The Kohelet Prize Database

Subject: Tefila

The Prepared Environment

Our innovative, Montessori inspired environment allows our children to work in a warm, exciting and stress-free atmosphere that promotes high motivation and a love for learning. This model creates the ability for each child to receive a customized curriculum according to what s/he needs which encourages emotional, social, and academic success.

By: Chayale Cohen from Arevim Schoolhouse

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

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

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Montessorri, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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

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

By: Yali Szulanski from Kinneret Day School

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

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

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

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True Tefila

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

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

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

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

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

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Scheduling Circus

Creating a school schedule is difficult. Furthermore, creating a schedule that works for 14 multi-age, multi-level, individual students with very different academic and social-emotional needs, seems nearly impossible. It was through a journey of taking great risks and reflecting on failures that brought our classroom the schedule(s) we all needed.

By: Amy Morford from Arevim Schoolhouse

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, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Math, Mishnah, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, Montessorri, Social and Emotional Learning, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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New Directions in Jewish Community: The Jewish Emergent Network (JEN)

This unit explored the innovative and exciting new spiritual communities of the Jewish Emergent Network. It expanded their sense of what is happening in today's Jewish world; allowed them to engage directly with the communities they were studying; and pushed them to think seriously about what they want for their own ongoing communal involvement.

By: Rabbi Joshua Cahan from Solomon Schechter School of Westchester

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

Subject(s) of entry: Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social Studies, Tefila

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

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Finding Meaning: Prayer Through Reflection and Integration

We launched an initiative in our Lower School where the General Studies teachers collaborated with their Judaic Studies counterparts to help students make meaningful connections between themes that were being studied across both disciplines in the second and fourth grades and themes that emerge throughout their daily Tefilla.

By: Tali Seinfeld, Tami Teller from Ramaz School

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

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

Pedagogy: Language Immersion, Social and Emotional Learning

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Creating a Positive Environment for All Children

The South Florida Jewish Academy engages in a holistic approach to education. All teachers, in every subject and at every level work seamlessly as a team to put together a comprehensive plan for each student. This manifests itself in numerous creative and innovative programs and curricula.

By: Mrs. Baila Gansburg, Rabbi Gavriel Ohayon, Ms. Tracy Brown, Morah Leah Gansburg from South Florida Jewish 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: Art, Engineering, Foreign Language, Gemara, Math, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Technology, Tefila

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

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The Innovation Lab – The Space where Maker Ed and Jewish Ed Inspire

We’ve built a culture designed around an open space where students actualize content learned in their Jewish day school & apply it in ways that are most meaningful to them. Students collaborate & think creatively, using 3D printers, woodworking, coding, graphic design, and a host of other tools to create tangible outcomes of their education.

By: Tzvi Hametz from Gindi Maimonides Academy

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

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

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Flipped Learning, Gamification, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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“Change the world. It just takes cents”TM

"Change the world. It just takes cents"TM is a student-led, teacher-mentored, PBL, service-learning, experiential education, Tikkun Olam, multidisciplinary process, where lessons evolve organically, and students are the creators of their learning blueprint, rather than being enslaved to textbooks. Students emerge empowered advocates and leaders.

By: Sara Caine Kornfeld from Denver Jewish Day School (Herzl/RMHA)

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

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

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

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STEM Education and Crosscutting Concepts

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School has developed a model of STEM integration with general and Judaic studies using the Next Generation Science Standard's Crosscutting Concepts (CCC). This model of integration is the only one in the nation and is the subject of research and collaboration with The George Washington University.

By: Alexis Soffler, Jennifer Rittberg, Eve Margol, Michal Friedman, MollyBeth Rushfield, Nanci Henoch, Hillary Gruber, Andrea Washington, Sharon Barad, Erin Magee, Jessie Nathans from The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

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

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

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

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Teva Tuesday

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

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

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

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

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

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Art & Tefillah Minyan

In this minyan, students use art as a medium for exploring and more deeply engaging with tefillah. Students study the themes of traditional Jewish prayers and create original works of art through which students can express their own feelings and ideas on these themes, using their art as an extension of their tefillah.

By: Rabbi Peter Stein from Frankel Jewish 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: Art, Social and Emotional Learning, Tefila

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, Social and Emotional Learning

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Inspiring All Learners through Multi-Age Classrooms

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

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

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

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

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

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The Flexible Mindset

The Flexible Mindset, used in a kindergarten classroom, is a combination of growth mindset, flexible seating, and integrated projects. This combination makes for a learning environment that is ever changing to meet the needs of each student in the classroom community and bring learning to life.

By: Emily Hayes, Hinda Lind, Chelsea Avchen from The Sandra E. Lerner Jewish Community 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: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, History, Ivrit, Music, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology, Tefila

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Creating a Culture of Goal-Setting: Intrinsic Motivation and Personalized Learning

In view of the importance of intrinsic motivation as well as personalized learning, kindergarten students at Yeshiva Lab School engaged in an in-depth study of goals and goal-setting. Each child set goals over the course of the year with the guidance of an educator, who used these goals to target instruction.

By: Rachael Simon from Kohelet Yeshiva Lab School

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

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Ivrit, Math, Social and Emotional Learning, Tanach, Tefila

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Talking Trees in Kitah Alef-Impact of Trees in our Environment -An interdisciplinary Unit

1st graders learned about trees through literacy, science, math, Ivrit, art, movement and by working in cooperative groups. The unit included studying the parts of trees in Hebrew and English, the impact of trees on the environment and its natural resources. We emphasized the mitzvah of tzedakah and of planting trees in Israel for Tu B'Shvat.

By: Shira Stein, Linda Sipzner, Rebecca Feldman from Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy

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

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

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning

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Full-Year Integrated Chumash and Navi Curriculum

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

By: Elana Trombka from Bi-Cultural Day School

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

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

Pedagogy: Soulful Education, UBD - understanding by design

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Morah Tovi Admon 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 nooks created to support students in moving through routines, working together, and supporting more independent learning.

By: Tovi Admon from Hillel Academy Of Pittsburgh PA

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

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

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Language Immersion, Montessorri, 21st Century Skills

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Three Biological Systems – The Fuchs Mizrachi 2016-2017 STE(A)M Learning

Every year, the FMS Lower School embarks on an 8 week intensive learning journey in preparation for our annual STE(A)M fair. This journey encompasses so much, but at its core, this experience lays the foundation for life-long learners and information seekers; involvement in this process remains the most valuable lesson for our students in the LS.

By: Sima Maryles and Jessica Segen from The Fuchs Mizrachi School

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

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Mishnah, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Technology, Tefila

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Socratic Method, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Hitbodedut as a Learning Environment

This learning environment was first introduced during T'fillah, prayer, time to expose students to an additional, non-traditional way to grow spiritually and emotionally. Students spent time learning about Hitbodedut, and then practicing it on their own for 4 months.

By: Ms. Hannah Perlis from Carmel Academy

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

Subject(s) of entry: Tefila

Pedagogy: UBD - understanding by design, 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, 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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