MaTaRoT: Hebrew College Center for Jewish Professional Learning & Leadership

Your Goals. Your Growth.

MaTaRoT: Hebrew College’s Center for Professional Learning and Leadership is your hub for professional development in Jewish Education. MaTaRoT, meaning “goals,” describes our work together: Mentoring, Teaching, Reaching Together.

Hebrew College’s menu of professional development offerings is guided by a belief that teaching is a complex and dynamic process that demands continual improvement.  We believe that supporting teachers and educational leaders in congregational schools serves to deepen and broaden the experiences of the professionals, and thus the students and the families in their programs. By focusing on the intellectual and pedagogical growth of all of the professionals who interact with the students week in and week out, we are investing in improving the teaching and learning in these institutions.

MaTaRoT Program Offerings 2022-2023

Directors of Education in the Greater Boston Area are invited to join a weekly conversation guided by the interest of the group. In this group we share, explore, and critically respond to the opportunities and demands of our important work. This group is open to all schools in the CJP catchment area.

A Communities of Practice (CoP) is an invitation to educators to carve out time and step back to reflect, refocus, and join with colleagues. Each CoP is an opportunity to create sacred time to deepen our practice, as we impart individual and collective wisdom in a safe and brave professional community of educators. By gathering with a defined purpose, along with an engaged and positive perspective, we bring new energy to our work. Each CoP has a specific focus. Some examples may include social-emotional learning, educational technologies and family or teen engagement.

ProgramCourse TitleInstructorCourse DescriptionDatesTimeCostMore information and registration
Community of PracticeFacilitating Difficult Topics and ConversationsDavid RhodesRead MoreThe CoP meets once monthly.12:00 - 1:30 p.m.CJP school: $75
Non-CJP school: $125

These intensive multi-week short courses take a sustained, deeper dive into relevant and timely topics in the field of Jewish education. 

ProgramCourse TitleInstructorCourse DescriptionDatesTimeCostMore information and registration
Short Course w/ Hebrew at the CenterClassroom ManagementDr. Esty GrossRead More6 Tue. Sessions; 10/25/22-11/29/228:00 - 9:30 p.m. $400/person or $360/person teaching at a Prizmah Day SchoolRegister
Short Course w/ Hebrew at the CenterHebrew and Israeli CultureDr. Carmit BurstynRead More6 Mon. Sessions; 2/13/23-3/27/238:00 - 9:30 p.m. $400/person or $360/person teaching at a Prizmah Day SchoolRegister
Short Course w/ Hebrew at the CenterSecond Language AquisitionDr. Rina KreitmanRead More6 Sun. Sessions12:00 - 1:30 p.m.$400/person or $360/person teaching at a Prizmah Day SchoolRegister
Short CourseFrom Purim to ShavuotDr. Susie TanchelRead MoreComing Soon!Coming Soon!Coming Soon!Coming Soon!
Short CourseThe Spiritual in Jewish EducationRabbi Dr. Michael ShireRead More5 Wed. Sessions; 3/8/23-3/29/2312:00 - 1:30 p.m.$175/personRegister


The professional development team at Hebrew College is available for a set of individualized coaching sessions. Educators partner with an experienced coach to develop and deepen skills in areas such as change management, interpersonal communication, supervision, leadership, etc. to achieve professional goals.

ProgramCourse TitleInstructorCourse DescriptionDatesTimeCostMore information and registration
Individualized Coaching SessionsLeadership Coaching: Returning ApplicantsMaTaRoT FacultyRead MoreIndividualizedIndividualizedSliding ScaleRegister
Individualized Coaching SessionsLeadership Coaching: New ApplicantsMaTaRoT FacultyRead MoreIndividualizedIndividualizedSliding ScaleRegister


Project Based Expeditionary Learning (PBL)

jewish educators from Amsterdam with Rabbi Susie Schwartz

Hebrew College works with selected teachers and educational directors from schools to introduce project based learning into their school curriculum and structure. The program focuses on training in the principles and implementation of expeditionary projects. Each school is matched with an experienced consultant to guide the teachers as the project(s) progress.

(Pictured: In October 2022, Hebrew College’s MaTaRoT Center hosted colleagues from the liberal Amsterdam Jewish community for a week of project-based learning. The group celebrated Siimchat Torah with Hebrew College 2015 alumna Rabbi Susie Schwartz at her shul Temple Israel of Boston.)

Read more here.

Program in Instructional Leadership (PIL)

The Program in Instructional Leadership is for congregational school leaders who want to strengthen the teaching and learning in their settings through participating in a Professional Learning Community. This group of school leaders comes together over a two year period to strengthen the vision and skill for teacher development in their programs, to learn and practice the core skills of mentoring teachers, to share experiences, and to identify and discuss key challenges and opportunities in the field of Jewish supplementary education. Participants in the program will gain a deep understanding, along with the necessary skills, to motivate, inspire, and empower teachers to improve the teaching and learning in their supplemental school classrooms. As part of the program, the instructor visits each participant’s site to co-observe a teacher, and then reflect on the observation and its follow-up. Topics include Instructional Core Triangle; Our Stance; Map of Pedagogical Knowledge; Classroom Observations/Naming & Framing; Pre and Post Observation Meetings; Providing Feedback; Coaching; Reflective Questioning; Text Study; Co-Planning; Co-Teaching; Classroom Walk-Throughs; Creating a Professional Learning Community.

