After celebrating Passover, often considered the birth of the Jewish people, we plunge headfirst into the most recent additions to the Jewish calendar, the commemorative days of Yom HashoahYom Hazikaron, and Yom Haatzmaut. These holidays are marked by day schools in diverse ways, often in collaboration with or alongside a school's local community. 

After completing my first nine months at Prizmah, I continue to observe just how critical communal relationships are for day school success, both on the individual school level and more broadly as we advocate for day schools in the larger communal agenda.

Heads of School need guidance and support to succeed. 
HOSPEP offers the best of both. 

Calling recently appointed Heads of School: Did you know our  Head of School Professional Excellence Project (HOSPEP) , is designed to provide you with intensive and regular one-on-one coaching with seasoned school leaders? This kind of support coupled with a close-knit cohort of other school leaders has a proven track record of helping Heads of School navigate the complexities of their role.

We are now accepting applications for next year's cohort. Click here to learn more or contact  Cooki Levy.

Current and aspiring leaders: 
Last call to take your leadership to the 
next  level with YOU Lead

With applications for next year's cohort of YOU Lead
closing on May 5, now is your chance to take advantage of our year-long leadership development program. See for yourself why this program has helped boost dozens of school leaders' careers.

Apply today and see how far your leadership can go when you are given exclusive access to a select cohort of peers and a curriculum that addresses the specific needs of Jewish day school leaders. Click here to learn more or contact Shira Loewenstein .

Schools raise more than $102 million in endowment gifts thanks to Prizmah's Generations program

Generations,  Prizmah's three-year endowment-building program, transforms school budgets through the cultivation and solicitation of outright and legacy gifts to schools' endowments. 

Since its launch in 2012, this program has enabled 45 schools to raise more than $102 million to date. 

Nearly 50% of those gifts were cash gifts the schools were able to invest immediately. 

We extend a big mazel tov to the 20 schools currently participating in the program that have raised more than $10 million in the past year. For more information about Generations, please contact  Dan Perla.

Prizmah conference attendee brings excursion 
inspiration  back to his school

Prizmah conference participants who went on the Gan Gani Hebrew immersion preschool excursion led by Melanie Eisen were delighted to see the students act out a presentation of the classic Hebrew children's story, Eliezer V'hagezer (Eliezer and the Carrot). 

Rabbi Avraham Glustein of Politz Day School  in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was so inspired by what he saw that he brought the idea back to his school. Caryn Brody, Politz's nursery teacher, took care of the art and production, and nursery assistant Vicky Yarimi narrated. Click here to view a video of their students acting out the story. 

Our network is growing, and we want to make
sure it includes YOU!

Access to Reshet Prizmah , our network of online
communities, is one of the most valuable benefits of being a Prizmah member. With groups for Heads of School, Judaic administrators, learning specialists, admission and development professionals, and  more, there is something for everyone in your faculty

And our Reshets are growing. During the first quarter of 2017, Prizmah added 204 new members, and in the past month alone, more than 220 individuals from 110 schools participated in Reshet webinars. 

There has never been a better or more convenient opportunity 
to connect with other Jewish day school professionals!

Not sure if your school is a Prizmah member, or want to learn more about becoming a member? Contact Robin Feldman for details.

Join the Prizmah team!

Are you passionate about Jewish education and love the idea of providing support to Jewish day schools around the country? 

Prizmah is looking for a few talented individuals to join our team. 

Click here to view descriptions of current job openings and please  share across your personal and professional network.

We asked  Rabbi Harry Pell,  Associate Head of School for Jewish Life and Learning,  Solomon Schechter School of Westchester,   to share how his career trajectory influenced his role as a Jewish educator, how his school works on infusing a dedication to Judaism in its students, and the role he plays in his students' lives long after they graduate.

Though spring has just sprung, we know that it's always fundraising season for our schools. So we invited a Prizmah expert to address a question on this subject from the field. 

"My top five endowment prospects are all also major donors to their local synagogues, our federation, and a couple of other local Jewish causes. How can I make the case for day school to them without diminishing their support of other valued community institutions?"

                                               -  A hard-working Development Director

It sounds like your prospective donors are committed to supporting and enhancing Jewish life in your community. That makes them great prospects for an endowment gift to your school! Endowment gifts come from donors who share a vision for your school and who can invest in that vision to make a difference in the lives of students, families, and your community.
You probably already have a good idea of what makes your school unique and important. Now is the chance for you to refine your case for giving to address the specific and special way your school enhances your community. Having examples like school participation in community-wide events can help. It sounds like these donors are already convinced about the value of a vibrant Jewish community. You can "connect the dots" through a message that engages your donors intellectually and emotionally.
A school leader who is also a Federation donor can host a parlor meeting to demonstrate the synergy between community donors and what the day school offers to the community. Inviting day school alumni who can speak about their impact on the community can be an effective way to demonstrate your school's impact. Many day schools enlist the support of the Federation and will have the Federation send out success stories in its publication. 
Bring life to your donors' values, and they will see you not as a competitor for communal resources but an important part of Jewish life in your community.

