Adar 5775/February 2015
Message from the Executive Director:
The rhythm of the year is already packed to the gills during the most normal of times. It doesn't even begin to take into account the time and energy that goes into the unscheduled and the unplanned. (How many of us expected to revisit our vaccination policies this year?) Needless to say, the work of providing a high quality secular and Jewish education is as unending as it is worthwhile.

The Schechter Day School Network is a service organization.  We essentially have but one job: to help our schools be their very best selves. All the rest is commentary. The programs, the conferences, the coaching, the consultations, the resources, the connecting and the weaving is all done with that goal in mind. Our strategy for this first year of rebirth has been pretty straightforward:
  • Strengthen relationships with our schools with on-site visits and regular communication. We have a growing list of on-site visits and make regular touches to all our schools.  
  • Listen to what schools and the field are saying so we can create new programs and resources to fill gaps.  We launched a host of new initiatives this year and have many more in the incubation phase as a result of what we have learned from our listening.
  • Encourage a healthy ecosystem by willingly connecting our schools to resources outside of Schechter and providing our resources to schools who are not members of the Network.  
There is too much scarcity for unnecessary duplication or competition. There are other networks and other organizations who we know do great work. We do not feel the need to create something that already exists. We are happy to help schools find the resources they need - sometimes even providing subsidization - regardless of the provider. We see this is as part of the core work. We exist to serve schools.

As we head towards the North American Jewish Day School Conference, we are proud of the work we have done with our sister networks to create what we hope will be a meaningful learning experience for all participants. We have all worked hard to ensure the quality of content while trying to maximize access. Schechter will have a strong showing and we look forward to our annual opportunity to be together.  But in addition to the networking, the learning, the socializing, and the celebrating, we also hope this conference shows what happens when networks work together for the greater good...and marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our collective service to the field.

Kol tuv, Jon
Dr. Jon Mitzmacher,
Executive Director
Schechter Day School Network

To read Jon's blog, click here.

Mechon Hadar Summer Institute

Event Information: June 21-June 25, 2015 


For the third summer, we have an exciting program with Mechon Hadar and would love for members of your faculty to join us at our Summer Institute! 

Expect Mechon Hadar's signature approach to Beit Midrash learning and its stellar rabbinics faculty.

Participants will design & implement thoughtful classroom experiments and share experiences with peers in a facilitated virtual environment.


Dr. Orit Kent, the Director of the Beit Midrash Program at the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis, and her partner Allison Cook will help to guide participants through reflecting on their own learning experience as we study the dispositions and practices of inquiry and relational based teaching in Rabbinics. We will explore the role of the teacher, the text, and scaffolding of student learning. Orit and Allison will share their considerable experience and research into the multifaceted ways to use Hevruta learning with students and in professional development settings.


Cost: $750 per person. (This subsidized rate includes tuition, travel, and lodging.)
*We thank the AVI CHAI Foundation and Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah for their support of this program.


Audience:  Middle and High School Judaics Teachers and Jewish Studies Directors


Space is limited. For more information and to apply, email

NAJDSC 2015: Register Today!
 Click here to register and follow us at #NAJDS15.

Start mapping out your learning journey at NAJDSC! Click here to view the schedule and session descriptions.

Announcing edJEWprize: Teen ELI Talks Student Contest! 

The Teen ELI Contest seeks to inspire and reward students and schools who embrace passion, curiosity, 21st century learning and Jewish seeking.

Click here for the application instructions and guides for coaches and speakers, and use  #teenELI to follow the conversation on Twitter!

SREL Applications!
Applications are now open for the 2015-16 Schechter Residency in Education Leadership Fellowship. Please go to the website to learn more about the SREL Fellowship program, or download the application for more details. 

Email Ilisa Cappell at

Applications are due March 27, 2015.
Kol HaKavod Schechter: 
SSDS of Metro Chicago
Solomon Schechter Day School of Metro Chicago 8th graders volunteered at the Northern Illinois Food Bank this month. They packed 9,550 lbs of food in two and half hours! Kol Hakavod! Visit their Facebook page here!

edJEWcon LA
The Schechter Network, together with our partner BJE-LA, is already planning edJEWcon LA to be held May 11, 2015. 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


Purim Opportunities with your EC

Nothing's cuter than 4 year olds parading in costume through the eighth grade classrooms, right? If your Schechter School has an early childhood program, you can make so much more of Purim than just a cute moment.  Here are some opportunities that will result in as much learning for older kids as younger:

  • Match up middle schoolers with 3 or 4 year olds to make hamantaschen. Prep the older kids on the art of folding a circle into a triangle. Teach them the trick of moistening the edge of the circle with water to help the sides stick together when folded. Investigate the optimal amount of filling.  Then support the middle schoolers as they teach the 3's and 4's these skills. Due to very different developmental levels, the older kids will learn lots about how to teach.
  • Invite 4th and 5th graders to plan and perform a creative telling of the Purim story for the preschoolers. Work with the older kids to insure the telling is age appropriate. Then invite the preschoolers to return the favor, and craft their own telling of the story, either for the same 4th and 5th graders, or a totally different set of older kids.
  • Have a ra'ashan making workshop, using creative, recycled materials, with preschoolers and 2nd and 3rd graders, or maybe even preschoolers and middle schoolers.  Coach the older kids to remember that the "little kids" are very capable and can do lots of things with no or minimal help. The older kids should remember to take the younger kids' ideas seriously.
  • Of course, include the preschoolers in any school wide gifting of shalach manot.

Maxine Handelman

Early Childhood Education Specialist

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism



Tuesday, March 17 at 3 PM 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 

Martin J. Gottlieb Day School

Jacksonville, FL

T'filla and Torah Reading Instructor 


Ann & Nate Levine Academy 

Dallas TX

Teaching Position 


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


Golda Och Academy

West Orange, NJ


Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

Rockville, MD


Kellman Brown Academy  
Voorhees Township, NJ

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.


MaToK Update:
All 16 of the MaToK student booklets in color are now available for purchase as e-books from the Behrman House On-line Learning Center. These online editions may be used with or without the "hard copy" booklets. They allow the teacher to project the pages onto an interactive white board, and for students to access their own copies on computer or tablet. Students are able to highlight and underline on their own screen, and each class has it's own discussion area as part of their class website that is connected to each book in the Online Learning Center. You can access all of the booklets here

The introductory cost (through July 31, 2015) is $5 per person per booklet. For more information please contact Galya Greenberg, MaToK Project Director, at

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