Today is July 26, 2017 -

Blog Posts

A Hard Truth for the 3 Weeks

July 25, 2017

By: Aryeh Ben David

The hard truth I need to face during these 3 weeks is that I have become someone that I don’t want to be.

I have fallen into an unhealthy spiritual routine. I have become full of anger, judgment, and self-righteousness. I have endless knee-jerk judgments. These responses are shallow, unnecessary, and do not help me become the person I aspire to be.

What happened to me?

 

Ayeka: Presence and Presents

June 27, 2017

By: Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer,  School Rabbi at Milken Community Schools and Ayeka Mentor 

What does a year of Ayeka bring? For the student, countless gifts: focused learning, spiritual reflection, exploration of the soul. And for the teacher? After a school year of teaching Torah with the help of Ayeka, educators on our faculty found that the most significant gifts emerged directly from the greatest challenges.

Thoughts on Receiving the Torah

May 16, 2017

By: Zvi Hirschfield, Ayeka Educator

It is essential for us to consider some of elements that allowed us to receive the Torah the first time, and consider to what extent we can prepare ourselves as individuals and a community to receive and renew our acceptance of Torah…

Experiencing Freedom, Personally

April 2, 2017

By: Adam Mayer, Ayeka Educator and Jewish Studies teacher & Beit Midrash Fellow at Kohelet High School

As I approach Passover this year, like most years, I am overwhelmed!  How can I possibly prepare everything in time? The cleaning and the cooking will get done; But how can I prepare myself to experience the freedom of leaving Egypt as part of a newly liberated Jewish People…

Question Marks

March 28, 2017

By Dasee Berkowitz, Director, Becoming a Soulful Parent Track

In my family, do I ask open, life-giving, possibility enhancing questions, or closed and narrow ones (does it sound like I might already have a very clear answer in mind?)

Living Between Peak Moments

March 7, 2017

By: R’ Ari Schwarzberg, Ayeka Educator and Director of The Shalhevet Institute

The hidden theology of Megillat Esther requires us to search actively for meaning and to work to uncover God’s presence in the world. It encourages us to be suspect of appearances, and instead value the deeper layers of soul, purpose, and intent.

Planting Seeds

February 14, 2017

By Deborah Anstandig, Ayeka Educator

As educators, we plant seeds in the soil of our students. If we’re lucky, we’ll see some of the fruits of some of our hard work.

Two Crowns

January 29, 2017

We asked leaders in Jewish Education to reflect on the question:

“What is NOT yet growing in the world of Jewish Education? What seed is missing and needs to be planted?”

This post is the 6th in the Ayeka Tu B’Shvat Series. 

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

January 26, 2017

We asked leaders in Jewish Education to reflect on the question:

“What is NOT yet growing in the world of Jewish Education? What seed is missing and needs to be planted?”

This post is the 5th in the Ayeka Tu B’Shvat Series. 

Wages for Jewish Educators

January 26, 2017

We asked leaders in Jewish Education to reflect on the question:

“What is NOT yet growing in the world of Jewish Education? What seed is missing and needs to be planted?”

This post is the 4th in the Ayeka Tu B’Shvat Series. 

The Missing Sweet Spot

January 26, 2017

We asked leaders in Jewish Education to reflect on the question:

“What is NOT yet growing in the world of Jewish Education? What seed is missing and needs to be planted?”

This post is the 3rd in the Ayeka Tu B’Shvat Series. 

Creativity and Paradoxical Thinking

January 26, 2017

We asked leaders in Jewish Education to reflect on the question:

“What is NOT yet growing in the world of Jewish Education? What seed is missing and needs to be planted?”

This post is the 2nd in the Ayeka Tu B’Shvat Series. 

“Oxygen Mask Judaism”

January 26, 2017

We asked leaders in Jewish Education to reflect on the question:

“What is NOT yet growing in the world of Jewish Education? What seed is missing and needs to be planted?”

This post is the 1st in the Ayeka Tu B’Shvat Series. 

Soulful Staff Meetings

January 8, 2017

Just like every human being, each organization has a soul.  Here, Aryeh shares what Ayeka’s looks like.

