HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal

Art and Aesthetics

Art and Aesthetics

The study and practice of the arts can serve as a powerful vehicle for learning. This issue presents ways that the arts can deepen intellectual inquiry as well as sparking creativity, engage students' hearts and minds in science, literature, and all aspects of Jewish studies, expose learners to provocative, contemporary issues of culture and politics, and draw meaningful connections across the curriculum and among people.

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A Tribute to RAVSAK's Double Chai

by Barbara Davis, Executive Editor Jun 03, 2016

Thirty-six years of RAVSAK, the Jewish Community Day School Network. Thirty years of conferences. Twenty-eight years of a newsletter that morphed into a journal that is read by hundreds of day school leaders, both lay and professional, and hundreds of other thought leaders in the field of Jewish day school education. This is a double chai legacy of which we can all be very proud. As RAVSAK merges and metamorphoses into something bigger (it’s hard for me to say “better,” but I mean that too), we are all a little sad.

A Personal Reflection from the RAVSAK Board Chair

by Rebekah Farber Jun 03, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: Board Governance

I’m not sure if it’s coincidence or providence that the termination of RAVSAK as an independent entity and my tenure as board chair, as well as the graduation of my youngest child from high school, are all occurring at the same time in my life. I have been stewarding children through Jewish day schools for 26 years and working on the boards of my local schools and RAVSAK for 16 of those. So these transitions are monumental for me on many levels.


Dear Cooki: Smoothing Transitions

by Cooki Levy Jun 03, 2016

This month, we received  two closely related questions. Looking at them together will enrich our understanding of the many issues and actions that surround transition in leadership.  The questions are:


As a head of school who is leaving my position at the end of this school year, how can I help to ensure stability and a seamless transition to the new head? what steps should I take? Are there things I can do to help my successor as s/he takes over?

And conversely,


Teaching with Contemporary Art

by Janine Okmin Jun 03, 2016

What is the power of linking contemporary art with Jewish tradition? At The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM), the answer to this questions lies in our museum building—stainless steel-clad geometric forms emerging from an historic brick facade. This building represents the relationship between past, present and future and offers a template for examining Jewish culture through a contemporary lens.

Developing Jewish Artists

by Rebecca Guber Jun 03, 2016

Artists shape the world we live in now, and help us understand worlds that came before. Art allows us to be curious, shift perspectives, and broaden our awareness. Artists are the documenters and storytellers of our Jewish heritage, and we need to find ways to encourage and cultivate the next generation of artists of our community.

The Tapestry of Art and Science

by Annette Calloway MEd Jun 03, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsTechnology

Think of a school as a colorful tapestry. Look closely and you will see the beautiful repeating threads of art and music in the students’ daily experiences. In a 21st century school, technology is another vibrant thread; it is a medium for innovation as students tap both their imaginations and their problem-solving skills. Dr.

Jewish Education Going Graphic: Classroom Strategies for Using Graphic Novels

by Talia Hurwich Jun 03, 2016

Since the 1950s, American educators have largely ignored graphic novels. Most considered them lowbrow, with little educational value. Dr. Frederic Wertham denounced comics as “important contributing factors to present-day juvenile delinquency,” which led to their decades-long censorship. Educators and researchers, however, have begun to challenge these views. Carol Tilley has recently shown that wertham’s research was manipulated and falsified.

Movement with Grace

by Sarah L. Kaufman Jun 02, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: Experiential EducationArts

Interview with Sarah L. Kaufman, author of The Art of Grace and Pulitzer Prize-winning dance critic of the Washington Post. Published in partnership with the Jewish Book Council.

When Creativity Nourishes the Mind, Soul and Heart

by Dr. Miriam Heller Stern Jun 02, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsJewish Studies

A group of sixth graders fans out around the school building with their smartphones, in search of God. Their teacher, a professional photographer, has tasked them with taking photos that reveal where God is present in their surroundings. The subjects they choose (a tree, a Torah, a view from the pews in the sanctuary) combined with their choices of vantage point, focus and lighting, tell an emerging story of their conceptions of the divine presence in their world.

The Yeshiva Poetry Society: A Pedagogical Model for Jewish Slam Poetry

by Hillel Broder and Aaron Roller Jun 02, 2016
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsJewish Studies

In 2013, a YouTube video of a young man in a yarmulke performing slam poetry went viral, clocking close to 400,000 views within a month. It opens, “There’s someone I know who’s slow to commend and quick to condescend.” Ethan Metzger’s counterintuitive poem is a whirl of internal rhymes and pronounced rhythms addressing institutional brainwashing, positive parenting, Jewish identity, and emotional maturity—a grand synthesis of typical slam poetry tropes.