Want more information? Email Susan Morrel:

Torah Godly Play

Torah Godly Play is an innovative approach to religious education that seeks not so much to tell stories of faith in order that we will “know” them, but as spiritual action of finding meaning, identity and God through storytelling and listening. The pedagogical ideal of this approach is that, from the earliest age, children are invited to experience and become increasingly aware of the spiritual call within sacred stories and of their own deep response as something naturally afforded by religious narrative.

Watch Hebrew College’s Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire tell the Exodus Story using the Torah Godly Play methodology.

Godly Play has developed over three decades in the United States by Dr. Jerome Berryman, a Christian theologian and educator. However, its respect for and attention to childhood spirituality, and the significance of story to hold and develop that through its unusually contemplative and playful style, addresses educational strategies common to Jews and Christians.

Godly Play was developed by Berryman as an outcome of his work with Montessori-based religious education combined with a contemplative reading of sacred texts (lectio divina). In Berryman’s analysis this is a return to the nonverbal, relational communication system that is foundational to spirituality, and with which we started as children before shifting to a reliance on language to express the spiritual.

As such, it uses specially created artifacts and symbolic objects to enable a trained storyteller to powerfully engage children and adults in the wonderment of sacred text, etc. It is not like anything else that we have witnessed in Jewish education and in some ways is countercultural to the norms in our community of grappling with the text or deconstructing it. It might be considered much more an encounter with the text. In addition, Torah Godly Play is not merely an educational method, but a means to also enact the theology and liturgy of Jewish language. The time spent together in Torah Godly Play is an enactment of a liturgical experience as much as it is a telling of a story.

I have been having the BEST time telling TGP stories each week on Zoom.   In our small school we have been gathering as families each Shabbat morning for our usual circle time – a little t’fillah and a little community learning/conversation.  I started with the intention of playing with TGP as one of a few storytelling strategies in order to keep it interesting.  But the TGP work has gotten such rave reviews from teachers, parents and kids that now I’m committed to making it my primary – if not my only – strategy for our weekly Torah portions. It’s a whole different kind of immersion into text.

— Sue Bojdak, Leader of MTEI Recruitment; Director of Education at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, San Francisco

As you can imagine, Torah Godly Play is a complex and intricate approach to religious education, inviting participants into an encounter with sacred time and sacred space as a community. There are already Torah Godly Play classrooms in synagogues, schools, and JCCs around the United States. Scripted stories of Tanakh and Jewish Festivals have been published. Hebrew College currently runs a community of practice for Godly Play practitioners, and a Facebook Group, as well as offers training seminars for Torah Godly Play in Boston.  It also offers resources and consultation to synagogues and schools looking to establish Torah Godly Play classrooms and programs.

Examples of Torah Godly Play in Action


Hebrew College partners with national and local organizations, as well as individuals both within and outside of the College, to offer nine stand-alone seminars on a variety of current topics. These may include topics such as, Equity and Justice in Jewish education; inclusion & equality in Jewish life; Jewish arts; book discussions, etc. Organizations will likely include JArts, Gateways, Facing History and Ourselves, Keshet, and more.  These subsidized seminars are available to all schools in the CJP catchment area.

ProgramCourse TitleInstructorCourse DescriptionDatesTimeCostMore information and registration
WorkshopHow can we prepare OURSELVES for the New Year?Dr. Betsy StoneRead MoreSeptember 13, 202212:00 - 1:00 p.m.FreeRegister
WorkshopMadrichim: They’re Good For More Than Just Sharpening Pencils
Partnering with Teens to Make Your Classroom More Inclusive & Accessible
Sandy Gold & Mia HymanRead MoreNovember 8, 202212:00 - 1:00 p.m.FreeRegister
WorkshopDesigning and Redesigning Programs: Creative Thinking and Innovation in Jewish Education Yafit Shriki MegidishRead MoreDecember 13, 202212:00 - 1:00 p.m.FreeRegister
WorkshopCreating Relational Space, Creating New Norms for DialogueKathy SimonRead MoreJanuary 24, 202312:00 - 1:00 p.m.FreeRegister
WorkshopBringing Spirituality into Classrooms: Chesed/Loving-Kindness Ideas for the ClassroomGina TzizikRead More
February 28, 202312:00 - 1:00 p.m.FreeRegister

WorkshopFrom the Narrow into Expanse: A Pre-Passover RitualAmalia Mark, Mayyim HayyimRead MoreMarch 21, 202312:00 - 1:00 p.m.FreeRegister
WorkshopBringing Memory to Life National Library of IsraelRead MoreApril 25, 202312:00 - 1:00 p.m.FreeRegister

Watch Past Workshops!

Workshop Archive

For Our Teachers and Their Learners: A series of virtual professional sessions in the time of isolation (2020-2021)

This online series served as a resource and a venue for Jewish educators to be in a community. Sessions explored various virtual educational modalities and Jewish textual learning and the bridge between theory and practice.

>> Watch archived workshops here.

Questions & Information

Marion Gribetz
Director of Hebrew College Educational Initiatives

Dr. Susie Tanchel
Vice President