A message from our Executive Director, Joshua Troderman
Every Voice Matters
ShalomLearning aims to create an engaging and welcoming atmosphere where every voice matters.
This month began with an amazing gathering of 50 of our all-star teachers from 11 states working on visioning the future of Jewish education together. It was an incredible opportunity to learn best practices together featuring 18 guest speakers, but also a chance for every voice to be heard as we continue to build the best team of teachers ever. The ultimate goal behind the scenes is to find exciting and engaging, pluralistic ways to shine the light of Judaism into our communities. We also continue to grow a collective online community that is empowered to live meaningful Jewish lives through a sense of shared Jewish values.
As far as the work itself, we are designing a certificate program in Jewish Education Technology; preparing ways to share best practices and resources online with Jewish educators and families: and formulating a robust form of metrics to track the results of our efforts over the years to come.
ShalomLearning is innovating Jewish education with blended learning. But as innovators, we also need to constantly ask ourselves, what should we keep and what should we get rid of? What should we add? We are all works in progress and our innovations in curriculum, technology and professional development are no exception.
The best kind of builder asks the question, “what do the people really want or need?” I have my own ideas and biases on how to answer that question, but that would be only one opinion. My goal as the leader of this organization is to build an environment where every voice is heard, people can rise and give to their best of abilities, and we can learn from each other every chance we can as we grow together.
This is going to be an amazing year, and I am planning to visit every one of our 23 partner synagogues to observe their blended classrooms in action and ask the key questions to our educational leaders, teachers, parents and to the most important one of them all…our students. We all have twice as many ears as mouths, and listening is the key to learning.
We were honored when the Federation of Jewish Men’s Club (FJMC) asked us to present about Jewish adult education at their International Convention in Miami Florida this past July. The FJMC International Convention provides community leaders with the necessary tools to more effectively respond to the individual, family, community and Movement challenges that we face. More than that, it’s a warm and welcoming environment. We encourage all to get involved at their local synagogue.
Debi Himelfarb, our Director of Operations, spoke to the Jewish leaders from around the world about using the ShalomLearning platform to increase engagement at synagogues. The program includes training a member of the congregation to teach small groups of adults Hebrew in an online classroom. By allowing congregants to get involved from the comfort of their own home, synagogues can use the ShalomLearning program to create new kehilot and build engagement.
To find out more ShalomLearning’s Adult Hebrew Education program, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org