Prizmah Welcomes Elissa Maier
Prizmah is delighted to welcome Elissa Maier as our new Chief Operating Officer. Formerly the Vice President, FRD Operations and Mandel Center for Leadership Excellence, at Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), Maier is Prizmah's first COO, and we are excited to welcome her significant leadership experience in nonprofit management and passion for Jewish day schools. Read more in the
New Jersey Jewish Standard
All the Colors of Jewish Education
Prizmah's press release
about her hiring, and Elissa's first Prizmah blog post,"
My First Day at Prizmah
by Jane Taubenfeld Cohen
Vice President School Services
Our work at Prizmah connects us to leaders from all kinds of schools across North America. We know that our schools have a lot in common, and we also know that each school is unique and special for its students, teachers, and families. When we are asked, “What makes a great Head of School?” the answer is complicated because each successful Head has his or her authentic leadership, and that authenticity is often tied to the culture and beauty of the school.
Prizmah Membership: Choose Your Level
in Prizmah means…
- Connection to likeminded peers—a community for learning, solving problems, experimenting, and growing together.
- Access to premier programs, knowledge, and tools that strengthen your school’s pedagogical, institutional, and financial viability.
- Resources that address your school’s top priorities and most pressing needs.
- Strength in numbers—by joining together, learning together, and lifting our voices together, we will amplify the profile of Jewish day schools within the communal agenda and beyond, create new funding opportunities for our field, and strengthen our influence.
Becoming a member of Prizmah connects your school to a vibrant global network of Jewish day schools working together to make day school education the first choice for Jewish families. Regardless of size, location, or ideology, every Jewish day school will find a welcoming, supportive home in the Prizmah community—with robust services that position schools at the forefront of educational excellence.
New membership levels offer new benefits for your school at three annual levels:
- Reshet membership ($750),
- Full membership ($1,500),
- Premium membership ($5,000).
Learn more, including the benefits of each membership level. New and renewal membership applications for 2017-18 will be available mid-June. Read Membership FAQs or contact Robin Feldman, 646-975-2803, with any questions.
The summer issue of
," is now live on the Prizmah website. Read diverse pieces such as “Forget the Summer Slide” by Jason Ablin, “A Perfect Summer Shabbat” by Lael Sanders, “Development Professionals: Maximize Your Summer” by Nanette Fridman and Jennifer Weinstock, “Hands-on, Hearts-on Jewish Learning: The Gift of Camp for Jewish Day Schools” by Kate O’Brien, as well as Prizmah CEO Paul Bernstein’s reflections on “The Growth of a Year.”
Ready to make your voice heard? Differentiate yourself....and write for the fall issue of
HaYidion, Prizmah’s magazine for lay and professional leaders. The theme of the issue is Differentiation. Article topics can include challenges and successes in differentiating education for all school stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, administrators, lay leaders, and more. Proposals are due June 16.
Portraits of Authentic Leadership
This month, Prizmah spoke with four Heads of School, from different schools and diverse backgrounds, in order to explore the concept of “authenticity” in leadership. Knowing that the most successful leaders are those who embrace their unique skills and strengths, we asked these Heads of School to reflect on their path to leadership, what they have learned about themselves, and what they think contributes to their success. Meet our four “authentic leaders”:
From the left: Lori Binder, Gray Academy in Winnipeg (Community, JK-12); Linda Foster,
Solomon Schechter School of Metropolitan Chicago (Conservative, EC-8); Rabbi Yossi Kastan,
Brauser Maimonides Academy in South Florida (Modern Orthodox, EC-8);
Susie Tanchel, Jewish Community Day School of Greater Boston (Community, K-8)
Knowing how much wisdom comes from peers, we asked Reshet Head of School members to answer this month’s question: What do you know now that you wish you knew in your first year?
The responses were so insightful that we put them on their own page!
U.S. Homeland Security Grants
The deadline for your State Administrative Agency (SAA) to submit applications to FEMA for the
Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)
is June 22. Your state’s SAA is required to review application and determine eligibility for grants of up to $75,000. Each SAA determines its own deadline for applications directly from schools and other nonprofit organizations. Not sure how to contact your state’s SAA office? Use
with contact information.
MaToK Bible Curriculum
Can MaToK help to advance your school’s goals for teaching Torah? The MaToK Bible curriculum for grades three through seven advances the way students engage with Torah in Hebrew, encouraging them to ask questions, grow their spiritual and academic curiosity, and connect with the deep meaning and values embedded in sacred text.
- View Torah as kadosh (a sacred text) and read it in an inquiring, deep, and reverent way.
- Are participants in the continuing revelation and uncovering of truth emanating from God.
- Learn Torah in the original Hebrew.
- Develop literary skills to study the Torah independently.
- Engage in critical thinking.
- Become sensitive to shades of meaning.
- Search for personal meaning in Torah.
- Connect Torah with their lives as Jews.
- See themselves as links in the chain of Torah understanding and interpretation.
- Prepare to explore traditional commentaries.
- Engage with questions about God.
- Grapple with moral issues that arise from the Torah.
Downloadable order forms are here. For more information about materials, workshops for teachers, and samples, please contact Project Director Dr. Galya Greenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teachers Institute on the Arts and
Participants in the first cohort of the Teachers Institute on the Arts with David Moss have been using artwork from the recently published OMG! Benchers in their schools. The prototype posters from the comic book-bencher already have stimulated some wonderful integrations of text and images from students. The
benchers are now available
Teach Great Jewish Books
Teach Great Jewish Books
, a program of the Yiddish Book Center, is a growing collection of textual, audio, and visual materials designed to support teachers who want to bring modern Jewish literature and culture into their classrooms. Each resource kit on the site explores a different thought-provoking text or theme, from Tevye the Dairyman to “The New Colossus” to the Akedah to
Pardes Center for Jewish Educators Conference
Pardes Center for Jewish Educators
is delighted to present an upcoming conference for Jewish educators.
Cultivating the Whole Child Through a Jewish Lens
will be a unique two-and-half-day PD opportunity that will provide participants with the inspiration and tools and strategies to cultivate their students’ growth from multiple perspectives including: social-emotional well-being, creativity, spiritual intelligence, and collaboration skills.
Mazal Tov to all recent day school graduates and their families!
Mazal Tov to 2017 Covenant Award winners Rabbi Tully Harcsztark, Founding Principal of SAR High School in Riverdale, NY; Meredith Englander Polsky, National Director of Institutes and Training at Matan in New York, and Developmental Support Coordinator at Temple Beth Ami Nursery School in Rockville, MD; and Dr. Jane Shapiro, Co-Founder of Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning in Skokie, IL.
Mazal Tov to Perelman Jewish Day School on celebrating their 60th anniversary year.
Do you have good news to share with the day school field?
Send the details to email@example.com to be included in a future issue of the Prizmah Newsletter.
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"Becoming is better than being."