HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal



Prizmah represents a collaboration of colleagues from five legacy organizations, so collaboration is a natural theme for this first Prizmah issue of HaYidion. Articles demonstrate an eagerness to embrace new educational paradigms, to rethink the foundations of day school education, to dream big and do the patient work to follow through. The writers here evince several principles in action: a willingness to take risks; acknowledging and defying challenges; thinking holistically/globally; and connecting or smashing silos.

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In the Issue: Collaboration

by Elliott Rabin, editor Jan 03, 2017 Prizmah

Two are better off than one, for they have greater wages from their labor. … A threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Kohelet 4:9, 12)

From the CEO: Building the Field of Jewish Day Schools Together

by Paul Bernstein, CEO Jan 03, 2017 Prizmah
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipMission & Vision

In the telling and retelling of the building of the Mishkan through the book of Shmot, there is much to learn about how Bnei Yisrael succeeded in this great endeavor, amidst so much detail about the architecture and contents. Hashem says that “every man whose heart makes him willing” is to be part of the work.

Prizmah: Where We Are and How We Got Here

by Heather Gowdy Jan 03, 2017 LaPiana Consulting
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipMission & Vision

כּׂל הַעוֹלָם כֻּלוֹ גֶשֶׁר צָר מְאֹד וְהַעִקָר לׂא לְפַחֵד כְּלָל.

All the world is a narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to fear at all.


Spotlight on… Reshet Prizmah

by Debra Shaffer Seeman, Debra Abolafia, Sam Chestnut, Beth Cohen, Tracie Glazer, Allison Oakes, Melanie Waynik and Lynn Raviv Jan 03, 2017

Jewish day schools that reside in small communities face challenges not often shared by larger schools in larger communities. Among these challenges are isolation from other Jewish day schools, small school populations, and limited resources, both financial and human. A group of six heads of school from small communities—Debra Abolafia from the N.E.

On My Nightstand: Books Prizmah Staff Are Reading

Jan 03, 2017
RELATED TOPICS: ArtsStudentsTeachers

The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues, by Patrick Lencioni


Jan 03, 2017
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipTeachers

“Therefore, it is key that leaders demonstrate restraint when their people engage in conflict, and allow resolution to occur naturally, as messy as it can sometimes be. This can be a challenge because many leaders feel that they are somehow failing in their jobs by losing control of their teams during conflict. Finally, as trite as it may sound, a leader’s ability to personally model appropriate conflict behavior is essential. By avoiding conflict when it is necessary and productive—something many executives do—a team leader will encourage this dysfunction to thrive.”

The Advice Booth: How Much to Charge

by Dan Perla, Director, Financial Vitality Jan 03, 2017 Prizmah

Q: What is best practice when it comes to setting tuition?


Achieving Citywide Strength in Jewish Day School Education

by Lesley Said Matsa Jan 03, 2017 Crown Family Philanthropies, Chicago

Chicago’s Jewish day schools thrive due to the power of collaboration: among schools; among local funders; between federation, schools, and funders; and between local and national funders.


Partnerships for a Robust Jewish Identity

by Lee Buckman Jan 03, 2017 TanenbaumCHAT, Toronto
RELATED TOPICS: CommunityLeadershipStudents

Day schools sit at the center of a thriving ecosystem of valuable Jewish organizations, with the latter—Jewish summer camps, the home, youth groups, campus Hillels, UJA and Israel—surrounding and enveloping the school. “Spokes” of influence connect the day school hub to each organization, in a bidirectional symbiotic relationship (and as the graphic shows, each institution on the periphery impacts one another as well). To magnify and maximize the effectiveness of day schools, day school leaders would be wise to collaborate with organizations that share their Jewish mission.


The Quest for Teaching Excellence Through Communitywide Collaboration

by Shira Hammerman Jan 03, 2017 Whippany, NJ
RELATED TOPICS: CommunityTeachers

This article highlights five lessons for those who seek to develop communitywide collaborations to support day school professional development. The New Jersey Quest for Teaching Excellence Program was founded in 2011 in the belief that excellent teachers are needed to build excellent schools, and that teacher excellence is best cultivated through communitywide collaboration. Each of four partner schools was tasked with establishing its own robust professional development plan driven by the individualized needs of teachers and overseen by a part-time faculty dean.