Ayeka’s system of Soulful Education begins with one question: “What is the most important moment of teaching? ” Our answer is: “After the class is over”. The goal of Jewish learning is not only to know the material intellectually. Jewish wisdom, as stressed both in the Talmud and Jewish thought, is the vehicle for personal and spiritual growth, and is aimed at preparing us for the never-ending challenge and work of living in the Image of God and becoming our better selves. The most important moment, then, happens outside of the classroom when students draw on their learning in real-life situations.
Ayeka daringly and intentionally focuses on the inner lives of teachers, students, and parents, including mentioning perhaps the least popular word in Jewish Education: “God”. Ayeka teaches Jewish educators how to engender a respectful class environment, without judgment or cynicism, which promotes personal and spiritual growth.
Ayeka seeks to change the normative educational language from: “Did the students (participants) learn the material?” to: “Now that the students (participants) have learned the material – how will this impact their lives?
To achieve this goal, Ayeka has developed a clear and replicable educational methodology that is appropriate for all teachers and all Judaic studies classes:
Step 1: How the educator spiritual prepares before teaching
Step 2: How to transition into the session
Step 3: How to model personal engagement
Step 4: How to foster mindful & heartful learning
Step 5: How to personalize the learning (including experiential exercises)
Step 6: How to share the personalizing (including spiritual chevruta)
Step 7: How to close the class
Step 8: How to transition into life.
RESULT: Educators and students (participants) connect deeply with Jewish wisdom and begin to take the next steps on their personal journeys.
Ayeka reaches beyond cerebral learning and helps teachers incorporate the goals of spiritual growth and personal transformation into their Jewish teaching.
Ayeka’s approach is straightforward, accessible to facilitators of all backgrounds, and can be easily adapted across to varying learning styles, educational settings, age groups, and denominations. With Soulful Education, teachers and students are discovering that Jewish texts have something personal and meaningful to say to their lives.
Through its training programs for over 300 educators in North America and Israel, its online presence for over 4,000 readers, and its various publications, Ayeka has launched an innovative educational approach that is creating waves in Jewish education.
“Aryeh Ben David’s presentation was the best I have heard in all my years at JLI. His Ayeka approach is so simple, yet sophisticated. It solves two of my (and maybe many others’) biggest challenges teaching JLI: how to use the material to spur personal growth and how to encourage the students to interact and get to know each other.” Mendel B., Chabad Shliach, Plano, TX