessions on Judaism and ecology, from the practical to the pleasurable to the sublime.

You’re invited to:

  • daven outdoors;
  • learn in the Eco beit midrash;
  • study with an array of 20 teachers who have been developing the field Judaism and ecology for over 20 years;
  • hike and bike in the beautiful Vermont countryside;
  • experience nature from a Jewish perspective;
  • to discover the world of Jewish farms and farming, and how to bring these practices to your classroom.

You’re invited to learn how to teach Jewish values by using nature’s classroom.

This is truly a unique opportunity. For the first time, 20 pioneers in the field of Judaism and ecology are joining together and volunteering their time and their expertise with the hopes of creating a sea change in the Jewish community and engaging Jews more deeply in ecological thinking and environmental concerns. We all believe that our tradition has much to offer the Environmental Movement, and we are eager to share our work with you.

So please join us this summer.

You don’t need to be a Jewish educator to love the CAJE conference. The Conference is for all of us who love learning and experiencing the joy of Jewish community.

We are particularly eager for people who have never been to CAJE to join us — especially those of you who may have a strong interest in environment, nature or the outdoors.

Scholarships are available to college students (apply through the Schusterman Fellowship program). And scholarships are available to adults (who need them) who plan on taking at least 10 sessions in the ECO-Track. College Credit is even available from Hebrew College for those who are taking at least 10 eco-track sessions and are interesting in getting academic credit.

Scholarships are on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply now!

To learn more and register, go to

Kol tuv,
Ellen Bernstein
Founder, Shomrei Adamah

Posted in CAJE 33 Information, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Look Who’s Coming to CAJE 33

Posted by Joel H. on April 30, 2008

By Joel M. Hoffman

With 100 days to go until our August conference, here are a few statistics about who’s coming to CAJE 33:

  • Fiften percent (about one in seven) are first-time attendees. (Why not become one of them?)
  • Almost 3% do not live in the U.S.A.
  • Over 15% are arriving in time to celebrate Shabbat with us.
  • About half are teachers.
  • About one third are directors or administrators.
  • Five percent of the session proposals involve magic markers.

Posted in CAJE 33 Information, Chair, Joel M. Hoffman | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Roundtable Fishbowl

Posted by Joel H. on April 1, 2008

By Joel M. Hoffman

(Also take a look at details on the Roundtable Fishbowl and results from the Roundtable Fishbowl.)

The Roundtable Fishbowl

(See the full-size graphic.)

Hi Everyone,

I have lots of news about CAJE 33. Even at this early date, we already have over 400 people 1,400 people signed up! And with tracks on the environment, the future of Jewish education, teacher training, and much more, it’s shaping up to be a very exciting 5-days. No wonder there’s such a buzz in the air about CAJE 33.

The Roundtable Fishbowl

I’m particularly excited about the roundtable fishbowl, which brings together seven people who collectively represent over 100 years of formal education and nearly 300 years of experience. They’ll engage in a directed conversation about the future of Jewish education, with Monday and Tuesday afternoons devoted to every aspect of what our schools should like like, and how to get there.

The audience will listen to the conversation, and even have the opportunity to contribute by sending text-messages or e-mail to a moderator. (Computers will be set up around the room to help make this possible.)

The People

The seven participants – three rabbis, two PhD’s, one principal, one lawyer, a change-management expert, and 4 graduate-school faculty members (these people all do more than one thing!) – represent every aspect of congregational education and come from a wide variety of religious and institutional backgrounds.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity puts David Behrman, Mara Braunfeld, Dr. Steven Cohen, Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Rabbi Larry Hoffman, Linda Klonsky, and Rabbi Danny Zemel all at one table. And thanks to CAJE, you get to be there, too.

Register Now!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in CAJE 33 Information, Chair, Joel M. Hoffman, Roundtable Fishbowl | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »