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Halacha - Kohelet Prize

The Kohelet Prize Database

Subject: Halacha

The Cyber Path to Critical and Creative Thinking

This is a revolutionary approach which incorporates innovative technology to engage students in using higher order thinking in Jewish texts. Using the platform of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, students are guided to create their own content as a means of presenting their understanding of the texts. This approach is also being used by secular studies teachers in our school.

By: Rabbi Yehuda Schwartzberg from Stars of Israel Academy

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: Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on HeLa Cells

My 12th grade AP Language and Composition students read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a non-fiction text which explores the intersection of race, American history, and medical ethics through the lens of the discovery of an immortal cell line tied to an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks. My students’ final project was to examine these intersections through a project that blended independent research with multi-media content. Of particular interest to this category is the student project that tackled the ethical questions raised in the text through the lens of Judaic studies; students who completed this project consulted primary sources as well as experts in Jewish medical ethics to create a presentation they later delivered to the entire student body.

By: Mrs. Vanessa Mehenti from Meira Academy

Grade(s): 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Literature/ English, Science

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Water: An examination

Using the bracha Mashiv HaRuach and Parshat Noach, this unit investigates water on a deep level. It includes many types of instruction so that all students can access the learning.

By: Mrs. Anna Sanders, Ms. Bayla Clement from Ben Porat Yosef

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Blended Learning

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Torah N Technology- Mishna PowerPoint

The TNT Program (Torah ‘n Technology) at Maimonides integrates curriculum studies and enrichment programs with technology, following our school motto: “A Beautiful Blend, Torah and Worldly Experience.” This program helps students find relevant and creative expression to their learning, as well as instruction in important technology skills.

The Mishna/Talmud PowerPoint program empowers students to creatively visualize the content and Mishnaic language, transforming basic words, letters, and text into an exciting multi-media format.

By: Rabbi Shmuly Rubin from Maimonides Hebrew Day School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Tanach, Graphic Design

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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The Talent Center Handbook & Extra Challenge Project Kit

The Talent Center Handbook shows how to develop creative young Jewish leaders with an 18 word curriculum in just 30 Minutes a Week. Emek’s game-changing Extra Challenge Projects connect holistic Torah learning, technology, and Jewish design thinking through child-led community service passion projects.

By: Mrs. Rae Shagalov from Emek Hebrew Academy Teichman Family Torah Center

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, Montessorri, 21st Century Skills

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Shake Your Lulav!

This is a Google Slide presentation about the mitzva of Ushpizin, welcoming honorary guests into the sukkah, which integrates content and skill building, as well as Hebrew language acquisition. It was originally designed for use as a flipped classroom.

By: Ms. Lisa Richman, Ms. Yochi Paltin from Perelman Jewish Day School - Stern Center

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Halacha, Ivrit, Mishnah, Music, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Personalized Talmud Learning

The model of Talmud instruction in Jewish Day schools has remained mostly intact for decades. The trends suggest that a higher percentage of middle school students are graduating with weak Talmud skills, and a lack of understanding of the purpose of Talmud and appreciation for its role in Jewish life. This has led many schools to even consider abandoning Talmud in middle school curriculum. Our innovative approach to Talmud uses a data-driven model to create personalized learning pathways that students progress through based on proficiency and mastery in eight specific domains that provide a comprehensive understanding of Talmud - including content, vocabulary, functional structures, and real-life application.

By: Rabbi Yoni Fein from The Moriah School

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

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

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills, Personalized Learning

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MULTI-LEVELED DIFFERENTIATION

This is a revolutionary system that uses technology to differentiate learning based on multiple cognitive learning factors that affect the learning process. Each student is catered to according his or her unique circumstances and abilities.

By: Rabbi Yehuda Schwartzberg from Stars of Israel Academy

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: Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Knowing When to Shut Up: Suggestions for Creating Collaborative Learning Environments

This method employs a play, poem, and novel to teach a variety of skills such as close textual reading, literary analysis, persuasion, and listening and evaluation. It incorporates three different formats of writing, research, and expression of knowledge with the ultimate goal being to create a classroom experience where students help each other learn and feel responsible for the establishment of a positive learning environment. The method also allows English literature students to learn from a variety of Judaic and secular sources in and outside of the classroom.

By: Mrs. Marsha Arons from Ida Crown Jewish Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Literature/ English

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Blended Learning

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Judaic Differentiation

I have created a system of differentiation where students can learn, practice and demonstrate Chumash (Bible) skills at their levels. Upon mastery, students create videos, where they apply acquired skills to unfamiliar text, to be virtual teachers for other students. The compilation of these videos gets posted to a website to populate a student-created Khan Academy for Judaic skills.

