New Partner Spotlight: Congregation B’nai Israel

New Partner Spotlight: Congregation B’nai Israel

ShalomLearning asked the leadership at Congregation B’nai Israel Barry Ira Graff School for Living Judaism (CBI), in Boca Raton, Florida about using our program. The school is under the direction of Kim Beame, Director of Religious Education and Cheryl Epstein, Assistant Director of Religious Education. CBI is a Reform synagogue with over 700 families and more than 350 students in grades K-12.

ShalomLearning (SL): Why did you decide to use ShalomLearning?

Congregation B’nai Israel Barry Ira Graff School for Living Judaism (CBI): We knew our curriculum needed updating. We could either reinvent the wheel or use an existing curriculum. We chose ShalomLearning because of the ready made lesson plans. 

SL: How are you using ShalomLearning?

CBI: We started in September using ShalomLearning’s values-based curriculum in grades K-6 and Torah Aura Hebrew in grades 3-6.  We’ve even started some virtual classes for Hebrew.

SL: How would you describe your experience using the program?

CBI: Moving from textbooks to a digital curriculum has taken some getting used to, but the assets in the curriculum are well worth it! We hear from teachers that they and the students are more engaged.

I believe we’ve retained several families by offering mid-week virtual classes for Hebrew. The classes are real-time and still teacher led, but the flexibility of the online classes is attractive to many families.

SL: What advice would you give to other schools starting ShalomLearning?

CBI: Use the resources ShalomLearning offers. Encourage your teachers to prepare in advance. The ShalomLearning team is amazing. They’re always available to answer questions, work with our teachers and guide us.

ShalomLearning looks forward to a long relationship with the Congregation B’nai Israel community and their dedicated team.

 

About Heidi Lovitz

Heidi Lovitz is an educator, education administrator, and curriculum developer dedicated to innovating Jewish education. Her experience includes Family Educator at Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton, MA for over 15 years, the Director of Jewish Life and Learning at Camp Tevya in Brookline, NH for 15 years, and Director of Education and Programming at Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, NH. Heidi was one of the founding leaders of the Havayah program connecting teens from Boston, Haifa and Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Heidi holds a BA in communication studies from the University of Massachusetts and is pursing a Master of Jewish Education at Hebrew College. Heidi enjoys theatre, music, reading, gardening, biking and hiking. Heidi lives in Westford, Massachusetts with her husband Peter and has two adult children.