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Ayeka Musings

Thoughts on Receiving the Torah

Published in Ayeka by Zvi Hirschfield, Ayeka Educator
Posted on March 16, 2017

In our tefillot we emphasize that Shavuot is the “Festival of the Giving of the Torah.” The Slonimer Rebbe and author of Netivot Shalom wrote: “However, in addition to marking an essential event and defining moment in the history of the Jewish people, Shavuot is also a time in the year when we receive the Continue Reading »

Living Between Peak Moments

Published in Ayeka by R’ Ari Schwarzberg, Ayeka Educator and Director of The Shalhevet Institute
Posted on March 7, 2017

One of the more challenging aspects of living an inspired life is experiencing meaning during those inevitable stretches that appear to be spiritually vacant. Many of us live our lives eagerly waiting for the next peak moment to arrive. We cross the days off our calendar in anticipation of the next big milestone, event or Continue Reading »

Planting Seeds

Published in Ayeka by Deborah Anstandig
Posted on February 14, 2017

In the yearbook from my 8th grade graduation from Jewish Day School, we were asked to cite a quote we found meaningful. While I no longer remember the quote I chose, one student’s quote remains present until today. “The greatest impacts in life are the ones you never know you make”. My peer quoted his Continue Reading »

Is there such a thing as ‘soulful’ parenting?

Published in The Times of Israel by Simona Weinglass
Posted on February 13, 2017

On a chilly winter evening in Tel Aviv, a group of women sit in a circle pondering a poem by Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran: “Your children are not your children They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, Continue Reading »

Two Crowns

Published in Ayeka by R’ Efraim Mintz, The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, Director
Posted on January 29, 2017

Angels, the Midrash teaches, attended our nation’s first educational experience at Sinai bearing gifts: two crowns. One was the crown of action, awarded to us for our commitment to do everything G-d asked of us. The second was the crown of understanding, bestowed in recognition of our promise to commit our minds to the comprehension Continue Reading »

Creativity and Paradoxical Thinking

Published in Ayeka by Rabbi David Jaffe, Founder & Principal, Kirva
Posted on January 26, 2017

Learning Torah as a training ground for developing habits of mind essential to thriving in the 21st century is a seed that needs nurturing. I will illustrate what I mean through two examples: First creative thinking and then paradoxical thinking.  PaRDeS is the acronym for Torah interpretation: P’shat/plain meaninig is the straightforward, almost literal meaning Continue Reading »

The Missing Sweet Spot

Published in Ayeka by Josh Feigelson, Founder & Executive Director, Ask Big Questions
Posted on January 26, 2017

Imagine a street. There are two synagogues on the street, directly across from each other. It’s 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning, and in both synagogues, the rabbi is beginning a class on the Book of Job. In the first synagogue, 15 people are gathered with their Bibles open. They read the first verse, and Continue Reading »

From Continuity, to Renewal and Renaissance, to… Jewish Thriving

Published in Ayeka by Dr. David Bryfman, Chief Innovation Officer, The Jewish Education Project
Posted on January 26, 2017

First there was “Jewish Continuity,” until we realized that we weren’t quite sure what it was that we wanted to continue and that merely “continuing’ was not a sufficient goal. Next came “Jewish Renaissance and Renewal” which spawned an ecosystem of innovation in the Jewish education and engagement worlds. But that catch cry also waned, Continue Reading »

Wages for Jewish Educators

Published in Ayeka by Cantor Mark Horowitz, Vice President, Director of Sheva Center, JCC Association of North America
Posted on January 26, 2017

The women’s marches across the country this past week made my soul sing and filled my heart with hope and possibility in the midst of my great anxiety for our children and their families. As an early childhood Jewish educator for much of my career, it rekindled my angst over a cause we spend a Continue Reading »

Getting ready for Pesach Seder with Ayeka

Posted on April 21, 2016

The Seder is intended to be a personal experience. By now we know the story. We don’t need more historical information or sermons. What we need is a way to personally connect with the Passover story and to each other. We need quality conversations. That is really what a Seder is: an organized conversation around Continue Reading »