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June 2008

Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies Mail

Pardes Educator Alumni Newsletter-June, 2008 Sivan, 5768

Dear Hevre,
We hope this second issue of the newsletter finds you well. The Pardes year program has ended and we are about to graduate the 7th cohort (see details below). The summer looks like it will be a busy one, with three regular summer sessions, our Educators Curriculum Workshop,and an Executive Seminar. We are busy preparing the Fall Retreat, the Summer Curriculum Workshop, responding to your individual requests, and compiling information you sent to us in the questionnaires. There are also a number of exciting projects we are exploring/developing on your behalf.  We hope to share these with you in the fall.
Finally, the end of the year should be a time for you as teacher to reflect.  What went well?  Are there resources that you need? What was challenging for you? Who can help you with those challenges? (Please know that we are always ready to be that person). Take some time after the end of school to quietly write and reflect.  Hopefully, as a result, you will make changes so that when you approach this time next year you will be more satisfied with what you have accomplished.
Kol Tuv and Chag Sameach,
Abby, Debra and Susan
Pardes Educators Alumni Support Project
Dvar Torah by David I. Bernstein

Dear PEP alumni:
This past Shabbat, we completed the reading of Sefer VaYikra in shuls all over the Jewish world. It is always an emotional moment for me when we all say "chazak, chazak, v'nitchazek."  We all need that personal "chizuk," and that communal "chizuk" so badly: in our Torah learning, in our Jewish living, and in our personal lives.
Over the years, I've come to appreciate Sefer Vayikra more. I would like to share a short insight into the book of Vayikra from Rabbi Menachem Leibtag. Menachem points out that Vayikra divides into 2 halves: the first 17 chapters form a distinct unit, laws concerning the avodah in the Mishkan; but chapters 18-27 discuss a wide variety of topics, most of them not Mishkan-related, or concerning the Kohanim.What are laws of prohibited marriages and "v'ahavta l'reyacha kamocha" doing in Vayikra?  Why is it in Vayikra that the Torah commands us to be honest in business, and in our use of weights and measures?  Isn't this book supposed to be "Torat Kohanim?"
Rabbi Liebtag makes the following observation: The phrase "Ani Hashem" appears only once in the first half of the book, where the focus is on the Mishkan; but in the second half, in only 9 chapters, it appears more than 50 times! It is precisely in the laws concerning the Mishkan, the sanctuary of God's presence, where the phrase is missing. And the reason he posits for this is that when we stand in the Mishkan,we are likely to feel a sense of awe that we stand in God's presence. It is easy to be a good Jew when you are in shul/Mishkan. It is when we leave the Mishkan, and move to our everyday life, that Sefer Vayikra reiterates more than 50 times: "Ani HaShem! I am God!  I am not only the God of the Mishkan, of the shul; I am the God of the everyday." It is not hard to be holy in the Mishkan. It is not hard to be holy on Yom Kippur. It is hard to be holy on an ongoing, day-to-day basis.  And this is why the second half of Vayikra, filled with the mitzvoth of everyday life, states "Ani HaShem" more than 50 times, reminding us of God's presence.The purpose of the Mishkan is to act as a center of God's presence; not be limited to that structure, but to emanate outwards from it. Similarly,the purpose of Shabbat is not to act holy one day a week, but for Shabbat to inform and impact the rest of our week. And the purpose of the Jewish people is not to be only for ourselves, but to create a 'Mamlechet Kohanim v'Goy Kadosh', an ideal society which will improve the rest of the world by example, and by our actions.
For many of you, Pardes served as (l'havdil) a kind of Mishkan, a temporary structure of a life you built for yourselves in Jerusalem. It is our hope that the time you spent learning and living with us was not meant to create a sanctuary in isolation, but rather a place from which that intensity will emanate outwards, informing and impacting the way you will live the rest of your life, and the way you will teach - with passion, integrity, and with love.  If so, then indeed your time at Pardes was not a fleeting moment, and you, your students, and your present and future families,will reap the benefits for many more years to come.
My best wishes to each of you for a Chag Shavuot Sameach.
David I. Bernstein, Ph.D.
Dean, Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies

November Retreat Update
Thanks to our generous grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation we are inviting all of our alumni to a retreat reunion at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, November 20-23, 2008.  Our newest cohort (cohort 7) will have dinner and a formal program Thursday evening, November 20. While the actual program will begin over breakfast on Friday morning at 8:30 AM, other cohorts are invited to arrive on Thursday afternoon as well.  The program will end at 1:30 PM on Sunday, November 23. It is important that participants be there for the entire time.
Please let us know if you are willing to help plan the retreat.  Feel free to contact Abby.

