Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education, Targum Shlishi Excellent Learner / Educator / Mentor Awards
Targum Shlishi conceived the Targum Shlishi Excellent Learner/Educator/Mentor Awards (TSELEM) for the Miami Community and approached the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE) to administer the program. The impetus behind the awards program is to encourage and motivate educational innovation and excellence. Awards will be based on exemplary dedication and contribution to the field of Jewish education and will enable recipients to deepen their knowledge of and commitment to Jewish education. Targum Shlishi has made a five-year, $50,000 commitment to the program; the awards will be distributed annually for the next five years, beginning in May 2004. There will be ten award recipients each year from a variety of educational settings in the Greater Miami area, including teachers from Jewish day schools, congregational schools, early childhood education, and one lay leader of a Jewish day school. Each of the teachers will receive $1,000 as credit to be used for professional growth and education; the TSELEM committee will decide the use of the funds. The lay leader will be able to designate the $1,000 award for a specific project, pending approval by the TSELEM judges’ committee. “This program will have a dramatic impact on the way in which the Miami Jewish community bestows honor and respect upon its Jewish educators,” said Dr. Chaim Y. Botwinick, president and CEO of CAJE.
Jewish Education Service of North America, Inc., Jewish Education Leadership Summit, Ft. Lauderdale
Targum Shlishi was a sponsor for the first Jewish Education Leadership Summit, organized by the Jewish Education Service of North America, Inc. (JESNA) and held in February 2004 in Ft. Lauderdale. More than 150 leaders from the fields of Jewish education, religious and communal life, and philanthropy gathered in Ft. Lauderdale for the event, entitled “Aseh Lekha Rav”: Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation of Jewish Leaders. The conference focused on one of the major challenges facing Jewish education today: the shortage of quality personnel for Jewish educational programs and settings. Attendees came from all denominations, represented both local and national interests, and were united in a commitment to work for change. At the summit, attendees learned from one another and shared examples of best practices. Targum Shlishi was a Summit Sponsor; its support helped keep the registration fee modest so that the conference was affordable for educators and other professionals.
Jacobson Sinai Academy, Multi-Media Film Production Jewish Journeys Project, North Miami Beach
Jacobson Sinai Academy has an on-site, multi-media film production studio that is often underutilized. Targum Shlishi’s funding is supporting the establishment of the Jewish Journeys Project, in which students will use the production studio and computer technology to create multi-media films that will trace their Jewish roots. The project will not only teach students technical skills, but will educate them about their family histories. It is hoped that through exploring their ancestry, students will begin to consider their unique place in the world and will be encouraged to develop passions in the areas of tzedakah, tikkun olam, values, and ethics.
Centropa: Jewish Heritage in Central and Eastern Europe, Hillel Community Day School, North Miami Beach
Centropa is an innovative foundation dedicated to helping people explore Jewish history by utilizing technology and research methodology in an effort to “take Jewish history off the shelf” and bring it into people’s homes, classrooms, synagogues, and elsewhere. Targum Shlishi’s support made it possible for students at Miami’s Hillel Community Day School to participate in Centropa’s program “From March of the Living to a Virtual Visit to the Living.” This multi-stage program focuses on broadening students’ study of the Holocaust to show that Jewish life existed in Central and Eastern Europe before the Shoah and that in many places, it is being rebuilt today. During the program, students in the U.S. are put in touch with students in Central and Eastern Europe – the students communicate with and learn about each other by using multimedia tools such as a website to upload family history photos and student-created videos. As part of the program, students from Hillel travel to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest where they meet many of the students they communicate with virtually and tour historic and contemporary centers of Jewish life.
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora of Bar-Ilan University, Principals’ Seminar, Ramat Gan, Israel
The Lookstein Center works intensively with leaders of Jewish day schools to improve their leadership abilities in the belief that stronger leaders will result in a better quality of education. The Principals’ Seminar programs attract principals from Jewish day schools throughout the world to attend summer seminars in Israel. Targum Shlishi funded the attendance of two administrators from Hillel Community Day School in North Miami Beach and two administrators from a day school in Riga, Latvia.
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora of Bar-Ilan University, Jewish Educational Leadership journal, Ramat Gan, Israel
Targum Shlishi was a co-sponsor of the Lookstein Center’s Jewish Educational Leadership journal’s Winter 2004 issue. The center’s publications target educators at Jewish day schools. The journal, which is distributed to the center’s members, is dedicated to improving the quality of Jewish educational leadership by nurturing and strengthening professional development and fostering new ideas. The journal aims to increase the exposure of Jewish educators to research and developments in education, with a concentration on how these advancements can apply to Jewish education. In addition, the journal provides a wealth of information related to Jewish education: it is a forum for publishing research and publicizing innovations in the field, it showcases translations into English of classic Hebrew texts focused on education, and it offers access to developing trends in Jewish education. The Winter 2004 issue of the journal collects articles by leading academics and educators on the topic of “What We Teach.” A section of the journal offers a compendium of specific curricula.
