Elul 5774: September Issue 
Message from the Executive Director:

 

The Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah begins next week and is the most well-known of the Jewish "New Year's" (we actually have four different ones, including Tu B'Shevat). Additionally, since most of us also follow the secular calendar, we have an extra one each year on the eve of December 31st. And finally, if you are in the field of education, well, the start of school provides yet another "new year."  Putting it all together, suffice it to say, we have ample opportunities each year to pause and reflect on the year that was and to hope and dream about the year that is yet to be. 

 

This is the time of year that schools engage in all sorts of creative ways to perform tashlikh - a ceremony in which we cast off the sins of the past with an eye towards improving our behavior for the future. A common activity for our youngest students has them draw a picture and/or write about a behavior they want to avoid doing again - mistreating a sibling, being disobedient to a parent, not being a good friend. etc. After they make their project, they crumble it into a ball and throw it into the trash.  Bye-bye bad behaviors! Were it only that easy!

 

All schools count "character education" as part of their mission. All educators consider it part of their already challenging jobs to help children grow and develop as human beings. Part of what I enjoy about working with Jewish day schools is that we get to make that part of our curriculum explicit. We are in the business of making menschen and during the High Holiday season, business is good!

 

This season, hundreds upon thousands of Schechter students will make lunches for those who are hungry and bake honey cakes for the holiday and deliver them to the elderly. Programs like this - call it "service learning" or call it a "Mitzvah Program" - are opportunities for our students to get outside the walls of the building and put into practice what they learn inside. It is not academic time lost, but rather life-changing experiences gained. Through programs like this, our students are reminded that there needs to be a proper balance between "study" and "action," and we can see the "Schechter Difference" in action.

 

So who will we become this year? Beyond all our academic hopes and dreams, will this be the year we become who we were meant to be? Will we live up to our own lofty expectations? Will we be better children, better students, better teachers, better siblings, better partners, better spouses, better colleagues, better friends - will we be a better "us?" 

 

As the eve of a new Jewish Year approaches, it is my most sincerest hope that this is the year we've been waiting for. To all the teachers, staff, parents, students, donors, supporters, and friends in this special network of schools - thank you for your enthusiasm and your hard work. 5775 is shaping up to be a quite an amazing year! From our family to yours, "Shanah tovah!"

 

To read Jon's blog, click here.

edJEWcon Cleveland: November 16, 2014

NAJDSC 2015!

Join 1000 of your colleagues from across North America for the 2015 North American Jewish Day School Conference! The conference will take place at the Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, March 8-10, 2015. 
PARDES, PEJE,  Schechter Network, RAVSAK and The YU School Partnership will host the Jewish day school field's most anticipated and attended event of the year. We believe that our partnership offers Jewish day schools the strongest possible outcomes at the conference as we bring together our collective knowledge, experience, and relationships with you, the leaders and supporters of the field.

Mark your calendars today and join us in the City of Brotherly Love.

Registration will open in early October.

Connecting Our Schools

Blog Post: Ivriyon 2014

By: Cheryl Stone

 

Cheryl Stone, Judaic Teacher at Gross Schechter in Cleveland, attended Ivriyon this past summer. The Ivriyon program strengthens the Hebrew language proficiency skills necessary for teaching in Hebrew by way of peer teaching, participant presentations, and textual study. She is committed to ongoing professional development and reflects on her experience and next steps in her blog post. Schechter Day School Network is proud to support our teachers' commitment to professional development and proficiency in Hebrew language.

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Not really knowing what to expect, I found Ivriyon to be more than I could have hoped for.  I arrived in the afternoon to a quiet dorm.  The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is a labyrinth of hallways that in the coming days we would dub "Hogwarts" for is strange and confusing configuration.  At night in the early summer, without students and faculty running around, the dorms were eerily quiet. 

 

We gathered together the first morning for breakfast, a meet and greet, to get the full lowdown of what we had signed on for.  We were a diverse group from all over the country, coming from different religious backgrounds and with different educational objectives. I was happy to be finally meeting the voice and power behind the program, Miriam Meir, our friendly taskmaster, who beguilingly smiled as she listed what would be expected of us.  

 

To read more, click here.

In This Issue
JMS Corner
The Schechter Network welcomes the Jewish Montessori Society into its family of schools - read the whole press release here

Stay tuned for further information in this corner.
Employment Opportunities 
Kellman Brown Academy  
Voorhees Township, NJ

Gross Schechter Day School
Pepper Pike, OH
Please see our website for more job opportunities!
Global Day of Jewish Learning
Sunday, November 16th, 2014

 

Join a once-a-year opportunity to unite your community with hundreds of communities worldwide  through study of our shared texts. The Global Day of Jewish Learning is Sunday, November 16th, 2014. This year's theme is Heroes, Villains, Saints and Fools: The People in the Book. 

 

The Global Day Curriculum is now available and comes with free resources, including a facilitator's guide, sourcesheets, and sessions for all ages. In addition, we provide a video class by Rabbi Steinsaltz and live online learning with leading Jewish educators from all over the world, plus marketing materials and a community resource guidebook to help you publicize and plan your event.

  

To get started, complete the registration here.

 

Questions? Contact Global Day Project Director Karen Sponder at 212-840-1166.

 

For inspiration, check out the Global Day film!

PEJE's Important New National Revenue Programs

We are happy to share the unveiling of 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. These National Revenue Programs will provide schools such with the knowledge and tools necessary to improve long-term fiscal strength.

 

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

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!
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