Cohort 7 Joins Alumni
The graduation of the fourteen members of the 7th cohort of Pardes Educators will take place on Wednesday, June 11 in the Pardes Beit Midrash.  We wish our graduates a hearty Mazel Tov! So far, they have found jobs for the coming year at the following schools:
Charles E. Smith Elementary School, Rockville, MD
New Community Jewish High School, Los Angeles, CA
Hannah Senesh Community Day School, Brooklyn, NY
Emery/Wiener Community High School, Houston, TX
Gann Academy, Waltham, MA
Jess Schwartz College Prep-The Jewish Community's High School, Phoenix, AZ
Solomon Schechter of Westchester, Westchester, NY
Westchester-Fairfield Hebrew Academy, Greenwich, CT
Cohort 9 will join the program in September.  There are still some spaces available. Please pass the word on to anyone who might be interested.  You are our best ambassadors to spread the word about the Educators Program, so remember, always keep us in mind for future applicants.  Contact Gail Kirschner, Administrative Coordinator of  the Educators  Program.
Education Corner:
Word Splash   (taken from Activators by Saphier & Haley,Research for Better Teaching,
Acton, MA,1993)
A Wordsplash is a collection of key terms or concepts taken from a written passage-a chapter in a textbook, a newspaper or magazine article-which the students are about to read.  The terms selected represent important ideas that the teacher wants students to attend to when they actually do the reading later, but initially the students' task is to make predictive statements about how each of the terms relates to the title or main focus of the reading.  Most terms selected for a Wordsplash are familiar vocabulary for students.  The novelty of the terms is only the way in which the terms are associated with the new topic.
Display selected terms randomly and at angles on a visual (overhead or chart).  Students brainstorm and generate complete statements (not just words or phrases) which predict the relationship between each term and the broder topic.  Once the students have generated statements for each term they turn to the printed material, read to check the accuracy of their predictive statements and revise where needed.  When students have read and revised their predictions encourage them to quiz each other on the correct information.
Suggestions, Applications and Variations:
-Create a Wordsplash prior to viewing a film; pause the film periodically for students to discuss/revise predictions.
-Create a Wordsplash prior to having a guest speaker; if time permits share the students' predictions with the speaker in advance of his presentation.
-Create a Picture Splash; "What do you think these pictures have to do with Christopher Columbus and his voyage?"
-Use the Wordsplash as a summarizing strategy: students read and then create their own Wordsplash of what they consider to be the key terms or ideas in the passage. Thanks to Matt Conti (Cohort 7) for the sample below

lock the stores                                         major fast

מסכת תענית

       because of disease                                     pray for rain


    Minor fast             earthquakes               sound the shofar

Lesson Plan for Summer Fun
There are many advantages to being a teacher, one of which is the school calendar with the frequent vacations and long summer break. Another advantage you have is being familiar with "backwards planning". If you know where you want to wind up in terms of how you'll spend your summer, you know you need to plan so that the summer doesn't simply disappear on you. We suggest you take an evening to sit down and brainstorm all that you'd like to do. Be sure to aim for a balance between professional chizuk, personal  projects (travel, arts, reading, seeing friends and family, fixing your apartment/house, etc.) and un-programmed spontaneity. If you make good use of your long summer (as you define "good use") you'll better appreciate your career choice. Even for those of you who are in jobs that only give short vacations, planning can only help.
Professional Development
*New on-line Resource-The Mofet JTEC  The objective of the international JTEC content portal in Jewish education is to improve the flow of pedagogical knowledge and research in Jewish education.

