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Prizmah Podcasts: Podcasts by Prizmah Center for Jewish Day Schools
Multiple podcast series focused on topics related to Jewish day school education.
Nov 27, 2023
Prizmah Podcast Live: The Tikkun Project - Living Out Our Mission
School mission statements articulate a hope that through our educational programs, help students gain the knowledge, skills and inclinations needed to make positive change. By putting Tikkun Olam at the core of K-8 programs, Leo Baeck Day School in Toronto has learned how to help students learn to connect their actions to Jewish values. Learn how and why the Tikkun Project at Toronto’s Leo Baeck Day School came to be and hear examples of the powerful learning that emerges when students think critically about themselves and their responsibilities to the world around them.
Jul 31, 2023
Research Encounter _ Power Tools, Paper Weaving, Tightrope Walking: Purposes and Methods of Jewish Arts Education
Listen to a far-ranging podcast and expand your understanding of what Jewish arts education is and can be. Explore how one teacher sets up an artists beit midrash, and how students go about creating art from tefillah. Hear how students at another school pass through a collaborative, multilayered iterative process from study to the creation of objects. Explore the way that a rabbinical school teaches Biblical narrative texts and Talmudic Halakhic passages through the embodied learning of circus arts experiences. Discover how these programs conceive of the relationship between the social and individual aspects of creativity. Presenters Dr. Ora Horn Prouser is the CEO and academic dean at the Academy for Jewish Religion, an accredited, pluralistic rabbinical, cantorial, and graduate school located in NY but serving students throughout the US and internationally through our distance learning program. She is the co-editor of Under One Tent: Circus, Judaism, and Bible, which is an extension of sacred arts work at AJR. AJR is now home to a Center for Sacred Arts. Ayal Prouser is a circus artist, choreographer and academic. He is founder & director of Time Flies Circus. Linda Parmet is Hebrew content dean and director of interdisciplinary Jewish studies at The Weber School in Atlanta, Georgia. She also serves as a mentor on the staff of The Teacher Institute for the Arts run by Kol HaOt. Linda and her students study Jewish sources, values and concepts then use creative design and visual arts to illuminate their thoughts and express their insights. Follow this link to see the class portfolio of Torah, toolkits and power tools. Ahuva Winslow is the director of visual arts at Yeshivat Frisch in Paramus, New Jersey. She teaches the 9-12th grade art track, which includes artist beit midrash, as well as a 12th grade Biblical portraits Nach elective.
1 hr 3 min
Jul 5, 2023
Research Encounter: Foundation for Life-Excellence in Jewish Early Childhood Education
Learn about the vital, sophisticated work of Reggio-inspired Jewish early childhood educators from two day school administrators and a field leader who is also the author of a recent dissertation. The conversation ranges from the ways that educators understand the minds of young students to the development of Jewish identity and creativity, with a glimpse into the state of the field as well. Dr. Anna Hartman is the Director of Early Childhood Excellence at the Jewish United Fund in Chicago and the Director of the Paradigm Project. Carla Goldberg is the Director of Early Childhood and Admissions at Akiba Schechter Jewish Day School, in Chicago's Hyde Park. She has been a teacher at Akiba for 32 years and the Director for 27 years. Abby Aloni is the Head of Early Childhood at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, an independent Jewish Day School located in the Lakeview area of Chicago. Entering her 25th year at Bernard Zell, Abby moved from the classroom to administration in 2008 as head of the Lower School and has held her current position since 2016.
May 8, 2023
Prizmah Podcast Live: Jewish History -The Core Element of a Jewish Day School Education ( Whether You Realize It or Not)
Where does Jewish history live in your curriculum, culture, and approach to education at your school? Jewish history is central to Jewish education, and can be a locus of meaning, authority, and knowledge for all Jewish day school students. Listen to this interesting discussion with Rachel Bergstein, Director of the Center for Excellence and Engagement in Jewish History and Jewish History Department Faculty Member at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and Rabbi Mitchel Malkus, Head of School at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD.
Jan 17, 2023
Podcast Live: Organizational Structure as a Driver for Institutional Alignment and Change
Learn from Rebecca Lurie and Dr. Jonah Hassenfeld how a leadership team structure that is aligned with institutional values has the capacity to effect impactful and sustained change within a school environment. Explore the process by which the organizational structure of Schechter Boston was transformed into a distributed leadership model. This Podcast Live episode was recorded in person at the Prizmah Conference in Denver, January 10, 2023. Rebecca Lurie is the head of school, and Dr. Jonah Hassenfeld is the director of learning and teaching, at Solomon Schechter Day School of Boston in Newton, Massachusetts.
