FOR EDUCATORS

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. COME LEARN WITH US!

Classrooms are complex microcosms.

Teaching is complex, challenging work. What children learn is influenced by so many factors: routines, language, expectations, how physical space and time are organized, what else happened that day, how we conceive of our relationship with families, and so much more. Children take it all in, forming their own values and practices. As educators, we know our stunning, profound responsibility for shaping children’s lives. How can we navigate the fast pace of learning environments? How can we partner with children to grow as compassionate, courageous, connected Jewish humans?

“Learning from you was like finding an oil that miraculously continues to illuminate my work and life. I am who I am in no small part because of you.
— DEMETRIOS V., EDUCATOR (NATIONAL)

Living the questions.

Join a conversation about education in which Jewish literacy is entwined with a child’s humanity. Here at the Institute for Jewish Enrichment, our stance is one of curiosity without judgment: for children, for our work, and for ourselves. Together, we raise challenging questions, stretch our imaginations, and deepen our own capacities as educators. Collaborative inquiry is in our DNA. Whether we’re exploring 3 Voices in Perpetual Dialogue, our Signature Process Process, or our robust suite of concrete strategies and tools, educator development here is inspiring and exhilarating. Educators from many parts of the field – congregational and afterschool educators, early childhood, day school, experiential educators, art educators – find value in our framework, principles, and practices.

Educator Offerings.

Workshops offer an introduction to the Institute for Jewish Enrichment’s transformational framework, with real tools to enact your vision. Every workshop makes a clear connection to the IJE’s underlying framework, while delving into a specific principle or strategy of educational practice. Workshops topics include, e.g., principles for Jewish exploration; exploring Torah with young children; yetzirah (art/creating) practices for wrestling with Jewish text; dimensions of educational partnership with children. Workshops are offered in person and online.

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.

Three times a year, Institute for Jewish Enrichment 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.

This three-day institute introduces the Institute for Jewish Enrichment 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. Please check back soon for information about our next institute.

We recommend that when possible, schools bring a team to the Institute for Jewish Enrichment 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.

Want to dive deeply into our educational approach and methodology? Come immerse yourself in principles and practices for a child to live a dynamic relationship of self, world, and Judaism – the same process they can live however they grow, wherever they go. It’s the same process they can use throughout their life. Join educators throughout the country for thoughtful conversation about how we nurture children’s capacities to grapple with complexity, see diverse perspectives, and enact empathy for themselves and others, all while building their own, personal relationship with Judaism. To find out more about these opportunities, email Rebecca at rebecca@jewishenrichment.org.

Join Institute for Jewish Enrichment 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.

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.

Educator Resources

Enrolled in one of our workshops? Log in with your password to access content and additional resources.

Grounded in close listening.

Our educator development draws on more than 12 years of research and development at the Institute for Jewish Enrichment. We open foundational questions about teaching and learning so we can set the voice of the child as an essential part of Jewish children’s learning. Together, we ask: Who is the child? What is partnership with children in Jewish learning? What is the nature of Judaism that we offer children? What methodology and practices support our vision of children’s growth? With hundreds of thousands of children’s projects, transcripts, photos, and videos in our archive, educator development at the IJE is grounded in close listening to children.

REACH OUT TO RABBI REBECCA MILDER!

Educators, don’t be shy! We truly want to hear from you. In fact, we encourage you to reach out 1:1 to our Founding Director, with big, small, or in-between questions.