By: Rabbi Shmuel Chait, Mrs. Miriam Chait from TDS Seattle

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: Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, Montessorri, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Jewish For Life: Dual Track Judaic Curriculum

Our Moreshet Yisrael track uses a thematic approach to teach traditional and modern sources in English whereas our Moreshet Torani track adheres to text-based learning in Hebrew. Regardless of track, when oral or midrashic traditions are introduced, they are taught with a clear understanding that even oral traditions are anchored to the text. There is a recognition among our teachers that many of the skills students develop in the serious pursuit of Judaic Studies (such as critical thinking, deductive reasoning, close reading of texts) can and will be employed in General Studies subjects such as language arts, science, and social studies.

By: Rabbi Reuven Travis from Atlanta Jewish Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Heivanti

Using a Blended Learning model, Heivanti is designed to strengthen the irreplaceable power of live teacher-to-student engagement while introducing unparalleled levels of differentiation and unmatched one-on-one attention to traditional upper school Judaic Studies.

By: Rabbi Zecharia Weitz from Columbus Torah Academy

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

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

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Focus on Growth – Differentiation Through Student Goal Setting

Our committee of educators designed and implemented a Focus on Growth initiative for our kindergarten through fifth grade students. This initiative encourages students and teachers to work together to set differentiated personal goals, monitor progress, and celebrate achievement in a variety of areas.

By: Ms. Lara Sparks, Mrs. Deb Barwick, Mrs. Jodie, Applebaum, Ms. Jordana Weinberg, Mrs. Carla Muller, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, Mr. Eric Einstein from Denver Jewish Day School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Music, Science, Tanach, Specials, Social/Emotional, All Curricular areas

Pedagogy: 21st Century Skills

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Enrichment@Maayanot

To meet the educational needs of our strongest students, who are not fully sufficiently challenged by the Honors classroom we instituted an enrichment program. Each student chooses two projects (bekiut and b'iyun) to work on over the course of the year. The handful of students participating across the grades, through specially geared programming form a peer community of motivated achievers who push each other to discover and reach their full potential.

By: Rabbi Donny Besser, Mrs. Rivka Kahan from Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

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Chopped (pronounced “חפט“)

Inspired by the hit cooking show “Chopped” teams of Hilchot Brachot students used mystery ingredients to create their own recipes. While the members of a team had to work with the same mystery ingredients, each team member was responsible for developing a unique recipe for their specific bracha. Final recipes were put together into a class cookbook. Who has lots left to learn and who. has. chopped?

By: Mrs. Shira Greenspan from Ramaz Upper School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Math, Science, Cooking, Health, Writing

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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“Reaching Each Child”.

Our Sages say "chanoch l'naar al pi darko" - teach each child in their own way. It is critical to understand the student as an individual with their strengths and weaknesses. Only then can we truly educate them.

By: Mrs. Chaya Teldon, Miss Colleen O'Brien, Mr. Dani Hak, Mrs. Mindy Rogers, Mrs. Yudit Kasowitz, Ms. Sarah Kugelman from The Jewish Academy of Suffolk County

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Halacha, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Music, Science, Music

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Moot Beit Din

As a summative capstone to my student’s learning of the Jewish applied science of Torah, I decided to create a Moot Beit Din project in the eighth grade, in which student would learn about current controversial issues and make a judgement based on sources. They would research halachah, science and other relevant information, then debate their topic and the other students would form the court, passing judgement and justifying their decision based on the information presented.

By: Rabbi Ben Shlimovitz from Gross Schechter Day School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Science, social studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design

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Mah Nishtana Goes Tech

Over the course of last school year first graders learned the basics of coding using Scratch Jr. Each lesson in Scratch Jr. also included concepts that were taught elsewhere in the curriculum. The first graders extended their coding skills late last spring by programming our resident robots to travel to a designated spot and ask and answer the Mah Nishtana in the correct order as we had studied in class in preparation for Pesach.

By: Mrs. Toby Kaplowitz, Ms. Elissa Hozore from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Computer Science, Halacha, Ivrit, Math

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Judaic Studies Electives Program

Initiative to revamp, reinvigorate, and reimagine the Judaic Studies Curriculum at Ulpanat Orot by empowering the students to have diverse and personalized choices in their course selections. Ivrit and Torah (Chumash) are mandatory courses throughout HS, but the other 3 JS periods were opened up with 3-4 choices per period.