Dec 15, 2022
Prizmah Podcast Live: Teaching Towards an Ethical Democracy
How can Jewish schools ensure that their graduates go on to be stewards of democracy? And how can Jewish educators teach students to connect Jewish ethics to the practices of citizenship? The Brandeis School of San Francisco has been wrestling with these questions since the 2016 election cycle. Hear from head of school Dr. Dan Glass about how Brandeis has worked to connect Jewish ethics and democratic habits of mind, from daily classroom rituals to annual celebrations. Dr. Glass will share about the school’s ongoing “Mifgash Project,” a collaborative design project seeking to build out a K-8 model of experiential civic education rooted in Jewish values. Presenter Dr. Dan Glass, Head of School of The Brandeis School in San Francisco, previously held leadership roles at Wildwood School in Los Angeles and The Girls' Middle School in Palo Alto. He has written extensively on progressive education, Jewish spirituality and ethics, and contemporary poetry. A Bay Area native, Dan holds a Ph.D. in English from UC Davis, and a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley. He has published four collections of poetry, and has taught children and adults of all ages in subjects ranging from Ethics and Design to Poetics and Rap Music. Dan and his wife Kate have three daughters, two of whom are current Brandeis students.
Aug 29, 2022
Research Encounter: Embracing the Joys and the ”Muckiness” of Israel Education
Debby Artz-Mor, director of Jewish learning at the Brandeis School in San Francisco, and Rabbi David Stein, Judaics studies principal at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, join Sivan Zakai to discuss her new longitudinal study of Israel education , My Second Favorite Country. They consider understandings of "age-appropriate" learning that can impede educational engagement and exploration, discuss the relationship between school mission and student influences, and consider pedagogy that opens up student curiosity and discovery. Presenters Debby Arzt-Mor is the director of Jewish learning at The Brandeis School of San Francisco. Raised in Jerusalem, Debby has been living in San Francisco with her family for many years. As a member of Brandeis’ senior leadership team, Debby partners with faculty and staff in guiding Jewish and Hebrew programming and curriculum throughout the school. Debby is a cohort 10 graduate of The Davidson School’s Day School Leadership Training Institute, and of the Melton Senior Educators program at The Hebrew University. Debby holds a BA in psychology and Jewish philosophy (University of Haifa), and a graduate degree in nonprofit administration (USF). Rabbi David Stein is the Judaic studies principal at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles as well as the co-founder and managing director of the LaHaV Curriculum Project. David attended Yeshiva College and RIETS for his undergraduate and semikhah studies, and also holds master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Columbia University and in Jewish education from American Jewish University. He is currently studying towards his doctorate in education at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education & Administration and was a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar. Sivan Zakai is the Sara S. Lee Associate Professor of Jewish Education at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and is an affiliated scholar at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University. In addition to directing the Children’s Learning About Israel Project and co-directing Project ORLIE: Research and Leadership in Israel Education, Sivan serves as a senior editor of the Journal of Jewish Education and as a member of the faculty of the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute.
1 hr 4 min
Aug 3, 2022
Research Encounter: How Gender Impacts Education
How do students internalize and act out gender narratives in their relationships to their school, to different subjects, to their teachers and other students? How do teachers sometimes reinforce gender roles in the classroom, in ways that can harm students' confidence and limit their expression? Heads of school Jason Feld (Northwest Yeshiva High School in Mercer Island, WA) and Hannah Bennett (Briskin Elementary School at Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA) join Jason Ablin to discuss these and other issues raised in Ablin's new book, The Gender Equation in Schools: How to Create Equity and Fairness for All Students.
Jun 17, 2022
Research Encounter: Educating Jewish Producers
What are we trying to achieve in Jewish education? What do martial arts have to teach us about pedagogy for Jewish learning? How do we think about community and autonomy, tradition and innovation, in day schools? Brandeis education professor Jon Levisohn is joined by heads of school Stephanie Ives at Beit Rabban in Manhattan and Rafi Cashman at Netivot HaTorah in Toronto to discuss what our schools are and might be.
May 25, 2022
Podcast Live: Making Diversity A Strength In A Polarized Age
At the center of the mission of Luria Academy is diversity as a core value. But what happens when you’ve achieved your goal and you have created a uniquely diverse community? What does it mean to be in relationship with people whose religious practice is different from yours? How do our students learn to approach one another from a place of curiosity and respect? How do we navigate political diversity in an increasingly polarized society? And how do we expand the lessons of the classroom into the parent community? Learn about Luria’s journey of diversity from conception to reality. Head of School Amanda Pogany presents the success and challenges of leading a diverse community in general and in this moment. Gain strategies for this work with students, faculty and parents.
Mar 23, 2022
Prizmah Podcast Live: Creating a Culture of Storytellers
We are the story we tell ourselves. In 2019, parents and school leaders at Brandeis Marin, a K-8 Jewish day school located in San Rafael, CA, began exploring ways to create a storytelling and story-capturing culture to enable deep, authentic and consistent connection within the school community. When the pandemic hit, the Brandeis Marin school community had developed its own version of The Moth (radio storytelling), doubling down on storytelling to deepen the sense of connection and belonging among its parents and in its community. Hear from Dr. Peg Sandel, Head of School and Barbara Cohen, Director of Techonology and Innovation at Brandeis Marin how a Jewish day school created a schoolwide initiative involving parents, teachers, students, staff, administrators and board members.
Mar 8, 2022
Research Corner: What We Learned from Online Learning
Now that Covid is waning and classrooms feel close to the old normal, what have we learned from two years of online and hybrid pedagogy? Despite the challenges and drawbacks, are there things that remote learning enabled that we might preserve as we move forward? Hear a university researcher and two day school educators reflect on what was achieved during the pandemic. Featuring: Michal Bessler has worked at Maimonides School in Boston for 27 years, where she now serves as the elementary school principal. Aviv Matzkin teaches Jewish Studies at Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Ziva R. Hassenfeld is the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Assistant Professor of Jewish Education at Brandeis University.
Feb 16, 2022
Research Encounter: Behind the Gates. Looking Inside Day Schools.
Alex Pomson and Jack Wertheimer, authors of the recent book Inside Jewish Day Schools: Leadership, Learning and Community, speak with two school leaders featured in the book, Erica Rothblum and Ami Neuman, about the stories that their schools tell as well as larger stories of the field. They reflect upon how to tell our stories, what stories have emerged over the past few years, and which stories we might be reading in the near future. Dr. Alex Pomson is principal and managing director at Rosov Consulting. Dr. Jack Wertheimer is the Joseph and Martha Mendelson Professor of American Jewish History at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Erica Rothblum is the head of school at Pressman Academy in Los Angeles, a Conservative day school from early childhood to 8th grade. Rabbi Ami Neuman is the principal of the JEC High School, an Orthodox boys high school in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Jan 12, 2022
An Innovative Model for Teacher Training - The School As A Teaching Hospital
Finding great teachers today seems harder than ever. According to a recent survey, 75% of first year teachers report that they were insufficiently prepared to meet the needs of students. At the same time, recruitment and retention challenges are leading to severe teacher shortages in schools across the country. We believe the solution for recruiting, developing, and retaining strong teachers begins inside the classroom. Prizmah Podcasts Live! Building on the medical residency model, the Shefa Teacher Residency provides aspiring teachers with an alternative pathway that is grounded in deep clinical training and intensive on-site mentoring and support. Learn about the creation and implementation of the Teacher Residency and how it recruits, trains, and retains excellent new teachers. Rebecca Ritter, Head of Teaching and Learning at the Shefa School will share successes, challenges, lessons learned, and considerations for setting up a teacher residency program and other impactful models…
Dec 15, 2021
Research Encounter: Teacher Learning and Growth
What are Jewish schools doing to ensure that professional development is excellent and a top school priority? This conversation featuring Tammy Anagnostis, dean of Golda Och Academy's lower school, Rabbi Maccabee Avishur, academic dean and general studies principal at Heichal Hatorah, Dr. Arielle Levites, managing director of CASJE, Suzanne Mishkin, K-6 principal at Sager Solomon Schechter Day School and Flora Musleah, upper school dean of faculty at Golda Och Academy, starts from CASJE's recent study Career Trajectories of Jewish Educators and engages four day school educational leaders in the goals and methods of PD, the impact that it has on teachers' work and careers, and more.
