As professionals working with youth and young adults, the students in HUC-JIR’s Certificate in Jewish Education Specializing in Adolescents and Emerging Adults (CAEA) are well accustomed to learning and teaching outside of the traditional classroom. The program’s Winter Institute offered this year’s cohort the chance to make New York City their classroom and playground for a week, January 4-11. In addition to taking intensive courses on experiential education practices, adolescent development, and Jewish texts, Cohort 4 engaged mind, body, and spirit in Jewish learning in a variety of settings and through multiple channels.
Students visited the Arcadia Gallery in SoHo for an exercise examining color, silence, and awe using Jewish texts. Students also had the opportunity to explore Jewish text through dance with the Artistic Director of the Avodah Dance Company and to participate in workshops on music, creative Tefilah, yoga, and meditation with notable experts such as Josh Nelson and Naomi Less. In addition, students took three courses: Family Crisis with Dr. Betsy Stone, Theories of Experiential Learning with Phil Liff-Grief, and People of the Books with Rabbi Andrew Davids.
“This week has been an outstanding experience,” said student Carly Coons, who serves as Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Sinai in Denver. “Our cohort has really come together as a community to learn and to get hands-on experiences of what we’re trying to do for our teens every day.”
Site visits to the Early Childhood Center at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on the Upper West Side and Temple Shaaray Tefila on the Upper East Side gave examples of experiential education in action and provided opportunities for students to interact with innovative practitioners.
“The best part about the Institute is to be able to learn and work with each other in person,” said student Ryan Leszner, Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Emanu-El in Toronto. “Usually we’re seeing each other through the computer screen, so being here was really effective for us not only educationally but professionally as well. It was great to be able to bounce ideas off of each other and speak about strategies to take home.”
Interested in learning more about the Certificate in Jewish Education Specializing in Adolescents and Emerging Adults? Visit our website or contact Dr. Evie Rotstein, Director, at 212-824-2248 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Rabbi Joui Hessel, RJE, Program Educator, at 212-824-2236 or email@example.com.
The Certificate in Jewish Education Specializing in Adolescents and Emerging Adults receives generous support from the Jim Joseph Foundation.