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August 2011 News letter

Pardes Educators Alumni Support Project August,2011/Av, 5771Newsletter


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The Jim Joseph Foundation

Pardes Educators Alumni Support Project  

Newsletter August 2011/ Av 5771  

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Dear Hevre, 


The summer vacation is rapidly drawing to a close, as many of you have already headed back to school. We wish you hatzlaha rabba as you begin the new school year. Please note our education column in this newsletter on setting your professional goals for 2011-12.


There are a number of important announcements regarding "new innovations" for alumni projects. Please be sure to let us know if you are interested in being part of any of the projects, so that we can plan accordingly.  


Finally, as many of you already know, Amanda Pogany, our Associate Director, gave birth to a daughter (see personal announcements at the end of the newsletter). Amanda will be on maternity leave for the next few weeks. If you have any concerns or need any help, please be in touch with Debra or Susan.


Kol tuv,

Susan, Amanda, Debra


Pardes Educators Alumni Support Project staff:2011 Back to school
Dr. Susan Wall, Amanda Pogany, M.A.,
Debra Weiner-Solomont, MSW 

The Pardes Educators Alumni Support Project is funded by a generous grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation.


Dvar Torah - Michal Cahlon    (Cohort 5)   

Michal Cahlon has been at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, Overland Park, KS since 2006. She currently teaches Jewish Studies and World History.  Michal may be reached at tiuvta@gmail.com     

Here in beautiful Kansas we start the school year in August. Accordingly, our in-service days - teacher work days which precede the academic year - started during the week of parshat VaEtchanan.


At the beginning of the parsha, Moshe recalls how he pleaded with G-d to allow him into the land, but G-d did not relent to his plea, as per Devarim 3:26: "But the Lord was wrathful with me on your account and would not listen to me. The Lord said to me, Enough! Never speak to Me of this matter again!" (JPS translation)


Two things stood out for me in this pasuk: First, the curt rav lakh, two little Hebrew words that JPS renders as "Enough!" and which may also be translated as "it is too much for you". Second, not only did G-d turn down Moshe's request, G-d also forbade him - al tosef daber - to continue asking.


Click here to read Michal's dvar torah.  



New Innovations  


The focus of our work over the past few years has been on helping our novice teachers. Last spring, the Pardes Educators Alumni Support Project (PEASP), began to put a similarly strong focus on our more veteran alumni who continued to work day schools. Eleven graduates took on an action research project in the area of Tefilah in their schools. The participants are currently writing up their findings and we look forward to sharing them with all our alumni.  


The following projects will take place this year. Those involved will receive a modest stipend for their work. If you are interested in participating in any of the projects below or in learning more about them, let Debra know as soon as possible, as space is limited.   


Tefilah Action Research - part 2

We learned a great deal from theTefilah research project this past year and have decided to allow a small number of graduates  - who either were unable to participate last year or who did, but want to expand upon what they already accomplished - to take part in a second phase of the project. For those just starting the project, it involves doing preliminary exploration of the tefilah experience in the school/grade, choosing an aspect to change, and then following the impact of that change.


Havruta Project

A small number of our most veteran alumni (those who have been in the classroom for at least 5 years) have been invited to participate in this year's Havruta project, geared for middle and high school teachers. Those of you who were at our retreat in the Fall of 2009, may remember the excellent sessions on Havruta presented by Orit Kent (from the Mandel Center at Brandeis University). Orit will be the "expert" working with the group. The participants will learn about the latest research on Havruta learning, and apply the various components to their classrooms. We are excited about the process as well as the product which we look forward to sharing the following year with more of our alumni.


Curriculum Development

This is an opportunity for our alumni (who have been teaching for at least 3 years) to work alone or collaboratively with another graduate or two, to design a 4-6 week unit of study (from 'soup to nuts'). The curriculum unit would need to be relevant to various school environments and would be shared with the PEP alumni community, and potentially the larger field. Judith Sone (PEP cohort 1) will be the advisor to this project.


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 Alumni Retreat  March 22-262012     


Keep Your Calendars Clear


This year, the PEASP retreat (March 22-26), in Baltimore, will be for PEP graduates only (as opposed to a joint conference with other day school teachers). We invite all those alumni in good standing with Pardes, who are working in any area of Jewish education, to join us for the conference.


There will be sessions that will be appropriate for those working in day schools as well as those working in informal education. In addition, by having a two-tiered conference, we will be able to address the needs of both our new and veteran alumni. Our first and second year teachers will attend from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon (March 22-25), while our more veteran graduates will start on Friday afternoon and remain through Monday lunch (March 23-26).  


Those of you who are participating in the Havruta Project for Veteran Alumni will stay a little later on Monday, March 26. Please keep your calendars clear for those dates.