By: Rabbi Effie Kleinberg, Mrs. Sara Munk from Bnei Akiva Schools

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

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

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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iPad English Classroom Trial: Challenges, Successes, Discoveries, and Failures

Over the academic year of 2014-5, I embraced the introduction of iPads across the entire SAR High School freshman class by taking certain risks and often failing at integrating the iPad into my already digital curriculum. A record of my efforts were recorded on a public blog that I used as both a record of my “trial run” and a platform for networking with other iPad educators via social media. In my year-long blog, I shared questions, answers, successes, challenges, and yes, even failures regarding the first-year introduction of iPads into my already paperless English classroom. My blog record shows that while I failed at fully integrating the iPad as a media device, and while I failed at fully aligning iPad apps with my already digital curriculum, I succeeded at researching, recognizing, and even demonstrating the iPad’s strengths and challenges in my English classroom.

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: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: 21st Century Skills

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In Defense of Learning Lishmah

Jewish educators often approach their subjects with the same modalities and grading system that are common in General Studies classes. Rather than continue with this approach, Shalhevet attempted to design two Judaic courses that would devalue letter grades and promote more authentic and deeper student learning. We were willing to take a calculated risk and we failed. While our initial pilot missed the mark, the effort has promoted some benefits and has jumpstarted further innovation in our approach to Judaic instruction.

By: Mr. Jason Feld, Mr. Noam Weissman from Shalhevet High School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Music, Tanach, Jewish Philosophy, Israel Education

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Computer Lab

Utilizing online computer courses for remedial, standard, and advanced students.

By: Mr. Daniel Rosenblum from Mesivta Shaarei Arazim

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

Subject(s) of entry: Computer Science, Halacha, Literature/ English, Math

Pedagogy: 21st Century Skills

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Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim

Through study of modern ethical dilemmas related to the use of animals in our society, and a cursory dive into traditional texts related to the treatment of animals, students write position papers and debate Lincoln-Douglas style in an attempt to convince peers and parents to act in a manner that aligns solutions to current concerns with ancient wisdom.

By: Mr. Aviv Matzkin from Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Tu’Beshvat School wide Real World Unit

For Tu’Beshvat 2016 the Hamilton Hebrew Academy decided to create a school wide initiative that integrated science, biology, the arts, Ivrit and Judaic Studies. Our vision was to create a real world, interdisciplinary experience that would engage all learners.

By: Mrs. Goldie Weiser, Mrs. Rebecca Shapiro from Hamilton Hebrew Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Science, Tanach, Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning

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Torat Chayim: Real World Learning in Tanach and Gemara; Analysis and Integration through Real World Application

How do we engage students in the rigorous, text based learning of Tanach and Gemara while helping them learn how to apply their learning to their lives and the world around them? A portfolio of sample projects are provided that serve as different models in answering this question. These projects challenge student to extract values, apply and synthesize their learning in various "authentic" ways.

By: Rabbi Yehuda Chanales from Fuchs Mizrachi School

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

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

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Authentic Service Learning through the Mitzvah Program at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School

The mitzvah program at the Martin J.Gottlieb Day School was first introduced as an integral part of the middle school curriculum 22 years ago. The concept was based on the idea that after students studied Tanach, Jewish laws and customs, they were more likely to understand and accept the mitzvot if given the opportunity to put them into practice. It was also believed that students who became part of their community at large with service projects would grow to understand both their responsibility to the community and their ability to make a difference even at the young age of 11.

By: Mrs. Edith Horovitz from Martin J Gottlieb Day School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Tanach, Jewish Customs and traditions, Dinim U'Minhagim

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Artificial Insemination in Halacha

We learned about the mitzvah of procreation and discussed some of the practical applications with modern medicine such as IVF.

By: Rabbi Dani Bauer from Kohelet Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist

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Where the heart feels at home – מקום שלבו חפץ

The Netivot Upper Elementary learning environment is warm, inviting, stimulating, and vibrant like no other. Our classroom setting incorporates collective responsibility, independence, freedom of movement, freedom of choice and peer learning, and utilizes multiple modalities of instruction. This ground-breaking classroom promotes growth in all areas, academic, social, emotional, and spiritual, embodying the adage: אין אדם לומד אלא במקום שלבו חפץ.

By: Mr. Dovi Yarmush, Rav Darren Levin, Mrs. Daniella Barishansky, Mrs. Shannon Tuorto from Yeshivat Netivot Montessori

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: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist, Montessorri, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »

Turn Tube

This is a tool I invented to maximize student work time and teacher conferencing. The teacher can work one on one with a child easily while other kids are engaged in their work. Every year, the children ask what this is and love using it!

