Leadership Institute for Congregational School Educators Symposium

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Over 60 congregational school educators were in attendance at HUC-JIR/NY on December 9th for a Symposium organized by the Leadership Institute for Congregational School Educators. Professor Jo Kay, Director of the New York School of Education led the morning workshop on "The Landscape of the Jewish Family: It's Implications for Family Education."  This session addressed the following questions:

  • What does it mean to be "forgotten" and who in our congregational communities fall into this category?
  • What does the Torah say about "forgetting" and "remembering"?
  • What can the text teach us about our responsibility to these populations?
  • When we add the unique racial, cultural and religious challenges faced by today's families to the issues of those who are "invisible" amomg us, what might we be doing to support and nourish these families both inside and outside congregational walls?
  • And finally, what are some modern commentaries on the concept of the erev rav (a mixed multitude) having left Egypt? How can we use these new understandings to support our work with the changing Jewish family.

Participants spent the remainder of the day learning from one another. Several participants led workshops for their colleagues, including "Chanukah Myths and Legends," "Supervision and Three-Minute Walk-Throughs," "Curricula for High School Students," and "Effective Ways to Communicate." It was a day filled with connections and learning!


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu