No More “Doing Things the Old Way”
By Rabbi Elana Perry, Dir. Jewish Education Collaborative
The old narrative of “doing things the way they’ve always been done” is long gone in Atlanta. Watch for new and exciting programs coming to supplemental Jewish education this fall!
Four synagogue education teams, comprised of educators, clergy, and lay leaders, recently completed the “Leadership, Vision, and Change” cohort experience, which was designed and facilitated by the Jewish Education Collaborative of Greater Atlanta. This eight-month program propelled organizations forward, embracing exciting and compelling Jewish learning, managing change, and strengthening leadership skills. As a result of their work, each team is preparing to launch a new innovative educational program in the fall.
Connecting families to other families and deepening learning for all ages was elevated throughout the pandemic, and it continues to be a priority for several religious schools.
Temple Kol Emeth is launching a fresh family engagement strategy, including increased grade-level family education programs, new family Shabbat experiences, a twice-monthly alternative virtual program for family learning with the Rabbi, and a family retreat. Temple Beth Tikvah is expanding their “Sababa” program, weaving joyous, school-wide family learning experiences into the fabric of their year. Temple Sinai has a new alternative family track called “B’Yachad.”
Rachel Moldovan, Director of Youth Learning and Engagement at Temple Sinai, says, “Our community is craving connection! We are looking forward to building community among our Sinai families – including the entire family – with our new B’Yachad program. Students get the best of both worlds with this alternative program, engaging in peer-to-peer learning on Sundays and participating in family learning and community building experiences on Shabbat.”
In addition to these exciting opportunities for increased family learning and engagement, Congregation Or Hadash will implement an entirely new B’nai Mitzvah program, which spans grades 4-9 and lengthens the arc of engagement for learners.
Educational leaders have been listening to the needs of their students and families, and each of them has a different creative response. As a result, religious school families can look forward to fresh new ways for Jewish learning to come alive!