The Kohelet Prize Database

Subject: Mishnah

Maimonides Better Together

Maimonides Better Together students & seniors share & grow together; students actualize their study & seniors share their life experiences.

We integrate timely and relevant Jewish Respect for elderly, Torah values in classroom lessons, before meeting & hands-on activities with seniors.

By: Rabbi Yossi Rubin from Maimonides Hebrew Day School

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

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

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

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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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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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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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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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Differentiation and Newsela.com: A Match Made in Heaven

My entry discusses the need for every teacher and Learning Specialist to use this website in their classrooms or Learning Centers. It can be used for differentiation among students from third grade, all the way through high school.

By: Mrs. Meryl Recinos from Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey

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

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

Pedagogy: 21st Century Skills

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Teaching Talmud in a Postmodern age

the challenges of teaching Talmud in a postmodern age and my attitude for dealing with them using art, particularly literature, as an entry point.

By: Rabbi David Chamudot from Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Mishnah, T'filah

Pedagogy:

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Pirkei Avot to Pop Song

Mishnah was made to be sung. Well, if not sung then certainly repeated (coming from the root shanah). How better to get our students to repeat -- and through repetition, remember -- the mishnayot of Pirkei Avot than by singing them? How better to get our students to sing sections of Pirkei Avot than by having them write and record their own songs?!

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

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

Subject(s) of entry: Ivrit, Mishnah, Music

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

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Pirkei Avot Scrapbook

Students create two pictures for each Mishna, one that shows a literal meaning and one that shows a deep understanding. This long term project is used to develop higher level thinking in students. Students learn how to ask questions and think deeply about material.

By: Mrs. Sarah Dollman from Torah School of Greater Washington

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

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

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

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Now You Siyyum…An Exploration into Thematic Jewish Learning

Hillel Day School eighth grade students experience an integrated Judaic Studies learning opportunity as part of their final year at Hillel. Instead of separate Rabbinics and TaNaKh classes, students are guided through classic and modern texts of many genres to explore, thematically, our Hillel Day School core Jewish values. The students are encouraged to explore deeply, and to begin asking the many great questions that arise as they synthesize their developing Jewish identities with our modern world.

By: Mr. Saul Rube, Rabbi Jonathan Berger, Mrs. Amira Soleimani from Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit

Grade(s): 7, 8

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

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

Fourth Grade students were challenged to transform the school's maker space into a full-scale Mishkan. Students self-organized to design and build the various components of the Mishkan using limited materials, tools, and resources. These constraints intentionally mimicked the design challenges faced by the Israelites.

By: Mr. Michael Hyde, Mrs. Amy Katz from Portland Jewish Academy

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6

Subject(s) of entry: History, Mishnah, Tanach, Engineering, Engineering Design

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

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Alternative Energy Exploration Unit

This integrated writing and science unit focuses on energy, and asks the driving question “How and why should we use energy wisely?” Students investigate what energy is, where it comes from, and how we use it. They conduct research on sustainable fuels, write persuasive essays advocating for the use of a particular source of energy, design billboard advertisements for their chosen energy source, and participate in a debate judged by industry experts on different forms of sustainable energy. Finally, students design and create their own tikkun olam service-learning projects to make a positive difference in our community’s use of energy.

By: Ms. Rebecca Sheinbaum from Denver Jewish 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: Literature/ English, Mishnah, Science

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 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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Who is Melvin Bubble?: Using Literacy to Enhance Our 21st Century Skills

The 3rd graders worked on a beginning of the year interdisciplinary assignment as a getting to know you better project. The project combined many 21st century skills, including communication, creativity & innovation, and global awareness. The project centered around the book Who is Melvin Bubble? by author Nick Bruel and culminated with the students getting to understand the real world outside their classroom by meeting Mr. Bruel via Skype!

By: Ms. Kimberly McDermid from Denver Jewish Day School

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

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

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

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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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Torah iTextbook Project

The Torah textbook project is a Torah SheBaal Peh curriculum with an emphasis on relating Torah texts (Pesukim, Mishna, Gemara and Halacha) to real world scenarios and situations. Each unit or "sugya" begins with a trigger film or series of articles that promote thinking about topics that are relevant to the lives of students. In addition to the relevance the curriculum includes skill building components which promote self-efficacy in both reading and understanding the logical flow of gemara.

Please note that this curriculum is written for either an iBook (iPad, iMac or iPhone) or online format. The sample below is a .pdf version which is limited to graphics and text.

By: Rabbi Mordechai Smolarcik from Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton

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

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Mishnah

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

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Bamidbar Values Letter

In what may have been the most rewarding experience of my career, students chose three values learned from Sefer Bamidbar and wrote letters of gratitude to their parents for already helping them learn these values throughout their lives. Simultaneously, parents wrote value letters to their daughters. Parents and daughters exchanged letters on the same day in what ended up being a meaningful and emotional expression of what we hold dearest.

By: Mrs. Shira Greenspan from Ramaz Upper School

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

Subject(s) of entry: History, Ivrit, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Tanach

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 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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Whole Brain Teaching for Judaic Studies

Whole brain teaching is a method of instruction that combines fun gestures and rhymes with short chunks of information that are immediately re-teachable. I have worked to integrate WBT into Hebrew studies in Chumash, Dikduk and Mishna with tangible results that can be replicated in any class. This method has infused the classroom environment with energy, zest and memorable moments!