*Call for Papers-Jewish Identity and Peoplehood in a Post-Modern World. Click here for more information and guidelines. Feel free to contact Zvi Grumet
*Call for Papers-for the International Conference on Pluralistic Jewish Education, July 27-28,2009.  Contact Ronit Charust for more information and guidelines.

*CAJE Conference-August 10-14, 2008  Burlington, VT
*Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Annual Yemei Iyun in Bible and Jewish Thought, June 29-July 1, 2008.  Ramaz Upper School, NY


Elisha Stein cohort 4 Focus on ELisha Stein (Cohort 4)

Elisha is completing his 3rd year of teaching high school at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy (formerly "Akiba") outside of Philadelphia.  Elisha teaches both Tanach and Jewish Studies(Rabbinics), and was privileged to be able to teach a Talmud course to seniors this past year on Tractate Shabbat. In addition to his teaching responsibilites, Elisha has twice served as advisor to the school's Moot Beit Din team, and accompanied them to Toronto this past April for RAVSAK's national competition.  Elisha has also been working on integrating magic into his teaching as an educational tool to make theological concepts more understandable to students.
Elisha came to teaching after having practiced law for ten years  He wanted to devote his energies toward Jewish education, and feels that a career switch such as this would have. been nearly impossible without the benefits provided by the Pardes Educators program.  "I regularly refers to notes and materials from classes I took at Pardes, and am grateful to have benefited from the faculty's expertise in both Torah and pedagogy."
Elisha lives in Center City Philadelphia with his wife Anabel and two children, Aaron and Shira.
Contact Elisha to learn more about what he is doing
Alumni Updates
*Condolences to Ron Einhorn (Cohort 6) on the loss of his mother.
*Mazel tov to Laurie Goldberg (Cohort 2) on her aliya.
*Mazel tov to Sean Herstein (Cohort 1) on his return to the classroom. Sean will be teaching at the Minneapolis Jewish Day School.
A number of Alumi had babies this year; following are the most recent Mazel Tovs:
Sean Herstein (Cohort 1)  on the birth of Nava Ruth.      
Nili Chernikoff Auerbach (Cohort 6) on the birth of  Eliana Leah.
Mordechai Cohen (Cohort 1) on the birth of Adi Tova.
Zvi Grumet(PEP faculty) and Naomi Marmon on the birth of Yair.
Professional Accolades:
*Jessica Lissy Trey on receiving the Grinspoon Award for excellence in Teaching. Jessica has been appointed Head of Judaic Studies at Hannah Senesh School, Brooklyn, NY.
*Adee Weismark (Cohort 4) on his appointment as the Middle School Judaic Studies Coordinator at the Davis Academy, Atlanta GA.
*Adam Tilove on his appointment as Middle School Coordinator for Jewish Studies and Hebrew Language at Rodeph Sholom School, New York.
*Evan Wolkenstein has been chosen as one of 15 outstanding teachers in North America to participate in the Shalom Hartman Institute Educator Enrichment Program.

The following alumni were selected to participate in these Professional Development opportunities:
*Michal Cahlon (Cohort 5)will be attending the workshop "History, Culture and Politics of Modern Israel" Click here o learn more about this workshop and to apply for next year.
*Elizabeth Corlin (Cohort 5) was accepted into the "Global Summit for Young Jewish Innovators". Click here to learn more about this innitiative.
*Adam Tilove will participate in the Lookstein Center Leadership Program in NY following his attendance at our Summer Curriculum Workshop. 
*Damien Zoppo will remain in Israel following the Summer Curriculum Workshop to attend the Jewish Educators Summer Seminar at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Israel.

We have 15 PEP graduates participating in our summer curriculum workshop (along with 16 other novice teachers).  Amanda Pogany (Cohort 2) and Tamar Rabinowitz (Cohort 1) will help staff the program.  Evan Wolkenstein (Cohort 1) will present a workshop.

I am sure that we missed something so please help us by sending in your news!


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Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies | POB 8575 | Jerusalem, Israel 91084 | American Pardes Foundation | 16 East 39th Street, New York | NY | 10016