Dec 3, 2021
Start Up Day School: What is Institutional Advancement?
Two directors of institutional advancement, Mandi Miller of Beth Tfiloh Dahan in Baltimore and Stephanie Bash-Soudry of Golda Och Academy in West Orange, New Jersey, delve into the nature of their role. They talk about the kinds of teamwork they perform with the administrative team and the faculty, and they discuss their work in ensuring that their schools' missions are powerful and in alignment with everything that takes place within the school and is communicated about the school.
Nov 17, 2021
Prizmah Podcasts Live: The School as a Thinking Instituion
The Jewish school is positioned at the nexus of the individual, the family and the community, bringing to light the opportunities and challenges of being a committed Jew in the modern world. The school can become a center for teacher learning and research. This can give teachers a public intellectual voice and ensure a vibrant, dynamic, entrepreneurial learning community able to advance educational initiatives for its own constituents. We will learn about the development of Machon Siach, the research arm of SAR High School, which seeks to shape the high school into a “thinking institution” by cultivating teacher-driven research and scholarship focused on questions central to Jewish education, curriculum and culture.
Aug 27, 2021
JEIC God Interviews Series: Who is God and What is Belief?
Rabbi Shmuel Feld interviews Rabbi David Aaron, Dean and Rosh Yeshiva of Orayta in Jerusalem on how to approach conversations about God with Jewish day school students. He asserts that belief should give people’s lives greater vitality and meaning rather than disempowering them. Produced by the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC).
Aug 27, 2021
JEIC God Interviews Series: Believing That and Believing In - Dynamic Faith in God
Rabbi Shmuel Feld interviews Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire, Dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College Boston, on how to approach conversations about God with Jewish day school students. Rabbi Dr. Shire distinguishes between teaching about the essence of God and the experience of God. Produced by the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC).
Aug 26, 2021
JEIC God Interviews: Sharing Our Vulnerability and Authentic Selves When Talking about God
Rabbi Shmuel Feld interviews Rebbetzin Yehudis Golshevsky, Director of SHIVITI in Jerusalem, on how to approach conversations about God with Jewish day school students. She suggests that discussing belief is not necessarily about certainty in God; belief is about helping students find meaning in living in a Jewish way. Produced by the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC).
Jun 23, 2021
Research Encounter: Envisioning Jewish Education
Ben Jacobs and Barry Chazan of George Washington University are joined by Rebecca Schorsch (Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, Chicago) and Hillel Broder (HALB, Long Island) to discuss "18 x 18," a blueprint for Jewish education that proposes areas of knowledge and experience that Jews should obtain by the age of 18.
Jun 2, 2021
Start-Up Day School: Leadership Coaching
Heads of school C. B. Neugroschl (Maayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls) and Rabbi Menachem Linzer (Hillel Torah) along with leadership coach Jane Taubenfeld Cohen join Josh Gold in a discussion of leadership coaching: what it is, how it works, why school leaders need it.
May 11, 2021
Start Up Day School: Positive Psychology in Jewish Schools
Two psychologists, Dr. Yali Werzberger, director of guidance and pupil personnel services at the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR), and Dr. Mordechai Schiffman, assistant professor at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, join Josh Gold in a timely discussion of the principles of positive psychology, its importance for teachers and students and its relation to Jewish values and texts.
Apr 7, 2021
Research Encounter: Gender, Class and Young Jewish Women
How do we support girls in the transition from middle school to high school? Joni Fishman, middle school dean of students at the Rashi School in Dedham, Massachusetts, speaks with researcher Cheryl Weiner about Rosh Chodesh groups, SEL, and ways that girls think of themselves and their overlapping identities as they enter the cusp of adulthood.
Feb 24, 2021
Start-Up Day School: Torah, Forest Baths, and Environmental Education
Yosef Gillers and Sara Just-Michaels, co-directors of Grow Torah, join Josh Gold to discuss their work leading a team of environmental educators employed in many day schools and camps. They explore their philosophy and pedagogy and the benefits of this learning for students.
