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Come Learn With Us

Come Learn With Us

Professional development at the Jewish Enrichment Center is an invitation to engage with big questions while nurturing practical skills for enacting your vision of exceptional Jewish learning.

Teaching is complex, challenging work. What happens in the classroom is influenced by so many factors: what’s on children’s minds, and their needs that day; opportunities that teachers set up that invite children to explore content and connect with peers; the language we use; frameworks for teacher collaboration; partnership between school and families on behalf of children’s learning; and so much more.

How does each piece of this complex system work together to teach our children to be Jewish citizens of the world? Professional development at the Jewish Enrichment Center stretches our imaginations and deepens our own capacities as educators by raising challenging questions, and offering concrete strategies and tools alongside a myriad of examples of child-driven, content-rich learning. Through collaborative inquiry with colleagues, a stance of intense curiosity, and without judgment, together we can begin to unpack the complexity of teaching and learning.

A sampling of tools we explore through professional development:

  • Observation without judgment in stance and speech
  • Making values visible in the educational environment
  • Text study and creative expression to bring forward the child’s voice
  • Educator language for democratic, compassionate classroom culture
  • Empathetic response in challenging moments
  • Comprehension continuum use to design emergent curriculum
  • Documentation practices
  • Interactive learning structures to scaffold children’s understanding

A Taste of Jewish Enrichment Center Professional Development

Intrigued about the Jewish Enrichment Center and want to get a sense of what learning is like here? Schedule a visit.

  • Site Visit: Site visits, in which educators may observe our classrooms, offer insight into our educational environment while raising questions about children’s needs as Jewish learners. In a short workshop prior to the observation, educators consider how institutional values towards children, Judaism, and learning are made visible through physical and auditory environments. Site visits are scheduled throughout the year, and may be customized to educators’ interests. Visits typically last two hours.
  • Guided Documentation Tour: Three times a year, Jewish Enrichment Center educators assemble a floor-to-ceiling installation of children’s ideas about Torah and Judaism, with documentation that offers insight into children’s learning. Encounter powerful interpretations of Judaism by children, and consider the impact of children learning in this way. The documentation-based visit raises questions about the ways we include children in Jewish life and what Jewish children’s learning entails. Documentation visits are scheduled January through May, and last 90 minutes.  

Workshops

Workshops offer an introduction to a transformational framework, with real tools to enact your vision.

  • Children at the Center of Jewish Learning: In this day-long workshop, educators and educational leaders use several methodological lenses to look closely at high quality children’s work produced by placing the child at the center of Jewish learning. The workshop is designed to provoke questions about the aims and practices of Jewish children’s learning, with special attention to teaching practices that elevate children’s voices in the educational process. Our next workshop will be held on Monday, January 21, 2019. Registration will open in November 2018.
  • Principles & Practices for Revolutionizing Jewish Education: This three-day institute introduces the Enrichment Center educational framework, mindset, and tools that enact significant trust in children’s capacity to make meaning for themselves, in an ever-evolving Judaism. We pay special attention to how we use language to create culture. Through reflection practices and dialogue, educators and educational leaders consider how to make use of ideas in their own contexts. Institutes are held yearly in August. Registration for this year’s institute is now closed. Please check back for information about the August 2019 institute.

We recommend that when possible, schools bring a team to the Jewish Enrichment Center consisting of educators who work directly with children and educational leaders. It’s easier to integrate ideas and skills from our professional development when working with a cohort familiar with your institutional challenges and opportunities.

Year-Long Professional Development

Want to dive deeply into an educational framework and process for raising Jewish children who can grapple with complexity and diverse perspectives, enact empathy for themselves and others, and who determine their own path in Judaism, integrating self, community, and Judaism in a dynamic relationship? Come immerse yourself in language and practices for this kind education, and see your own practice grow by leaps and bounds. To find out more about these opportunities, email Rebecca at rebecca@jewishenrichment.org.

  • Professional Development for Teams: Join Jewish Enrichment Center educators in a one- or two-year sequence of Professional Development modules. Your teaching team and ours meet monthly to dive into topics introduced at the three-day institute and continue to deepen our knowledge and capacities for partnering with children in Jewish learning.

Coaching/Consulting: Personalized coaching and/or consulting is available with the Jewish Enrichment Center’s founding director, Rabbi Rebecca Milder. She partners with educational leaders to design child-driven, content-rich, creative Jewish learning practices in their own contexts.

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