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

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

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

Pedagogy: Wholebrain Teaching

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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

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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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The de Toledo High School Media Lab

The Amnon and Ronit Band Media Lab at de Toledo High School is an innovative learning environment which promotes academic, social, emotional, and spiritual growth. Over the last 12 years, the lab has evolved from a basic computer lab to a flexible and creative space designed to serve the varied educational needs of students and teachers in the media arts including: video production, animation, photography, graphic design, and computer science as well as serving the broader school community for instructional support, school and professional development.

By: Mr. Roger Blonder from de Toledo High School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Mishnah, Music, Science, Tanach, All academic subjects can be served by the media lab through interdisciplinary programs and projects.

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

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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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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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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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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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A Little Google with a Jewish Twist

Our school has been transformed to replace traditional classrooms with opportunities for project-based learning that emphasizes 21st-century skills in creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. The physical design facilitates these educational goals, and impacts student-centered learning in increased motivation and achievement. It has put Hillel at the forefront of the paradigm shift in education, wherein student-driven inquiry develops tomorrow's problem-solvers, and gives children the skills they need to inherit their world, and not the factory-model, outmoded 20th-century model of education that no longer aligns with the skills students need in an ever-changing global world, and does so, most importantly, through the context of a Jewish education, which gives them the moral and ethical, values-based foundation they need to navigate a complex world.

By: Mrs. Joan Freedman from Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit

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, History, Literature/ English, Math, Mishnah, Science, Tanach

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

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The Torah Times, Creative Torah Journalism

"The Torah Times" presents Torah events as "Breaking news" Happening right now! All the text and presentation are developed by Maimonides students, blending Torah knowledge with creativity, humor, writing, and graphic design.

Highly creative, The Torah Times engages students to find the soul /essential messages of the Torah that connects to life & current events today. Protagonists such as Abraham/Lot, Moses/Pharoh, or Aaron/Korach shed their ancient robes and venues to address current issues; Midrash/commentaries become our news outlets with the inside scoop. This personifies Rashi's Translation of the Shma: "Hayom Al Levaech" -not as an old chronicle, but as actual, new, and current.

By: Rabbi Israel Rubin, Rabbi Michael Caras from Maimonides Hebrew 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: Computer Science, Gemara, History, Literature/ English, Mishnah, Tanach, Creative Writing

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

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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 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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The Middot Project

The Middot Project blends the emerging wisdom of Positive Psychology with the timeless perspective of Jewish values aimed at a lifetime of meaning and human flourishing.

By: Rabbi Tsafreer Lev from de Toledo High School

Grade(s): Middle school, High school

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

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning, 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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Jewish Folktales

The folktale unit is a culminating cross-curricular project for students in fifth grade, integrating Jewish Studies, reading, writing, and public speaking. Students read a variety of Jewish folktales and choose one to study in depth. We strengthened this project by partnering with a local theater company, Wolf Performing Arts Center, to work with the students to present it effectively, analyze the setting and values, and reflect on the morals of the tale.

By: Mrs. Mindy Civan, Mrs. Abbye Cornfield from Perelman Jewish Day School

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

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

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

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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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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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Real World Learning

I was teaching a grade 11 course in a Jewish overnight camp in Toronto through Torah High (a supplementary school in Toronto). The course was an interdisciplinary course of Leadership and Judaic studies. The goal was to make it as 'unschool' like for the students as possible.

By: Mrs. Shaindy Kestenbaum from Bnei Akiva Schools of Toronto

Grade(s): Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Mishnah, Tanach, Leadership, Business

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

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Real life Hebrew Immersion

Students actively converse in Hebrew with their peers in class, at recess and at home, thereby making Hebrew not merely a subject they learn at school but a language they own and use. Students attain Hebrew fluency through engaging in games and collaborative real world Hebrew projects.

By: Rabbi Yaakov Nadler from Yeshivat Noam

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

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

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Gamification

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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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And There Was Light

This is an interdisciplinary unit, teaching the history of festivals and religions involving light across many cultures. Students were exposed to the symbolism of light in literature and Torah as well as the science of light in creating day and night, seasons and electricity with the creation of lamps in the school's pottery labs. Students learned Tfillot and added the Hallel for Hanukkah the festival of light, as well as created a book demonstrating of all of their learning.

By: Mrs. Michal Almalem, Mrs. Tamar Hershkovitz, Mrs.Cindy Van Gunda, from Bornblum Jewish Community School

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

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

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

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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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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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Criminal Justice: An 8th Grade Talmud Unit, Bavli Sanhedrin 6

The primary goal of this unit is for students to use the Talmud as a tool for exploring real world problems. Contrary to the expectation that Talmudic discussions of capital punishment are arcane and grim, students learn that the Talmud’s dissection of this matter can be fruitfully applied to America’s criminal justice system. Stepping far outside of the American cultural context is sometimes the best preparation for engaging with it. Using the Talmud in this way encourages students not only to become more involved American citizens, but to experience Judaism as a guiding and thought-provoking force in their citizenship.

By: Dr. Jenny Labendz from Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County

Grade(s): 8, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, History, Mishnah, Social Studies

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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