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Ayeka Musings

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 »

A Vibrating Seder

Published in Times of Israel by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on April 14, 2016

We’re going to try something new at seder this year. For the first time in years, we’ll be having an adult seder. Kids are older and the marrieds with the grandkids will be at the in-laws. What’s new? This year we are not buying new Haggadot. It seems that every year dozens of new commentaries Continue Reading »

Loving Our Students

Published in Ayeka Newsletter by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on April 19, 2015

By Aryeh Ben David   Recently, an Ayeka educator proudly described her successful teenage class dynamic to me. She said that usually a third of the kids actively participate, a third sometimes participate, and a third remains on the side throughout most of their activities. I paused, took a chance, and asked her: “When you Continue Reading »

If Matzah Could Talk

Published in Ayeka Newsletter by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on March 21, 2015

At the Seder we celebrate talking. The very name – Pesach – is referred to in the Kabbalah as “Peh-Sach”, “the mouth that talks”. Usually we understand this as the talking of the people sitting around the Seder table, reading and expanding on the words of the Haggadah. But what if the objects at the Continue Reading »

Parenting – For God and Love

Published by Aryeh Ben David
Posted on November 27, 2014

  One of the most surprising things for me as a parent has been how different my kids are from me. I guess it was naïve – but I just thought it would have been natural for kids to be like their parents. Though one could point out that I have turned out very differently Continue Reading »