A conservative, egalitarian synagogue

HT Jewish Education Va'adah/Seminar

Judaism and Educating our Future


The “Judaism and Educating our Future” seminar aims to empower and enrich our TIC learners as they become madrikhim (assistants), Teen TECH coaches, or Shabbat buddies in the TIC community.  This seminar may also be of interest to those who are leaders in USY or serve as CIT or counselors at summer camps.

In all of these settings, Shorashim, Shabbat services, Youth events, and summer camps, our teens are Jewish educators and serve as role models. Meeting weekly, this cohort will build community through shared learning experiences and will have the opportunity to troubleshoot the challenges they face in roles as madrikhim, teen TECH coaches, Shabbat buddies, USY leaders or camp counselors.  By exploring how their own beliefs and Jewish lives impact their work as educators, they will think critically about their impact as a Jewish educator.

Target audience:

All TIC high school teens who are interested in the field of education or who serve as madrikhim, Shabbat buddies, USY leaders and/or counselors in a camp setting.  


Weekly meetings and dinner over the course of the fall and spring semesters, including at least one Shabbat dinner experience and/or overnight experience are envisioned. Weekly meetings are broken down as follows:

  • Dinner and community building (Wednesday nights, 6:30-6:55pm)
  • Learning around that week’s topic (Wednesday nights, 7-7:55pm)


Possible organizations willing to partner with us in the form of “donating” guest educators or in other ways:

  • National Ramah Commission
  • The Jewish Education Project
  • Davidson School of Jewish Education
  • Backyard Sports
  • Gigi’s Playhouse
  • TIC NS camp
  • Hackley School (Steve Bileca)
  • Yes, She Can: Girl Again
  • Winwood
  • Jewish Theological Seminary

Curriculum Breakdown

Note: This is a tentative schedule and is subject to change based on the interests of our teens



Essential Questions

Possible Resources

Week 1

 Jewish Education

  • How do I define education/being an educator?
  • What is Jewish about education?
  • What do I do when my values or practices don’t align with what I am teaching ?
  • How do I bring passion and excitement to my role as a Jewish educator?


Week 2

Whole Person Learning & Experiential Learning

  • What is whole person learning? What is experiential learning?
  • How do we create learning that is not only knowledge based, but also speaks to our learners’ hearts? 


Jewish Education Project

Week 3

Child Development

  • Where are my learners developmentally?
  • How do I interact with learners in a way that’s developmentally appropriate?

Chip Wood’s book, Yardsticks

Week 4

Relational Judaism

  • Why are relationships integral to learning?
  • How can I prioritize relationship building?
  • What are some concrete techniques to build relationships?
  • What’s the difference between ice breakers and relationship builders, and how do I do both?

Brene Brown: The difference between fitting in and belonging

Social Emotional Learning

Week 5

God Talk

  • How do I talk with learners about God?
  • How do I balance my own views with the views of Conservative Judaism?

Names for God activity

Week 6

Gender in Jewish Educational Spaces

  • How does gender impact learning?
  • What does Judaism have to say about gender?

Mara Yacobi (JloveandValues)

Week 7

Teaching Texts: Traditional Techniques

  • How can havruta be utilized for different ages and backgrounds?
  • How can we give learners access to “real” texts instead of summaries?