Jewish Day Schools Win $100,000 in Grants for Innovative Education Projects
Jun 09, 2015, 08:40 ET
WASHINGTON, June 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC) has completed its 2015 grant cycle and has awarded $50,000 each to two Jewish Day schools. In an uncommonly transparent grant process, the JEIC narrowed from a field of 62 applicants to five finalists who presented their proposals at their annual "Innovators Retreat" in Bal Harbour, Florida.
In addition to five distinguished panelists, a group of past grantees, leading Jewish education thought leaders, and philanthropists attended the retreat. JEIC brought together in one place representatives of the Ecosystem of Jewish day school education, namely educators (those who directly interact with the students), funders (who underwrite schools), influencers (who affect schools' decisions by means of local community position, production of classroom materials, academic studies, or the like), and consumers (parents and students who attend the schools). Along with the completion of the granting process, the event focused on the synergistic work of the Ecosystem to create a culture of school innovation. The JEIC's 2015 grant winners are the Manhattan Day School, New York City, New York and Bi-Cultural Day School, Stamford, Connecticut.
Photos and videos of all five finalist presentations are available at JewishChallenge.org, and descriptions of the winning program proposals are below.
Bi-Cultural Day School: The Masora Program
In the Masora Program, Judaic Studies are integrated rather than divided into discrete subjects. The curriculum is based on the Understanding by Design model, and built around 8-9 Big Ideas that are the essence of Jewish education, identity, and experience. Masora's emphasis is on the content (The study of the Big Ideas), meaning and relevance of the material. Lessons are interactive, hands-on, technologically based and most important, relevant to students' lives.
Manhattan Day School: Tefillah Re-imagined
This program begins with the concept that tefillah should be a psychological journey and a belief quest for students. Tefillah Re-imagined strives to help students appreciate the meaning, the power, and the importance of tefillah; to view the experience of tefillah in a positive light – as their personal method of connecting to Hashem, themselves, their school, their family, their community, the state of Israel and Klal Yisroel. This includes a Personal Digital Siddur (PDS) for each student for the purpose of connecting its user to Tefillah and Hashem in a personal, meaningful and inspiring way. The curriculum teaches the students to view prayer from varying levels: personal, family and friends, and the Nation of Israel and the world. The goal is to create life long, transformative habits of prayer.
The Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC) says its grantmaking initiative is designed to "Disrupt complacency and encourage innovation in Jewish day school education," Managing director Rabbi Feld says. "By rewarding and collaborating with talented innovators, JEIC seeks to improve the way Jewish values, literacy, practice, and beliefs are transferred to the next generation." The JEIC defines their ultimate success as the creation and implementation of revolutionary, practical educational models that are sustainable, accountable and scalable.
SOURCE Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC)
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