Gemara Berura, Computer Learning Tool, Jerusalem
Gemara Berura is a software tool that helps students learn Gemara (Talmud) by using
computer technology to make learning fun and at the same time emulating the way that leading scholars learn Gemara. The tool is interactive, allows students to learn at their own pace, and employs multiple intelligences utilizing visualization, color coding, and textual reformatting. This teaching tool has been adopted by the Ministry of Education in Israel as the leading methodology for teaching Gemara, and many schools in Israel are using it. In the US, it is now being used by twelve leading day schools. The objective of Targum Shlishi’s funding is to bring the Gemara Berura teaching methodology to the attention of North American Jewish schools. This will be done by developing an informational cd-rom that will be sent to targeted schools. Targum Shlishi’s funding will support the development of the cd-rom and its dissemination to schools. The cd-rom will include a presentation of the methodology, an example of Gemara Berura’s textual analysis, and a lesson taught using the methodology. In addition, Targum Shlishi provided funds for a Miami day school to adopt the program.
MUSE Film and Television, Seed Funding for Film on Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts, New York City
MUSE Film and Television is a nonprofit company that creates films on the visual arts and culture. The company’s mission is based on the belief that film is one of the most important ways to appreciate and understand art. By examining art through historical and cultural contexts, MUSE documentaries seek to enhance the art experience. Targum Shlishi is providing seed funding for a film on Hebrew illuminated and illustrated manuscripts. In the past, MUSE made a well-received film on the Book of Kells and is currently working on a corpus of Spanish Romanesque manuscripts. The documentary on the Hebrew manuscripts will be the first of its kind. “The finest works of art in the Hebrew tradition are the manuscripts, and though there are some books that have been published on great pages or codices, nothing of quality has ever been done on film,” said Karl Katz, executive director of MUSE.
Lehrman Community Day School, Hebrew Tutorial Program for Lateral Transfers, Miami Beach
Targum Shlishi’s support is being applied to a tutorial program established in 2003 at this Jewish day school. The program employs a tutor who works with students whose Hebrew skills are below grade level, often because they have transferred from other schools where Hebrew was not part of the curriculum.
Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, Fundraising Education for Hillel Community Day School, North Miami Beach
The Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) is dedicated to strengthening Jewish day schools in North America and developing philanthropic leadership devoted to this goal. The organization, founded in 1997, is a collaborative of visionary
Jewish philanthropists who seek to create a vibrant and sustainable Jewish future through strengthening the Jewish day school movement in North America. PEJE has a program that teaches those affiliated with Jewish day schools (both professional and lay leaders) about fundraising. Last year, the program was introduced in thirty-eight day schools and achieved impressive results. Targum Shlishi’s funding enabled the PEJE program to be brought to Hillel Community Day School in North Miami Beach.
Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education, Miami Jewish Film Festival, Miami
Now in its seventh year, in 2003 the Miami Jewish Film Festival screened more than fifty Jewish-themed films from around the world. The festival focuses on international films that are artistically significant, touch on some aspect of the Jewish experience, and speak to the diverse Jewish community. The films included personal documentaries, short films, and Academy-Award nominated features. Many screenings were accompanied by special programs, such as discussions with producers, directors, and actors. Screenings took place in five different venues, helping to attract a diverse audience. Targum Shlishi sponsored the closing film of the festival, Leo and Claire (dir. Joseph Vilsmaier, Germany, 2001), in its Florida premiere. The film tells the story of a wealthy Jewish businessman who becomes involved with a young German woman in the early years of Hitler. The film festival is organized by the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE).
Miami-Dade County Scholarship Initiative, Miami
Targum Shlishi provides several scholarships for students in need who attend day schools
in Miami-Dade County.
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora of Bar-Ilan University, “Creating A Caring Learning Community” Seminars, Ft. Lauderdale and New York City
Targum Shlishi was one of three sponsors for two seminars on the topic of “Creating A Caring Learning Community” that took place during 2003 – the mid-winter seminar was held in Ft. Lauderdale and the July seminar was in New York City. The goal of these two seminars was to provide the participants, who were educational leaders from day schools throughout North America, with an opportunity to experience the real process and growth necessary for change and for creating a caring school environment. “The experience of attending [the seminar]…was and continues to be a life altering experience. It forced me to reflect deeply and honestly on my leadership and interpersonal style,” explained Pinchos Hecht, head of school for Fuchs Mizrachi in Cleveland.