Prizmah Podcasts: Podcasts by Prizmah Center for Jewish Day Schools

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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.

March 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. 

March 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. 

February 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.
January 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 of professional development and cultivation at your school.

December 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.

December 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.

November 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.

August 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). 

August 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). 

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