Resources for Educators

As a professional in the field of Jewish education, your curriculum is multi-faceted and ever-evolving. Explore the various approaches to learning, resources and articles compiled by Federation’s Jewish Life and Learning team of educational experts.For more information, please contact the JLL department at 240-283-6219 or jewishlifelearning@shalomdc.org.

Curriculum Development: Creative Lesson Planning

  • Leave space for the unexpected: Consider using a more flexible approach to lesson planning by preserving space for your students’ voices and the teachable moments that inevitably pop up.
  • What kind of learner are you? Researchers talk about 4 types of learners. As a learner, how can this help you select classes and learning experiences appropriate for your style?  And as a teacher, how can you plan lessons to better engage the four types of adult learners?  
  • Technology & Teaching: As we explore using technology as an alternate way to express ourselves and engage our students, ELI Talks wondered, how do we take our videos beyond just the viewing, but create more conversation and more connections. Matt Bar of Bible Raps gives us an example.
  • Leadership Training Games:  Teach leadership training lessons through games and stories.
  • To ask about our Judaic and pedagogic resources, or to schedule a consultation on curriculum, email avi.west@shalomdc,org
Service Learning

Jewish Content: Dvar Torah and Holiday Educational Approaches

Dvar Torah: Teaching the text How to teach Jewish Values and Introspection
  • Redesigning Forgiveness on High Holidays: Use this interactive lesson plan to take time to be introspective and examine what forgiveness means to you, how you demonstrate it and how you receive it.
  • Character Day: A new and easy way to enhance the High Holiday season
    Character Day is a global conversation devoted to developing who we are and who we want to be in the world. With its themes of reflection and self-improvement, seek teshuva (return and repair) and make it ours. Here are some simple resources to encourage family discussion and character improvement related to Jewish values.
  • Chanukah Values: Deepen your family’s Chanukah experience, beyond the gelt and glitz and gifts. Read about values derived from the story of Chanukah, with pieces for learning, asking, doing and reading.

Prizmah Center for Jewish Day Schools has compiled a crowdsourced google document of educational and inspirational resources on President Peres’ life and legacy to share with your school community.

Engagement/Planning Tools: Resources for your classroom

Logic Model
When considering a project that will include a change of goals in the culture of your program, it is helpful to use a visual organizer called a logic model. “A logic model is a systematic and visual way to present and share your understanding of the resources you have to operate your program, the activities you plan, and the changes or results you hope to achieve.” (W.K. Kellogg Foundation 2004). Use this logic model template for your program.

Recommended Reads: Articles & Blogs recommended by Federation’s Jewish Life and Learning educational department
  • Letters to the Next Generation
    Looking for some good quotes for a back-to-school newsletter or an inspirational speech to open the academic year? Read Rabbi Dr. Sir Jonathan Sachs musings on how Jewish education is our letter into the future.
  • Instagram Your Jewish Identity
    Blog describing a way to help students articulate their Jewish identity using Instagram. It is a project from DreamLabs, a gathering of artists who try to encourage creativity in the classroom.
  • Building Strong Relationships Between Parents and Educators
    Learn about six strategies for involving parents in the educational program of their children.
  • Racial Diversity and the American Jewish Community
    Being pluralistic and accessible to your families must to go beyond simple acceptance and “cerebral” understanding. The new demographics of the Jewish family requires we use new inclusive language and graphics in all our materials and communications. The Journal of Jewish Communal Service gives a good background to the challenge and rewards of working with the new Jewish family.
  • The Unique Place of Congregational Education in the Lives of Children, Teens, and Families
    This short paper explores the distinctive positive characteristics of congregational education which impact the Jewish educational lives of children, teens, adults, and families, and outlines a set of questions that leaders in our field must consider when contemplating new models and strategies.
  • Educating for Jewish Identity Doesn't Cut it Anymore: Why Jewish education is important beyond creating a Jewish identity.
  • Toward Adult Jewish Literacy: The challenges in improving adult Jewish literacy.
  • Help students, community members and congregants have real conversations across their political differences. Hillel International’s Ask Big Questions Civics Edition card booklet is an amazing tool! Booklets feature eight Big Questions to help get people talking about the election, their values, and civic life. Ask Big Questions works with universities and organizations across North America that share our commitment to educating young adults in the habits and skills of listening, trust, and empathy that are essential to the future our nation and our world.