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Education Corner by Amanda Pogany    

Yours, Mine and Ours: Setting Goals for the Year

One of the most exciting things about beginning a new school year is the range of possibilities that are available to you.  What kind of teacher are you right now?  Who do you want to be this year?  What do you hope to accomplish?  How will this year look different from last year?  And most importantly, what is your plan for getting there?!  You can ask the same questions about your students.  Who are they when they walk into your room on day one, and who will they be when they leave you in June?  It is both exciting and important to set goals for yourself and to give your students the opportunity to do so for themselves.  Below are some suggestions and reminders for goal setting.  Remember- make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T!



Click here to read more.

 2011 Goals

Summer Curriculum Workshop 2011 

This year's summer curriculum workshop was a great success. We were pleased to host 24 novice teachers (pictured here), 19 oSCW group photof our own graduates and 5 non-PEP grads. Evan Wolkenstein (Cohort 1) served as one of the mentors and presented a number of workshops.  


In the words of several of our participants:  


These two weeks provided an opportunity to take some deep breaths, talk with colleagues and think very deeply about everything I do professionally, and why I do what I do. I have recharged my Jewish educator batteries!


I was reminded and inspired by the fact that teaching is truly a complex, sophisticated, endlessly challenging profession, which requires both discipline and artistry to execute well. I got useful ideas and tips to add to my 'palette'.


Talking about my year helped me to realize how many things I was already doing right and what I still need to work on. I have thought A LOT about what I want to do in the coming year based on things I heard/learned.


I really am glad I came. I feel amazing about the work I've done here.


If you'd like to see the program from this past summer, click here.  Dates for the summer of 2012 will be announced in November. 




PEP News

Welcome to the field Cohort 10!

We wish our newest graduates from Cohort 10 a relatively easy start to their teaching careers. This year, each new graduate was assigned a veteran alum to serve as a coach, helping them through these first difficult months. While our annual retreat will be held in March this year, we will have a get-together of our first year teachers November 13-14. By the time they join our retreat in March, they should be feeling much more confident.


The lucky schools where they will be teaching include: Bernard Zell Anshei Emet Day School, Carmel Academy, Charles E. Smith, Community Day School of Pittsburgh, Chicagoland, Davis Academy, Gesher, The Heschel School (NY), The Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, Solomon Schechter Day School of Westchester, Tarbut V'Torah, and The Weber School.

    2011 Bruchim habaim


Educational Publications, Resources and Opportunities

Shifra Kaufman (Cohort  8) posted a request for online siddurim on Lookjed. Following are some of the recommendations she received:

The Torah Emet Digital Torah Library where you can find full versions of the siddur in different nusachs 

 Daat is also a great source for an online siddur.
The Open Siddur Project has digital text of the Nusach Ashkenaz Siddur.

 HaYidion, RAVSAK's journal, invites article proposals for its Fall and Winter 2011 issues. The focus of the Fall issue is Ethical Dilemmas in Day Schools.  The focus of the Winter issue is Informal Education. Please contact Elliot Rabin for details. 

Click here to learn more about the 7 Golden Rules of Using Technology in the Classroom.

Eli Kannai, of the Educational Technology Department at The AVI CHAI Foundation has recommended  7 Free Mobile Participation Tools for the Classroom. Click here to view the workshop which was held in New York.

A viewer for the Bodeleian Library of the Rambam's Yad manuscript (a manuscript of the first two sefarim of the Yad personally authorized and signed by the Rambam) can be seen here. The intention is to add three sedarim of Peirush haMishnayos, and other Cairo Genizah fragments.

The Berman Jewish Policy Archive is also preserving old documents. They have a new weekly series highlighting some of the fascinating older documents in their collection of Jewish policy publications.
Click here to view the weekly installments.



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Alumni Updates

 Personal News


 Condolences to:


Keren Romm (Cohort 5) on the loss of her father, Shalom. 

May Keren and her family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.


Mazal Tov to:


Judith Sone (Cohort 1) on her marriage to Luke Whitmore (Pardes 00-01, 01-02).

Aleeza Paul  (Cohort 9) on her marriage to Andy Adelman (Pardes 08-09, Fellows 09-10).


Sarah Margles (Cohort 3) and her husband, Hartley Wynberg, on the birth of a son, Ohaliav Matan.


Aliza and David Riemenschneider (Cohort 9) on the birth of a daughter, Penina Margalit.  


Reuven Margett (Cohort 6) and his wife, Ziona, on the birth of a daughter, Miriam Mikol. Mazal tov to siblings, Brielle and Alon David.  


Amanda Pogany (Cohort 2) and Aaron Bisman (Pardes 01,07), on the birth of a daughter, Maisie Liana (Meira Liana).  Mazal Tov to brother, Asher.  


And the latest news received this morning...Mazal tov to Jessica Lissy Trey (Cohort 3) and Jeffrey on the birth of a son. Mazal Tov to sister, Noemi. 


We are sorry if we missed something. Please help us by sending in your news!



This email was sent to debra.weiner@gmail.com by debra@pardes.org.il |  
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies | POB 8575 | Jerusalem, Israel 91084 | American Pardes Foundation | 5 West 37th Street, Suite 802, New York | NY | 10018