By: Ms. Amy Kohen from Schechter Westchester

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy:

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Rookies Approach

Ivrit, differentiated instruction, centers, multisensory learning, responsive classroom

By: Mrs. Rookie Badouch from Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Machshava Beit Midrash

Students today are busy, often overwhelmed, and increasingly stressed at school. The Machshava Beit Midrash is a learning environment where students are able to choose from a number of different philosophical and thought provoking books to learn alone or together with a chavruta. In addition, inspirational video and mindfulness training stations allow students to settle and better take control of their thoughts, creating a spiritual and meaningful atmosphere that hopefully permeates beyond the walls of the classroom.

By: Rabbi David Teller from Fuchs Mizrachi School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Tanach, Jeish Philosophy, Jewish Ethics

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »

Learning Environment – Jennifer Dolny

My presentation displays the learning environment in my classroom. This learning environment encourages student centered learning and promotes academic, social, and emotional growth.

By: Mrs. Jennifer Dolny from Yeshivat Noam

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Kindergarten Learning Environment

A classroom environment utilizing nine distinct stations. Stations provide for student exploration, and help them develop deeper connections to their learning.

By: Mrs. Devorah Locker from Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas

Grade(s): K

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Ivrit, Tanach

Pedagogy: Constructivist

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Integrated Girls High School Program

Ashira is an integrated girls' high school program providing small classes with individualized learning to girls whose primary deficiency is in the academic domain. Ashira is housed in a mainstream high school, enabling maximum socialization which is so crucial during the high school years.

By: Mrs. Bracha Cohen, Ms. Sarah Levy from Ateres Bais Yaakov

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

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Math, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy:

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Innovative Learning in a Flexible Space

Our new innovation studio houses iPad Pros, Chromebooks, a green screen and a 3D printer. We offer flexible seating to accommodate a variety of educational needs, as well as a movable wall so our space can expand as needed.

By: Ms. Deborah Harris, Mrs. Marci Rubinstein from Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago

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: Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach, Design Thinking

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Co-teaching program

Looking at a classroom, even when empty, tells a lot about the learning environment. Are students facing the same direction to be receivers of information or are there centers and desk-clusters, meeting areas and reading books created to support students in moving through routines, working together, and supporting more independent learning. This later description is the innovative and engaging classroom that is Tovi Admon’s.

By: Mrs. Tova Admon from Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh

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

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Science, Tanach, Holidays, Tefila

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Montessorri, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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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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“Unity in the School Community”

Jewish Day Schools often face a dichotomy between the Judaic and General Studies Departments. The Jewish Academy is making a priority of tackling this challenge through innovative means. Our goal is to create a seamless curriculum.

By: Mrs. Chaya Teldon, Ms. Sarah Kugelman, Mrs. Yudit Kasowitz, Miss Colleen O'Brien, Mr. Dani Hak, Mrs. Mindy Rogers from The Jewish Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Halacha, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Music, Science

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »

Tu’Beshvat School wide Interdisciplinary Unit

For Tu’Beshvat 2016 the Hamilton Hebrew Academy decided to create a school wide initiative that integrated science, biology, the arts, Ivrit and Judaic Studies. Our vision was to create a real world, interdisciplinary experience that would engage all learners.

By: Mrs. Goldie Weiser, Mrs. Rebecca Shapiro from Hamilton Hebrew Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Music, Science, Tanach, Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning

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The Rosh Chodesh Calendar Project

The Rosh Chodesh Calendar project is a two year multiweek integration program which has been successfully incorporated into our school for the past four years. Year one involves integration between the science, technology, art, Ivrit/Hebrew language and Judaic teachers for grade five; year two integrates Humanities, physical education, math/engineering, art and Judaic instruction for grade six/Middle School. Each of the multiweek learning units culminates in a presentation showcasing student individual and class research projects for parents, and occasionally the greater Indianapolis Jewish community

By: Mrs. Miriam Gettinger, Dawn Bick, MaryEllen Fellegy, Maya Shmoel from Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, 21st Century Skills

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The Jewish Academy’s Reflection Integration

Our team integrated the theme of reflection across all grades as well as across all subjects. Reflection is an overall strategy and theme for the school. Laying the groundwork in our first unit is key to a successful year of reflection and revision.

By: Miss Colleen O'Brien, Mrs. Sarah Kugelman, Mrs. Yudit Kasowitz, Mr. Dani Hak, Mrs. Chaya Teldon from The Jewish Academy of Suffolk County

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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The History of Light

A 4-6 week long interdisciplinary unit, which ties together research and presentation skills, Chanukah, Israel, New Jersey History, the science of electricity, and the use of light as a medium in art.

