Shevat 5775: January Issue 
Message from the Executive Director:

With all our schools back in session, let me wish you a belated, "Happy New (Secular) Year" and hope that you all took some much-needed and well-deserved time during your winter break to rest, to relax and to recharge. With the incredible challenges and demands Jewish day schools place upon its professionals and lay leaders, it is important to remember how important wellness can be. You cannot take care of all the people who depend upon you if you are not taking care of yourself!  [To join a conversation about the importance of wellness in our field, I invite you to my most recent blog post.] I hope you have returned to school renewed and have reopened smoothly.

A few highlights to bring to your attention...

...we continue to do our best to make personal visits to as many schools as we can. I had the pleasure of visiting SSA-New London (CT) in December and will be visiting Perelman Jewish Day School (PA), Kellman Brown Academy (NJ), and The Epstein School (GA) in February. More visits (by me and other staff) are in the works. We look forward to getting to as many schools as humanly possible - school visits are amongst our highest priories (and greatest joys)!

...planning has begun for edJEWcon LA! The date will be May 11, 2014 and our partner will again be the BJE of LA. Stay tuned for additional edJEWcon dates to be announced soon. If your school is interested in hosting an edJEWcon for your community, please contact Andrea Hernandez at

...we had a very constructive meeting with the team at Eduplanet21 and will be introducing new incentives, an improved interface and other new developments at the national conference. As schools finish planning out professional development for this year and begin (!) thinking about the next, now's a great time to be reintroduced to what Eduplanet21 has to offer your school. Email Silvia Tolisano at for more information or to schedule a tour. colleague Rabbi Marc Baker (Head of Gann Academy in Boston) and I launched our new podcast on Jewish Education for ELI Talks in December.  Our next podcast will take place on February 18th at 1:00 PM EST and will feature Allison Fine, author of the new book, Matterness. 

Now that the schedule and sessions have gone live, we hope you have either registered or are planning on registering for this year's North American Jewish Day School Conference. 

As you reenter the regular rhythms and routines of school, please know that we only exist to help you make your school the best it can be. So in addition to our programs, we stand ready to answer your questions or to help tackle any of your issues.  For matters small or big, you are always welcome to reach out. Wishing you the sunniest of wintertime, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Kol tuv, Jon

To read Jon's blog, click here.
NAJDSC 2015: Special Pricing until February 15. Register Today!
NAJDSC  Click here to register and follow us at #NAJDS15.

Sampling of Exciting Sessions:
"Leading With A Coaching Hat: Unleashing the Capacity of Individuals and of Systems," led by Shira Leibowitz

"Partnership Workshop for Board Chair-HOS Pair," led by Marcy Balough 

The schedule is updated regularly, so check it out here

Special Pricing until February 15. Register Today!
Article by Harry Bloom
This is an important article and reflection by our colleague Dr. Harry Bloom at PEJE. 

"There has been significant progress in strengthening Jewish Day School Board governance practices, and this should be celebrated and built upon. It starts with knowing where your Board stands on the practices that matter."

Please read Harry Bloom's complete article, "At the Dawn of 2015, How Fares Jewish Day School Governance? Better and Better" here.
Latkes and Libations Pictures!
The  2nd annual Latkes and Libations Hanukkah Party on Thursday, December 18 was a hit!  Over 270 alumni from JTS, Reshet Ramah, Schechter Day School Network, and USY met up and had a blast with delicious treats, a DJ, and photographer. Click here to see images from the event!
Spotlight on: Ner Tamid Community Day School
SREL Applications--Coming Soon!
Application for SREL will be coming very soon. To learn more about SREL and what it can mean for your school, click here.
Kol HaKavod Schechter: 
Valley Beth Shalom Day School
The  4th grade class at Valley Beth Shalom Day School participated in the Harold M. Schulweis Hineni Action day by volunteering at SOVA food pantry, sorting food as part of their grade level mitzvah of feeding the hungry. To see more pictures, check out their Facebook page.  Kol Hakavod!
Jewish Montessori Society Corner

Teachers and administrators from 14 Jewish Montessori schools in the United States and Canada came to the movement's "flagship" school in East Brunswick for a conference reflecting the growth of what advocates call a "child-centered" approach to education.


