The Kohelet Prize Database

Pedagogy: Soulful Education

Austin Jewish Academy (AJA) Fifth-Grade Sustainability Curriculum

As part of AJA's commitment to educating life-long environmental stewards, Ms. Hidalgo developed a reproducible model curriculum to teach sustainability through opportunities for real-world learning. Her program involves innovative classroom study and school-to-farm service learning and has an extraordinary impact on her students and AJA community.

By: Karen Hidalgo from Austin Jewish Academy

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Economics/ Business, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, History, Math, Mishnah, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Flipped Learning, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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A Personal Journey through Parshat Hashavua

Parshat Hashavua – The Weekly Torah Portion:
The weekly Parsha becomes relevant and personal in our First Grade class and prepares students for life in the 21st century. With the advent of the internet, information is at our fingertips. The challenge is what do we do with that information? In addition, devices are becoming more accessible and usag

By: Henny Bartfield from Hebrew Academy Community School

Grade(s): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Tanach

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, 21st Century Skills

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LaHaV Learning

LaHaV Learning provides content, technology, and training to transform Jewish learning and teaching in schools and communities throughout the world. LaHaV was founded to transform students from spectators to participants and to enable worldwide educational collaboration across disciplines, because Jewish ideas and values matter now more than ever.

By: Dr. Noam Weissman, Rabbi David Stein from Shalhevet High School

Grade(s): 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Mishnah, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Tanach, Technology

Pedagogy: Hevruta Learning, Socratic Method, Soulful Education, UBD - understanding by design

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Why do we research and look for alternatives?

Why should Kitah Dalet learn about alternative energy? What do our Jewish Texts teach us about G-d’s creation, Earth? How can children begin to research, build, and educate other students about alternative sources? The Alternative Energy Project is an interactive and engaging curriculum that focus on both responsibility and abstract thinking.

By: Renee Fine, Vanina Sandel from Yavneh Day School

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Socratic Method, Soulful Education, 21st Century Skills

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Faith Journeys

Faith Journeys is a unit in my Jewish philosophy Senior elective that encouraged students to begin to form a spiritual identity through examination of philosophical texts, class round-table discussions, an interview and a thoughtful paper.

By: Rachel Besser from The Frisch School

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning

Pedagogy: Flipped Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education

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A Musician for Life: Improvisation, buckets, and multimedia reviving instrumental music for the centennial generation.

I’m reinventing the idea of middle school band – by orienting my lessons around creative improvisation and multimedia. improvisation in music curriculum is the key to countering the distractions facing increasingly wired youth. By using lessons like bucket band and film scoring, I’ve been stimulating their creative potential.

By: Russell Kirk from Beth Tfiloh

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Music

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Soulful Education, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Proyekt “Ani”/ The “I Am” Project – Integrating Mediation and Contemplative Practice into the Judaic Studies Classroom

Students learn breathing and meditation techniques, and tools for emotional regulation in the classroom as part of the morning Tefilah ritual. Each meditation deepens the students' connection to their Jewish identity by connecting to weekly Parasha, the Hebrew month, and Tefilah. Students reflect on how they connect as Jews and spiritual beings.

By: Yali Szulanski from Kinneret Day School

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Social and Emotional Learning, Tanach, Tefila

Pedagogy: Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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True Tefila

In the aftermath of hurricane Irma, our school building sustained significant damage, forcing the relocation of the entire middle school. The students responded to the chaos of the new learning environment with an unrelenting determination of meaningful prayer. This response, was an outgrowth of the foundation for Tefila established in our class.

By: Miriam Blackstein LaTova from Brauser Maimonides Academy, Westchester Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Technology, Tefila

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, 21st Century Skills

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מה רבו מעשיך—Science with a Jewish Soul: an Integrated Science Program for Young Children

Yearlong program integrates Jewish life of young children with their developing scientific minds; connects Jewish learning relevant to the child at that time: holidays, Parshah, blessings, Mitzvot; inspires in children love of science & spiritual awe of the world around them; fosters creative, critical thinking, teamwork & empathic problem solving.