By: Mrs. Bonnie Drazen, Rabbi Yossi Berg, Mrs. Batsheva Blum, Mr. Craig Brimmer, Ms. Laura Carroll, Mrs. Lexi DiFiglia, Mrs. Gittel Goldberg, Rabbi Avi Herzog, Mrs. Naava Hess, Mr. Sean Lang, Rabbi Meir Lipschitz, Mrs. Barbara Mastic, Mrs. Calah Reisman, Mrs. Aliza Ross, Mrs. Sophia Shweky from Yeshiva at the Jersey Shore

Grade(s): 3

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Science, Tanach, Israel

Pedagogy: Constructivist

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The Gift of Mincha: Drawing From the Text, Building a Siddur

This course addresses the driving question: “How might we improve our school's daily mincha experience through creating an originally drawn, translated, and annotated school siddur?” In this project-driven, team-taught, and inter-disciplinary senior Art/Judaics course, students respond to a very familiar text--the mincha siddur--through contemplative, artistic, and written avenues. Through studying the text in both a critical and soulful manner, and by creating and crafting their own translations, illuminations, commentaries, and illustrations, students are in the process of jointly building a siddur that will be used as the school community's daily mincha text.

By: Dr. Hillel Broder, Mr. David Friedman, Mr. David Wander from SAR High School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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The Akiva Broadcasting Network

The Akiva Broadcasting Network (ABN) is an interactive, team-oriented program of study where students develop communications skills; broadcast technology and technical skills; and critical life skills, integrating Jewish and Secular Studies across the curriculum.

ABN is part of the Kid TV program developed by Professor Larry Katz with the objective to teach cross curricular skills to students through the creation of TV newscasts that are shared with other members of their school community via an internal broadcast network and are also shared on the school website. Student select the news items, prepare the D’vray Torah, and stories on famous Jewish personalities, write the scripts, shoot and edit the stories, do the interviews, take on the roles of anchors and reporters, manage the broadcasts and handle all of the technical jobs
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj_uSY53-dM&feature=youtu.be).

By: Rabbi Michael Greenwald, Rabbi Chaim Goldenberg, Professor Larry Katz, Ms. Alexandra Sibson from Akiva Academy

Grade(s): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist

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STEM Fair

In the spring of 2015, ASHAR students presented their projects in a school wide fair culminating a year long focus on combining the learning of science, math, and Torah.

Based on the premise that everything secular can be found in the Torah, our students in first through eighth grade explored the connections between kodesh, holy, and chol, secular.

By: Mrs. Debby Jacobson, Mrs. Jennah Schuh from ASHAR

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

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

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Secret Seders during the Spanish Inquisition

Taking advantage of the learning about Pesach throughout the school, I invite my students to travel back in time when Jews risked their lives to fulfill the mitzvah of having a Seder (among other holidays) during the Spanish Inquisition. My Spanish classes apply relevant Spanish vocabulary and grammar that they currently learning to the mock seder scenarios I create for them in a dark, candle lit room with the windows blocked and rotating students on guard for any visitors.

By: Mrs. Susan Schwartz from Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Halacha, History, Ivrit, World Language

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Psychology and Jewish Thought

In this year-long elective for seniors, we study the basic topics of psychology as any college-level introduction to psychology course might. On an almost daily basis, we provide lesson extensions (class discussions, opportunities for student reflection, and direct instruction) about how these lessons integrate with the discussions found in the discipline of Jewish Thought.

By: Rabbi Yaakov Jaffe, EdD from Maimonides

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

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Science, Tanach, Psychology, Jewish Thought

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design

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Philosophical Ethics and the Meeting of Minds

We are delighted to share our entry in the Interdisciplinary Integration category: the “Philosophical Ethics” unit of our junior year Integrated American Literature, Jewish and Western Philosophy course, affectionately referred to as “Tikvah. The unit culminates with the Meeting of Minds project.

By: Rabbi Tzvi Sinensky, Dr. Eileen Watts from Kohelet Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Tanach

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Pesach Haggada Scrapbook

Middle School learned about Pesach from a multiplicity of perspectives and incorporated their learning into a usable Haggada scrapbook.

By: Rabbi Meir Lipschitz, Rabbi Yossi Berg, Mrs. Batsheva Blum, Mr. Craig Brimmer, Ms. Laura Carroll, Mrs. Lexi DiFiglia, Mrs. Bonnie Drazen, Mrs. Gittel Goldberg, Rabbi Avi Herzog, Mrs. Naava Hess, Mr. Sean Lang, Mrs. Barbara Mastic, Mrs. Calah Reisman, Mrs. Aliza Ross, Mrs. Sophia Shweky from Yeshiva at the Jersey Shore

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: Constructivist

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The Final Journey: How Judaism Dignifies the Passage

The Final Journey is a 10-hour curriculum that teaches high school students about Jewish death rituals. It includes videos of each of the topics presented and a 98-page Study Guide for teachers.