A Few Thoughts on Chanuka

December 16, 2016

Isn’t our custom on Chanuka a bit strange? We light a candle… and then we are prohibited from using or enjoying the light!

How the High Holidays Snapped Me Out of My Mom Boredom

November 7, 2016

By Dasee Berkowitz, Becoming a Soulful Parent Director 

There was a moment last year that broke me out of the manager mom malaise. It happened for a few minutes right before the start of Yom Kippur…

Thought & Identity: A Challenge in the Classroom 

November 4, 2016

By Jeff Amshalem, Ayeka Educator

Last year, I struggled with a particular class, 11th grade Jewish Thought and Identity…

Questions to Personalize Your Rosh HaShana

September 26, 2016

In Hebrew, the word – “l’shoef ” – means both “to inhale” and “to yearn”. If I stop yearning – it’s as if I’ve stopped inhaling. Yearning gives me life; inhaling enables me to yearn.

Beginnings

September 18, 2016

By Mali Brofsky, Ayeka Educator

Although I can’t control everything, maybe I don’t have to. Maybe I am not carrying my life all by myself…

Holy Choreography

August 21, 2016

By Shawn Fields-Meyer, Ayeka Educator

After an Ayeka conversation, each of us has a greater possibility of engaging in real ways with our neshama, with ourselves, and with God.

Meeting the Worst Person in the World

August 8, 2016

It is impossible to estimate the number of voices going through my head right now. One voice says, “Of course. I’d be so happy to help you…” Actually, that voice was more of a whisper, barely discernible…

A Torah of Violence

August 1, 2016

The time has come for educators to listen, to evoke, and to love the multiplicity of voices of the Jewish People.

Ayeka at Milken Community Schools!  

July 19, 2016

It was a week of learning, spiritual wrestling, and exploration of our work as educators. By learning the Ayeka approach as a group, we also grew closer as a community of teachers…

Ayeka at Shalhevet High School!

July 19, 2016

To close out our year, eight Judaic & General Studies faculty members of Shalhevet High School immersed themselves in two days of soulful education with the Ayeka staff.

Back to School

July 19, 2016

By Zvi Hirschfield, Ayeka Educator

I have seen Aryeh deliver and explain the Ayeka approach many times. I am already a believer… So, no surprises there. For me, the excitement came from meeting the teachers.

Exciting News at Ayeka!

May 26, 2016

We are extremely gratified that the Jewish philanthropic world has taken notice of our activities, and we are pleased to announce that Ayeka has received grants from three prominent Jewish philanthropic institutions…

A Vibrating Seder

April 24, 2016

This year — our Seder will be about sympathetic vibrations.

Ayeka’s Ideas for the Pesach Seder

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.

Radical and Extreme Compassion

December 30, 2015

My response to pictures of Jews celebrating acts of terror against Arabs.

In Praise of Neediness

December 10, 2015

For a long time I thought I didn’t need anyone else.

Talking About Myself

December 1, 2015

All my teaching is about me, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

A Shabbat Disaster

September 22, 2015

We are so fragile. In this time of teshuva, it is vulnerability and forgiveness that can heal our relationships.

The Joy of Brokenness

September 9, 2015

The brokenness of our reality may be all that we need to build.

The Holy Wimp

July 9, 2015

Pick one person in your life to forgive.

On the New York City Subway

June 30, 2015

Sometimes the kindest act we can do is to receive – to allow someone else to give to us.

Shavuot… It’s Not About the Learning.

May 21, 2015

What is the role of Torah if I can be spiritual without it?

Loving Our Students

April 19, 2015

As teachers, we need to shift our natural focus from the group experience and that of the outspoken students to giving the quiet students a voice.

If Matzah Could Talk

March 25, 2015

An attempt to listen to one of the real players of the Seder story.

The Educator as the Tour Guide of the Soul

January 26, 2015

Wanted: an educator. Who will help me find my path, hear the inner voice of my soul and answer my calling.

A Small Victory

December 4, 2014

Why do I feel the implacable urge to judge others?

Parenting – For God and Love

October 22, 2014

What do we do when our kids don’t believe in our most fundamental beliefs?