For Educational Leaders

Hebrew College’ provides professional development services for the Jewish community; including specific courses and programs in the areas of Hebrew language, special education, congregational education, early childhood education and experiential education. Whether you are new to your educational career or an experienced professional, Hebrew College provides seminars, lectures, workshops and conferences that can help you increase your knowledge, refine your expertise and advance your career.



Explore Opportunities

Digital Pedagogy of Literacy: The Hebrew Class of the Future

HATC logoHow will Hebrew Language classes look in the future? Come and explore how the integration of technology in second language instruction using the proficiency approach maximizes the effectiveness of Hebrew classes and promotes communicative performance of the learner. This course is offered in partnership with Hebrew at the Center.

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Early Childhood Institute

Innovative Jewish Education
Leader and innovator in early childhood Jewish Education since 1987

Founding Director: Ina Regosin
Current Director: Rachel Raz, MJEd`06
Assistant Director: Linna Ettinger, MJEd ‘ 12

Through its academic and professional development programs, the Early Childhood Institute (ECI) has trained hundreds of educators who have impacted thousands of children and their families. Since 2004, all academic programs have been available online enabling communities across the country and around the world to have access to the comprehensive professional development courses that Hebrew College has to offer.

As a pluralistic institution, ECI has students who represent all Jewish affiliations and levels of religious observance as well as those not of the Jewish faith who work in the Jewish community. In addition, in collaboration with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) of Boston, the Lappin Foundation, the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust and the ECI designs and offers educational programs tailored for specific communities.

Jewish Education Conferences

Drawing on its many years of experience as a provider of professional development for early childhood educators in the Jewish community, the annual Early Childhood Conference offers a series of professional development workshops designed to increase Judaic and pedagogic knowledge and practice. These workshop are tailored to the professional development needs of educators, clergy and professionals working with children and families (infant through Grade 2) in day schools, congregational schools, preschools or family education settings. Since 2018, the conference has been expanded for all educators, working with all age groups.

→ Save the date for the 2019 Conference: November 11th & 12th

→ Learn More About Past Conferences

Learning Opportunities

Blogs

National Advocacy & Research

Articles & Publications

Alumni Books 

  • ABC Israel by Rachel Raz
  • The Colors of Israel by Rachel Raz
  • Ella’s Trip to Israel by Vivian Newman
  • Tikkun Olam Ted by Vivian Newman
  • Moti the Mitzvah Mouse by Vivian Newman


Boston-Haifa Early Childhood Educators Connection

The Boston Haifa Early Childhood Educators Connection strives to build meaningful and long lasting bridges between educators, students and their families in Haifa and the Greater Boston area. The program includes a personal exchange in which educators from Boston partner with preschool teachers, or gananot, in Haifa. These ambassadors, or shagrirot are involved in ongoing professional development programs. Participants in the program are engaged in constant communication utilizing Facebook, blogs, video conferences, email, package exchange and in-person seminars in both Boston and Haifa.

Throughout the program, knowledge of and connection to Israel and the Jewish Diaspora is enriched. Participants learn and share programs and curricula drawn from their experiences with their own classrooms, schools and communities, strengthening leadership and forging deep personal and professional partnerships. Since its establishment in 2001, the Connection has influenced thousands of Jewish educators. This program is funded by Hebrew College, the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Haifa municipality and Department of Education.

Greater Boston Early Childhood Directors Council

The Early Childhood Directors Council provides a central platform for the professional development, collaboration, engagement and personal growth of a diverse community of early-childhood preschool directors. Approximately 30 Jewish preschool directors participate in the council, which is funded by Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.