By: Mrs. Rochel Berman and Rabbi Jonathan Kroll from Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida

Grade(s): 12

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, History

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning

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Sukkah Design and Build Challenge

16 seventh grade students were presented with a real problem -- that MJDS has no Sukkah. Their challenge was to design, prototype, build and decorate a kosher Sukkah in time for Sukkot. The results were stunning; but the process was even more so.

By: Mr. Brian King from Milwaukee Jewish Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Halacha, Ivrit, Math, Tanach, Structural Engineering

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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3D Halacha

In this high school Judaic elective class, students learned spatially-related Jewish law while concurrently learning 3D design software. The combination of these two disciplines allowed students to explore difficult Jewish concepts often skipped in day schools, as well as master the incredibly marketable 21st Century skill of 3D design. In this one-year curriculum, 3D software became a powerful tool for empowering students in their Judaic Studies.

By: Ari Kelleman from Robert M. Beren Academy

Grade(s): Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Mishnah, 3D Design

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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JEHMS Program- Jewish Education for the Humanities, Math, and Science. Does your Jewish Education Sparkle? Rigorous Middle School Fusion Program to enhance Secular Studies with Jewish Concepts

JEHMS is a middle school fusion program (adaptable for K-12) which employs original, distinctly Jewish lesson plans to communicate required secular concepts, thereby blending secular and Jewish education to better streamline, unify, and integrate Jewish Day School dual curricula. JEHMS is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary curricula in math, science, social studies and English Language Arts, aligned with the Common Core Curriculum, to teach secular skills and knowledge by employing Jewish concepts. JEHMS does not replace Judaic studies, rather is revolutionizes the content of secular classes to seamlessly include Jewish learning as it explicates secular concepts.

By: Mrs. Nomi Feinberg from Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton

Grade(s): Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Literature/ English, Math, Science, Tanach, Hashkafa

Pedagogy: 21st Century Skills, Interdisciplinary - Original Works

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JanTerm Integrative Research Project

The JanTerm Integrative Reseach Project is a month-long (in January) intensive project where students learn and practice research and writing skills across content areas. By reconfiguring the students' schedule, students are allowed longer blocks of time to conduct research, write a formal research paper, meet and edit with a mentor-teacher, as well as work on hands-on projects. In this time, our Judaic Studies curriculum works in tandem, guiding the students to study the same theme from a Jewish lens. The students also work on creating a final project that reflects their learning of the Jewish texts and principles related to the overall theme.

By: Mrs. Rachel Zivic, Ms. Jessica Broomfield, Mrs. Ellen Barmach, Rabbi Michah Liben from Kellman Brown Academy

Grade(s): 5, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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SOLE Student Leadership Seminar

The SOLE Student Leadership Seminar is a full-day, interactive leadership seminar for grades 9-12 which combines real world skill development learned from world experts, with the application of Jewish values in the community.

Students learn from SOLE mentors including Rabbis, Commanders in the IDF, Professors specializing in Israeli Affairs, and other thought leaders in an innovative learning environment called a Self-Organized-Learning Environment or SOLE.

After each keynote, the speakers join the students in small group discussions on how to apply what they just learned from the presentations to their clubs, committees and Israeli-themed projects.

By: Mr. Jamie Cohen from TanenbaumCHAT

Grade(s): High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Music, Leadership Development

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Shearim Work Study Program

The Shearim Work Study Program is designed for high school students with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Students are given an opportunity to engage with the world, learn important life skills, and derive satisfaction and joy from serving their community.

By: Mrs. Lianne Heller from Sulam

Grade(s): High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Literature/ English, Math, Vocational and Professional Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Real-World Learning: Experiential Learning Designed and Implemented by Students and Faculty

The office of Student Life at Beth Tfiloh High School has developed beyond cute programming and is now seen as an Educational Department, working alongside all Academic Departments to enhance, collaborate, deepen and apply values, ideas and skills being taught in various disciplines and give them a meeting place of relevance and application through experiential programming. This is a new and exciting way to envision teaching for the Real World and I am excited to share the fruit of the first three years of this experience with you in the hope of inspiring more schools to develop this approach as well.

By: Ms. Rachel Levitt-Klein from Beth Tfiloh Dahan

Grade(s): High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Fifth Grade Sustainability and Service Learning

Karen Hidalgo has developed a project-based unit on sustainability that has become the hallmark of Austin Jewish Academy’s fifth grade program. It has evolved over the past three years culminating in a service-learning project meaningfully integrated with Jewish studies presenting unique opportunities for students to become real world problem solvers.