- Helen F. London , Prizmah Program Director, GFA and Generations

Have a burning question that you'd like a Prizmah expert to answer? Send it to 


Sefaria  provides consultation and mentorship as you discover the possibilities that arise when students have access to thousands of years of Jewish texts at the tips of their fingers. For the 2017-2018 school year, Sefaria seeks creative educators who are ready to innovate and are open to new ways of thinking about teaching and learning.  We invite you to  read more  and consider applying. Note: Application deadline is May 16.

June 25 - 29, Atlanta

The Center for Israel Education and the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel invite day school educators to deepen their understanding of Israel's history, politics, economy, and culture, while cultivating participants' skills in classroom application and best practices. The workshop is geared for teachers in day schools as well as supplemental and congregational schools, teaching fifth through twelfth grades. Registration includes meals and lodging, and limited travel stipends are available. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more at
June 19-23, The Brandeis School of San Francisco

Attend workshops on design thinking, Jewish ethics, and project-based and inquiry-based learning, taught by design professionals from  IDEO/Teacher's Guild  and the at Stanford, and rabbis from Bay Area synagogues and educational organizations. Featuring excursions to the Contemporary Jewish Museum and other Bay Area centers of creative pedagogy. Limited space for educators with an interest in learning how to better make use of design thinking and Jewish ethics in their teaching practice. Applications for $1,000 stipends by recommendation due May 1 to  Nicholas Cole-Farrell , Director of Technology and Making.
Mechon Hadar Jewish Professionals Institute : Day School Educators Track
June 25-29, New York City

Participate in an intensive learning week with Mechon Hadar faculty members Rabbi Avital Hochstein and Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, which includes an introductory training in the Pedagogy of Partnership with Dr. Orit Kent and Allison Cook. Focus on teaching techniques that support ethical, spiritual, and intellectual growth in your learners through the design and practice of
havruta learning, group learning, and other modalities.  For more information and to register, please click here .

June 7, Worldwide

Jewish Unity Day is a worldwide initiative founded to harness the tremendous power of unity experienced in June 2014 and to  honor the memories of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-ad Shaer, and Naftali Frenkel after their kidnapping.  Taking part in Jewish Unity Day is important, easy (with no cost), and meaningful. Your school can join more than a million participants from 24 countries.
Participation can be as simple as adding a tefillah, text, or singing a song during a service, Yom Haatzmaut, or Shavuot program, and weaving in the concept of Jewish Unity. Browse unique educational curricula and tools  designed especially for this initiative. The formal date is   June 7, 2017. However, you are free to choose any day in May, June, or July. Be sure to register your school  to be listed among the hundreds of partner organizations globally.

Reshet Prizmah Webinar Schedule

Creative Approaches to Engaging Students in Egalitarian Prayer 
Thursday, May 4, 12-1pm ET / 9-10am PT
This webinar is geared for Heads of School, Judaic administrators, and faculty responsible for tefillah. 

Does Kavanah Count? Cultivating Spirituality in Traditional Tefillah 
Tuesday, May 9, 12-1pm ET/ 9-10am PT
This webinar is geared for Heads of School, Judaic administrators, and faculty responsible for tefillah. 
Hebrew for What? Hebrew at the Heart of Jewish Day Schools  with Alex Pomson and Jack Wertheimer
Monday, May 15, 12-1pm ET / 9-10am PT
This webinar is for Heads of School and those supervising Hebrew language instruction. 
Experience the Power of Connections: A Facilitated Conversation for Learning Specialists 
with Beth Crastnopol
Thursday, May 18, 12-1pm ET / 9-10am PT
This webinar is designed for Intervention Specialists, Directors of Educational Support, and others in similar supervisory roles. 
Interested in learning more about Prizmah's full calendar of events and participating in conversations like these?  Lay and professional leaders of Prizmah member schools are invited to join one of Prizmah's 20 networking groups. 
Click here  to learn more.

From the Prizmah Blog

by Amy Wasser, Prizmah Advocate for RAVSAK Schools

by Elliott Rabin, Project & Content Development Director

by Donna Von Samek, Creative Director

by Jim Blankstein, Marketing, Communications, Brand Champion
Day Schools in the News

The Canadian Jewish News

Mazel Tov to  Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston , whose seventh grade students placed third in the nation and sixth graders placed sixth in the national WordMaster analogy competition. In the statewide Will McDonough Sports Writing Contest, a Schechter sixth-grader won first place for the grade level contest, and four of the top 10 winners for the sixth grade were Schechter students. Two seventh-graders were in the top 10 for their grade as well. 
Mazel Tov to Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School  and  Dr. Alexis Soffler, Lower School Science & STEM Coordinator, who was nominated as a nationally influential STEM educator by the faculty at George Washington University and received one of 30 spots for a full scholarship and stipend to the  100Kin10 STEM Summit . 
Do you have good news to share with the day school field? Send the details to [email protected] to be included in a future issue of the Prizmah Newsletter.