The Dec. 14 event at Yeshivat Netivot Montessori was billed as a northeast regional conference of the Jewish Montessori Society but it drew 42 educators from as far away as Toronto, Los Angeles, and Maryland, representing Jewish schools from fervently Orthodox to liberal.


For the full article, click here.


Connect with the USCJ ECE Specialist

I'm so happy to start this new (secular) year by connecting with everyone in the Schechter Day School Network.   If your school has an early childhood program, it's likely your early childhood director knows me and has worked with me (ask her!). For the past 10 years, I have worked with leadership of early childhood programs in both USCJ kehillot and Schechter Day Schools, helping to strengthen curriculum - especially Jewish content, to engage families with young children in Jewish life and in our schools, connecting EC directors to their colleagues for advice and support and trouble-shooting all sorts of EC issues like children who bite and parents who are always late. I offer my support to you as well, to help you support your EC director, explore ways to attract families with pre-elementary aged children to your school, or to think together about the ways you educate young children. If your EC director does not know me, please let me know and I will reach out. I am here.  Please connect. or 847-641-9963.


Maxine Handelman

Early Childhood Education Specialist

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism



Thursday, March 19 at 3pm EST join the USCJ and Schechter EC Directors for a chat exploring EC-Day School relationships, with Jon Mitzmacher and Maxine Handelman. Webex connection details to follow.
In This Issue
Employment Opportunities 

Lander Grinspoon Academy

Northampton, MA 

Head of School


Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

Rockville, Maryland

Solomon Schechter Day

School of Greater Boston

Newton Centre, MA

Assistant Head of School for Program and Instruction


Golda Och Academy

West Orange, NJ


Krieger Schechter Day School

Baltimore, MD


The Epstein School

Sandy Springs, GA


Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

Rockville, MD


Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas

Kellman Brown Academy  
Voorhees Township, NJ

Gross Schechter Day School
Pepper Pike, OH
Please see our website for more job opportunities!

PEJE's Important New National Revenue Programs

We are proud to promote PEJE's National Revenue Programs. These three new initiatives are designed to deliver results. Atidenu: our future, PEJE's premier recruitment and retention program; Governance & Fundraising Academy, offering the support needed to make transformative change toward institutional advancement; and Generations National, based on our groundbreaking endowment program that has raised more than $23 million to date for the Jewish day school field. 


To learn more about the programs, and to begin the application process, click here. Space is limited.

Teacher Enrichment Workshop on Modern Israel
The Center for Israel Education and Emory's Institute for the Study of Modern Israel will conduct the 14th annual week-long Teacher Enrichment Workshop on Modern Israel for pre-collegiate educators (5th-12th) from June 21-26, 2015 in Atlanta, GA.


To find out more, click here.

Schechter Network has AmazonSmile
The Schechter Network is now using AmazonSmile! Click here to link your Amazon account to the Schechter Day School Network, and Amazon will donate some of your money to us! Click here to find out more!

MaToK Update:
Va'era-Bo is the third MaToK student booklet to be published in an English edition, joining the previously published Lekh Lekha and Shemot. The English booklets provide an opportunity for differentiating in the classroom according to the Hebrew language levels of the students. MaToK is compatible with the Day School Bible Standards and Benchmarks Project--especially for schools who have chosen Standard One as one of the standards for their school.
Rachel Buckman was a presenter at edJEWcon on Nov. 16 in Cleveland. Rachel teaches Torah using the MaToK Bible Curriculum.

This session presented a case study of blended learning that is currently underway in fifth and sixth grade chumash classes at the Atlanta Jewish Academy. Issues that were addressed included: What does the classroom look like? What elements have contributed to learning and engagement? How has this structure changed instruction? What are the challenges? And more.

Orientation Workshop for Schools and Teachers New to MatToK: 
Scheduled for Tues June 23-Thurs June 25 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. Registration forms will be available as soon as all details are finalized. Contact Galya for more information.

To learn more about MaToK, click here.

Find us on Pinterest   
820 Second Ave, 10th floor
New York, NY 10017