Please begin with Text Introduction and proceed to Curriculum Outline.pdf

By: Ms. Karen Hidalgo from Austin Jewish Academy

Grade(s): 5, 6

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach, Writing, Technology, Engineering, Critical Thinking, Language Arts

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Comprehensive Digital Citizenship Curriculum

Technology today pervades every facet of life, from the refrigerator to the cell phone. In order, then, to prepare our students for well-integrated lives in the modern world, we must provide them with the psychosocial and emotional vocabulary and awareness to value, build and sustain healthy relationships; the technological skills to choose and use tools responsibly and effectively; and the Torah and Mussar (Jewish tools for self-development) skills to guide and shape their lives in accordance with their Jewish principles. We have developed an expanded, multi-year, cross-departmental curriculum based upon the most up-to-date research and most classical of Torah ethics, that reaches into every part of our educational process, teaching students directly and also via continuing education for staff and parents.

By: Mrs. Sarah Lipman, Mr. Robert Lipman, Rabbi Yisroel Pollock, Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg, Mrs. Robin Goldberg from Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov Ohr Eliyahu

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

Subject(s) of entry: Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Tanach, Jewish Ethics

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Moot Beit Din versus Moot Court

With the right teacher, the study of Jewish Law and the Jewish Legal System (Mishna and Gemara) is exciting, insightful, and extremely relevant to contemporary issues. What most students do not know is that British Common Law (the source for the U.S. and Canadian Legal Systems) has its basis in Jewish Law. Moot Court versus Moot Beit Din is a program that takes composite, real life legal problems, and divides students into two teams who research, recreate, and present each side of the case before both a Beit Din and a civil court giving the students incredible real world experiences.

By: Rabbi Chaim Goldenberg from Akiva Academy

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

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

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist

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Mock Beit Din

The mock Beit Din serves as a final exam, capping off a year of studying numerous cases surrounding the same theme -- in my case, the concept of mamon ha-mutal b’safek -- financial disputes between litigants. While the year begins with one mishnah providing one din, it ends with many variations on that theme. The mock Beit Din serves to demonstrate to the students the practical applications of the cases and laws studied, making the material actual and relevant to their lives - rather than dry and impractical.

By: Rabbi Ira Kosowsky from Berman Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): High school

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

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design

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Medical Geography

A Medical-Based approach to ecology. Ecology is an important branch of biology, and has led to many important discoveries and developments in healthcare, agriculture, genetics, and anthropology. However, for elementary school students, this information can be made more relevant to their everyday lives by making the connection to, and describing the significant impact ecology has in, modern day medicine.

By: Mrs. Gittel Grant from Jewish Foundation School

Grade(s): 6, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning

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LaHaV

We're changing how our students relate to their heritage. The LaHaV curriculum has pioneered a text-based approach to Talmud and Tanakh education that communicates the richness and relevance of Jewish tradition by exploring the principles of halakhic legal theory and asking our students to apply their learning to contemporary, real-world issues.

We’re also transforming the Judaic studies experience for teachers around the world - we’ve created a groundbreaking digital curriculum app that serves as the basis of a fully connected network of Jewish educators who share training, resources and methodologies across schools in the US, Israel, and Australia.

By: Rabbi David Stein and Rabbi Noam Weissman from Shalhevet High School

Grade(s): Middle school, High school

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

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design

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HBHA Upper School Social Justice Project

Imagine an educational experience in which Jewish teenagers have the opportunity to take their classroom learning and direct that knowledge into a course of action that enhances their education and the Greater Kansas City community. This experiential learning is happening at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, in the form of the Upper School Social Justice Project. I developed and implemented this project - in partnership with peers from an urban charter school, as well as local leaders - which facilitates personal growth and community activism in our students as they address issues such as health care access, voter engagement, and universal early childhood education.

By: Mr. Todd Clauer from Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Tanach, Civics/Government

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Halacha Mini Color War – Hilchot Shabbat Edition

Halacha Mini Color War (HMCW) is a week-long Hilchot Shabbat course that is designed as a color war competition between teams of high school students. HMCW facilitates real-world learning of Halacha while creating and maintaining the fun and energetic atmosphere of a Color War. Students are motivated to learn and master the material, and their mastery is assessed by their ability to successfully compete in the Color War events.

By: Rabbi Jonny Gordon from Kohelet Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design

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Halacha by Action

Students use hands-on obstacle courses, field trips and models to replicate actual Halachic scenarios they are likely to find in their own lives. Students take the knowledge they have studied. research the best ways to implement it and create a life-like interaction with these Halachos.