On-Site, School-Based Professional Development

The Early Childhood Institute sends its faculty to teach an entire preschool staff, based on a topic of interest, at their site. The impact of learning as a community can have a transforming influence on a school. Some of the topics the ECI has offered include:

  • Bringing Israel to the Early Childhood Classroom
  • The Jewish Calendar (fall and spring holidays, Shabbat, and Havadalah)
  • Teaching Hebrew to Young Children
  • K’lal Israel for Young Children: Cultural and Ethnic Diversity
  • The Reggio Emilia Educational Approach and Jewish Education

Community-Based, Professional-Development Programs

The Early Childhood Institute offers professional development to communities in various localities based on their needs and interest. These sessions can be delivered in person, online or a combination of both. Funded by the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, we currently serve the community of the North Shore of Massachusetts. Educators from day schools, religious schools and preschools meet five times during the semester. Topics explored in the past have included “Teaching Hebrew to Young Children: Circle Time,” “Teaching Hebrew to Young Children: Celebrations” and “Enriching the Early-Childhood Jewish Curriculum Using Children’s Literature.”

ECI Contact

Rachel Raz
Director, Early Childhood Institute
Hebrew College
raz@hebrewcollege.edu
617.559.8629

Linna Ettinger
Assistant Director, Early Childhood Institute
Hebrew College
lettinger@hebrewcollege.edu
617.559.8813

 

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.

December 15-16, 2019 Training


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.

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

 

Resources

Torah Godly Play Contact Info

Gretchen Marks Brandt
Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education
torahgodlyplay@hebrewcollege.edu

 

Center for Jewish Special Education

The Center for Jewish Special Education is dedicated to expanding and strengthening educators’ ability to support students with special needs in Jewish formal and informal educational settings.

Initially funded by a gift from Bernard J. Korman, the center builds on Hebrew College’s extensive experience in preparing Jewish educators to work with students with special needs in inclusive settings, whether as classroom teachers or as Jewish special educators. Integrating the fields of special education and Judaic education, the center strives to address current issues facing educators in Jewish day, congregational and supplemental schools as well as camps and teen programs.

In 2008, the Korman Family Chair in Jewish Education was established, the first of its kind in the country. This professorship provides administrative and academic leadership, vision and scholarship to Hebrew College’s Center for Jewish Special Education.

Professional-development opportunities exist through graduate classes and an annual conference. The center can also tailor professional development opportunities to be delivered on-site.

Annual Conference

The center’s Jewish Special Education Conference brings together educators across the United States, Canada, and Israel to share current research and practices in day and supplemental schools as well as informal settings. Since 2009, hundreds of educators have participated in stimulating sessions and discussions about educating students with special learning needs in Jewish educational settings.

Congregational Education Initiative (CEI)

CEI is a teacher professional development program, offered jointly by Hebrew College and CJP’s Jewish Learning Connections. The ultimate goal of the intensive nature of the CEI professional development model is to create a long-term effect on teaching and learning within the school, and to transform the school culture regarding student learning, teacher cooperation, and professional growth.

CEI Programs 2018-2019

Project-Based Expeditionary Learning (PBL)

CEI 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 teacher as the project progresses. CEI supports these schools beyond the initial year. (Designer-Trainer: Ronit Ziv-Kreger)

Program in Instructional Leadership (PIL)

This group of congregational school leaders meets to strengthen the vision and skill for teacher development in their programs. This professional learning community comes together to learn and practice the core skills of mentoring teachers, to share their experiences, and to identify and discuss key challenges and opportunities in the field of Jewish supplementary education. As part of the program, the Coordinator visits each participant’s site to co-observe [HF1] a teacher, and then reflect on the observation and its follow-up. (Coordinator and Instructor: Allison Cook)

We are continually reviewing and refining our Professional Development offerings for congregational schools. Please be in touch to discuss the professional development needs in your school.

Congregational Education Contact Info

Marion Gribetz
Director of Educational Initiatives
Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education
mgribetz@hebrewcollege.edu

 


School of Education Contact Info

Rabbi Dr Michael Shire
Dean, Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education
Hebrew College
mshire@hebrewcollege.edu
617.559.8617

Deb Ron
Assistant, Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education
Hebrew College
617.559.8624
dron@hebrewcollege.edu