By: Lisi Levisohn, Leah Bresler, Michal Dorfman from Berman Hebrew Academy (Also known as Melvin J Berman Hebrew Academy)

Grade(s): K, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Engineering, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Tanach

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Socratic Method, Soulful Education, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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Teva Tuesday

Each week our students in our 4-5th grades spend an afternoon outdoors to learn, become aware of and appreciate the vital role the earth plays in our existence. Students are encouraged to gain a deep, profound respect for the environment, to become Shomer Adamah (Guardians of the Land) through study of Jewish texts that promote these ideas.

By: Marcy Thomaswick, Gail Raucher, Rebecca Tishkoff, Melanie Waynik from Ezra Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Mishnah, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, Montessorri, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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Wearing Our Values: The importance of working on ourselves

Our tradition tells us that as Jews, we can enjoy the pleasures of the world, but in an appropriate manner. By connecting our love of Torah and its values with love of fashion, we aim to do just that, and to show that clothing doesn’t define the man-or woman -but we define our clothing, using it to make a statement about how to live a life of mitzvot.

By: Ariella Falack from Magen David Yeshivah HS

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Social and Emotional Learning, Tanach

Pedagogy: Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Flipped Learning, Hevruta Learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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Integrated English 11/Media Arts: A Failed Attempt to Institute a Progressive Educational Program into a College Preparatory High School

There is hubris in imagining that just because we developed a program that would lead to enhanced student learning that it should happen. But we did do our best to identify a problem, recruit faculty and students, present funding opportunities, and further the school mission in the areas of Judaic integration, integrity, and personalized learning.

By: Roger Blonder, Tony Soltis from de Toledo High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, 21st Century Skills

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Inspiring All Learners through Multi-Age Classrooms

Through our new multi-age format, the Schechter faculty differentiates and optimizes student learning. This progressive model reaches diverse learners within a single classroom environment and is transforming student engagement, individualized instruction, social outlets, improved self-esteem, and richly integrated curriculum.

By: Merissa Spector, Limor Shefer, Kate Poltorak, Ziva Kovner, Susan Kurtis, Gavi Lehrer, Anita Cohen from Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Ivrit, Math, Music, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Jewish Literature and Jewish Identity

The class explores the complex development of Jewish identity through the analysis of novels, short stories, poems and graphic novels written by European, American and Israeli authors. It also brings Torah, Talmud and religion into these conversations to help students reflect on and shape their own Jewish identities.

By: Na'amit Sturm Nagel from Shalhevet High School

Grade(s): 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Gemara, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Tanach, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Hevruta Learning, PBL - project based learning, Socratic Method, Soulful Education

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Chessed As a Way of Life

Students doing on-hands community service work to feed the indigent in the Jewish community.

By: Steve Moskowitz from SAR Academy

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, Wholebrain Teaching

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Full-Year Integrated Chumash and Navi Curriculum

To make the study of the Book of Deuteronomy more exciting and relatable to students, this entry integrates the book of Deuteronomy to the book of Kings over the span of the year thereby merging the students’ Chumash and Navi (Prophets) curricula. Through “Mental Velcro” students see how the theoretical messages of Deuteronomy come to life.

By: Elana Trombka from Bi-Cultural Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Ivrit, Tanach, Tefila

Pedagogy: Soulful Education, UBD - understanding by design

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Building a Listening Room, Maturing Student Prayer: Creating Intentional Religious Environments and Practices in the Traditional Jewish Day School

In my work on Tefila, I have thought about, proposed, and worked on various ideas and projects related to increasing student engagement in Tefila. In the particular capacity of a facilitator of an alternatively structured tefila, I have built a tefila space that both quiets and focuses students around conventional tefila practice through deliberate practices of mindfulness meditation built into the tefila--before, and during the prayers themselves--while still maintaining the full ritualized practice of Orthodox prayer. My theory, which has played out for the past four years and for over 100 students, is that a stilled body allows for a focused mind, and a quieted, focused mind allows for optimal tefila experiences. Setting students up for success, in other words, has everything to do with setting up tefila properly so that it might be a strengthening, cathartic, and transformative experience.

By: Dr. Hillel Broder from SAR High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Tanach, Tefila

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, Soulful Education, Contemplative Education

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