By: Rabbi Uri Kestenbaum from Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School

Grade(s): Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, PBL - project based learning

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Halacha and Technology: An Interdisciplinary, Hands-on Approach

Our senior elective, Merging Halachic Judaism with Modern Life, combines the study of and appreciation of Jewish law with the study of engineering and its principles. In the first half of the year, students learn Hilchot Shabbat and how these laws manifest in modern life. In the second half the year, students work in groups to identify and create a working prototype that merges both Halachic implications and modern technology to enhance the Shabbat experience. Students, thereby, learn to view the latest technological innovations through the prism of a religious perspective.

By: Mrs. Rifkie Silverman from The Frisch School

Grade(s): 12

Subject(s) of entry: Computer Science, Gemara, Halacha, Science

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Forces Unit

In this unit, we learned how forces cause movement in both physical and social environments. The Ontario Science Curriculum talks about direct and indirect forces (e.g. gravity, magnetism, static electricity), but we took this concept to the next level by analyzing direct and indirect forces that have an ability to cause real world movement. To do so, we integrated our Science learning with Reading, Writing, Drama, Art, Jewish Studies, Technology, and Media Literacy.

By: Miss Melissa Master from Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Halacha, Literature/ English, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design

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Flipped Learning: Promoting Critical and Creative Study of Tanach and Jewish Law

Powered by video instruction and analytics, this 21st century approach to teaching Tanach and Jewish Law helps students master storylines and basic concepts before coming to class. Teachers use repurposed instructional time for higher-order thinking activities (analysis, evaluation and creation), highlighted by a protocol for guided group discussion of Sefer Yehoshua and project-based learning related to the laws of kashrut.

By: Rabbi Joe Hirsch from Akiba Academy of Dallas

Grade(s): Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills, Flipped Learning

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An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Transcendentalism

Integrated Creative Judaics (ICJ) was a new initiative for interdisciplinary education at de Toledo High School in West Hills, CA. During the 2014-2015 school year, a Media Arts 2 class was paired with a dedicated Judaic Studies class for the entire year. During the second semester, the Media Arts/Judaic Studies joint class entered into a multi-week collaboration with an Honors English 11 class to explore themes of transcendentalism through the lens of the Hebrew prophets and bring learning to life through the Media Arts.

By: Mr. Roger Blonder, Mr. Devin Villarreal, Mr. 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, Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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A Slave’s Journey: From Brick Making to Matza Baking

This curriculum uses the Exodus story as the foundation for the students to research and execute the making of bricks. The Pesach narrative is then used to expose the students to child labor throughout history. The bricks are used to build a working oven upon which the students baked matza and then taught the rest of the school the matza-making process.

By: Rabbi Andrea Gouze from Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island

Grade(s): 5, 6, 7, 8

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Halacha, History, Literature/ English, Math, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design

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8th Grade Integrated Project

The Integrated Project (IP) is a year-long study that spans the curriculum and represents the culmination of the students' K - 8th Grade studies at Mandel JDS. Students choose a theme or topic they want to study and integrate it into each subject within each of the disciplines throughout the year. Through the visual and dramatic arts, and often the performing arts and technology, students bring their fully integrated topics to life in an evening program.

By: Ms. Barbara Weiss, Ms. Leah Spector, Ms. Kim Favor from Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School

Grade(s): 7, 8

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Math, Music, Science, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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39 Melachot of Shabbat—Connecting the Past to the Present

A curriculum on the 39 melachot of Shabbat that connects how life was in the past before the advent of electricity to modern times that we live in, with an emphasis on the hands-on and practical understanding of science and engineering and how that affects Shabbat observance. The students are fascinated to see how science plays a role in their everyday life and this heightens their motivation for learning and creates a plethora of practical questions which we examine and research.

By: Rabbi Eliezer Kessler from Yeshivat Torat Emet

Grade(s): Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Halacha, Science

Pedagogy:

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Modern Ethical Dilemmas Through Timeless Jewish Wisdom

I created and implemented a combination Jewish Ethics/ Rabbinic Literature curriculum that addresses common modern ethical issues via authentic Jewish literary sources (primarily Talmud). Students learn the basic skills to navigate the sources (presented in their classical, albeit redacted, formats), gain the ability to explore various interpretations thereof, acquire a thorough understanding of the content, and produce high level responsa in the style of of rabbinic decisors (poskim) that address these contemporary ethical problems.

By: Rabbi Elie Ganz from Scheck Hillel Community School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, History, Mishnah

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning

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