Thirteen years ago Temple Beth-El in Somerset County, New Jersey, recognized the need for a special education expert in the religious school and hired me to help build and run a program to meet the needs of children who were not experiencing success in traditional classes. We have developed a multi-layered program with various options and we work to meet every student’s needs. In addition, we strive to ensure that our inclusive practices extend to the synagogue at large. While we have experienced growing pains, especially in our early years, it has been rare for us to be entirely unable meet a family’s needs. The story shared below is only the third time in my tenure that we have had such an experience.
I'm often asked what I think will be the "next big thing" when it comes to technology and Jewish education. Recently, I've been focused on QR codes. You know those odd little squares that look like a cross between a thumbprint and a bar code? Scanning that QR code automatically provides you with information about whatever it was that you just scanned. A lot of information. Scan a book and immediately be able to search inside its pages or find the lowest price online to purchase it.
I think I may have the opposite problem of Rabbi Marc Schneier, the prominent Orthodox spiritual leader who has been divorced four times — and is facing ethics charges from the Rabbinical Council of America.
In a recent blog post, my colleague and teacher Rabbi Hayim Herring writes about the Fast Company article that questions whether the introduction of smartphones and handheld computers into classrooms worldwide will be the start of an educational revolution. Anya Kamenetz, author of the book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education wonders "How technology could unleash childhood creativity -- and transform the role of the teacher."
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.