Group Blog

  • Involvement or Engagement?

    Posted by Shariee / on 07/17/2013 / 1 Comment

    An article recently came across my desk for a second time... and I'm glad it did! After reading it again I believe it's as relevant today as it was in 2011 when it was first published by ASCD.

    Larry Ferlazzo's article, Involvement or Engagement , focuses on cultivating school-family partnerships in secular school settings. He makes the case that those relationships are the byproduct of using relationship-building processes focused on listening .

    Sound familiar? It should. Ron Wolfson's book, Relational Judaism, stresses this point as well, laying the foundation for why relationships have to come first and how building those ..

  • Celebrate Passover: How to Plan a Fun, Simple Seder

    Posted by Ellen / on 03/13/2013 / 3 Comments

    I did a survey recently and asked people directly what they'd find most helpful, in terms of Passover materials -- if they were new to putting on a Seder. The answer: a Seder primer with the whats and whys and how-tos.

    So I created a 36-page downloadable guide called "Celebrate Passover: How to Plan a Fun, Simple Seder." I also created two audio tutorials: a 10-minute Seder Overview (for people who like to listen first, dive for details next) and a Passover Audio Tutorial (where I teach how to pronounce many of the key Seder elements, then leave a space for ..

  • After the holidays - carrying the spirit forward

    Posted by Ellen / on 10/12/2012 / 0 Comments

    Here's my question to Shevet members: do you know of people who, rather than feeling inspired by HHD services, feel let down, alienated, just plain sad. I'd love to offer advice to them in an upcoming blog post.  If you have any guidance, feel free to share with me at

    I'd like to address this as the flip side of the blog post below.


    As the last of the fall holidays winds down, we have to wait two months until Hanukkah.

    If you attended services or had festive meals with family over Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, ..

  • Build Your Own Jewish Experience

    Posted by Ellen / on 02/19/2012 / 0 Comments

    Just learned about a wonderful new way for Jewish students to build their own Jewish experiences.  Thought you might be interested:



  • Passover and the Modern Family

    Posted by Arnold / on 02/14/2012 / 0 Comments


    Throughout all the changes that have occurred within Judaism, one thing remains constant. Passover is still a "pilgrimage holiday." Most families still conduct some type of Seder, whether is lasts for 30 minutes or goes on for hours; including Matzah and all the regular Passover foods, or a combination of other kosher and non-kosher foods. I believe that everyone does something.

    I have also since learned that families do not need a refresher course, or an introductory course, on how to conduct a Seder. That doesn't mean we shouldn't at some point teach how the Haggadah was put together, ..

  • What constitues a family these days?

    Posted by Rabbi Robyn / on 02/10/2012 / 1 Comment

    In light of this article that was recently posted on eJewishphilanthropy, should we still be using the term "Family" 


    The ABC television series Modern Family is continuing to win recognition and accolades, most recently a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.  The family structures portrayed on Modern Family are a far cry from Leave it To Beaver.  Yet, the organized Jewish community continues to cling to that 1950s-era model of what a family should be. The time is overdue for the Jewish community to redefine our understanding of family and ..

  • Parents are Teachers Too -- PATT Schools

    Posted by GAVRIEL (Gabe) / on 11/22/2011 / 0 Comments

    The Challenge: Improve Religious Schools

     Why aren't Jewish supplementary schools better than they are? For the past 30 years, Jewish communities and organizations across the United States (to the tune of tens of millions of dollars) have attempted to improve the effectiveness of supplementary schools. And we have. We have improved every facet of supplementary schooling. There isn't a school in this country that can't point to dramatic improvement in its administrators, teachers, lay leaders, curriculum and school facilities. Yet none of these improvements have alleviated the severe criticism leveled against these schools. In fact, so severe have been these ..

  • Relational Judaism

    Posted by Ron / on 11/09/2011 / 0 Comments

    Hey Shevet Chevre,

    I am working on a new book titled "Relational Judaism." From my perch, the more I see of the Jewish community, synagogues, families, young Jewish adults, and aging baby boomers in the early 21st century, the more I am convinced that "building relationships" will be the all-important goal of "engagement" efforts. My plan is for the book to be completed in the Fall of 2012 and published the following spring. I invite you to join me in this blog by commenting on the ideas presented and sharing with the chevre good examples of initiatives that "build relationships" on ..

  • Now what? Ways to get involved!

    Posted by Robyn / on 08/02/2011 / 0 Comments

    B'ruchim Ha'baim to our Virtual Community members!

    OK, you've joined, now what? What's this all about?

    Community.  This is a safe space where you can meet and network with other Jewish family education professionals and lay leaders ... seek information, throw a crazy idea out there for some feedback, or just hang out with others in your field.

    This is a cooperative effort. Put simply, it's a user-driven community. We're all family educators in one form or another with more than enough work on our to-do list. With many things going on for each of us, there's no one on ..


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