Feb 17, 2021
Research Encounter: Preparations for Success During Covid
Professor Jack Wertheimer of the Jewish Theological Seminary talks with Cheryl Maayan, head of the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School in St. Louis, and Steven Lorch, head of Kadimah Day School in Los Angeles, about how Jewish day schools have fared during the pandemic. Wertheimer proposes trends that have set up many day schools for success in the face of the overwhelming challenges that schools and families have experienced.
Jan 5, 2021
"Driving the Car": Project-Based Learning in Jewish Education
Tikvah Wiener, founding head of The Idea School in Tenafly, New Jersey, joins Josh Gold to discuss the goals and impact of project-based learning, the educational philosophy upon which her school is based. They talk about student agency, self-actualization and reaching deeper levels of knowledge.
Nov 20, 2020
Start-Up Day School: Collaborating with Students
Dr. Eliana Lipsky, middle school principal at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland, discusses ways that her team works with students to help strengthen their sense of agency, through collaborative problem-solving and the study and practice of leadership.
Oct 19, 2020
Reflecting on and Learning from Jewish Day School Boards
Daniella Pressner and Moshe Werthan, head of school and board member at the Akiva School in Nashville, Tennessee, discuss their experiences of working with board members, the challenges and successes that their board has seen, and the culture that they try to cultivate on the board. They are joined by Alex Pomson, principal and managing director of Rosov Consulting, and host Ilisa Cappell, Prizmah's vice president for leadership development, who draw upon Prizmah's recent study of lay leadership in Jewish day schools to highlight contexts and trends in this field.
Aug 14, 2020
Research Encounter: What Do Students Really Think of High School Talmud?
Dr. Arielle Levites, managing director of CASJE, Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education, and Rabbi Jethro Berkman, dean of Jewish education at Gann Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts, reflect upon the findings of a study into student responses to their Talmud education. They consider the possible shortcomings of Talmud curriculum and pedagogy and discuss other ways that schools might approach the teaching of rabbinics.
Jul 20, 2020
Turning Challenge into Opportunity under COVID
Daniel Weiss, head of the Bornblum Jewish Community School in Memphis, discusses running a school under COVID: adapting to changing needs and conditions of education, new opportunities that may be arising now that will reap benefits later, and holding on to a school's vision and strategic plan.
Jul 10, 2020
Research Encounter: Teaching the Students, Not Jewish Identity
Dr. Tali Zelkowicz, Director of Curriculum and Research at the Wexner Foundation, and Dr. Sarah Shulkind, head of Milken Community Schools in Los Angeles, examine the perils of teaching for Jewish identity. They consider how a focus on identity outcomes can overburden the Jewish studies classroom with unrealistic expectations that go against what we know is good pedagogy, which creates room for student exploration and growth on students’ own terms.
Jun 22, 2020
Research Encounter: Strengthening Jewish Studies with Insights from Cognitive Science
Dr. Moshe Krakowski, Director of the Graduate Program at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University, and Rabbi Daniel Alter, head of The Moriah School in Englewood, New Jersey, discuss findings from the Science of Learning (cognitive science) and how they can inform Jewish Studies. They look at techniques that can improve student retention and lead to greater student fluency, mastery and enjoyment of Jewish text learning.
Jun 3, 2020
Hearing the song beneath the words: Active listening strategies for school leaders
Bracha Rutner, assistant principal at the Yeshiva University High School for Girls ("Central"), participates in a discussion on active listening and empathy. She and Josh explore the changing paradigm of good teaching, which requires teachers to be good listeners more than good speakers and to foster authentic dialogue between students. They also present ways to generate authentic dialogue with parents and teachers.
Apr 20, 2020
Start-Up Day School: Want to Effect Positive Behavior Changes in Students? Be their Coach.
Rabbi Yaakov Sadigh, the head of school at HANC, the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, joins Josh for a conversation about student behavior and support. They focus on shifting the ways that teachers and administrators work with students, especially regarding behavioral and social-emotional issues, from a punitive approach to one of guidance rooted in moral reflection based on Jewish values.
Apr 2, 2020
Research Encounter: Putting Creativity at the Heart of Jewish Schooling
Dr. Miriam Heller Stern, National Director of the HUC-JIR School of Education in Los Angeles, and Susie Tanchel, head of school at JCDS Boston, talk about creativity as a vital component of a school’s mission and vision. They explore how the school's conception of creativity can be guided by Jewish values, and ways that it can inform school culture, curriculum and pedagogy.