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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CASJE: Collaborative Research for Advancing the JDS Field

by Paul D. Goren and Mitchel Malkus Jan 03, 2017
RELATED TOPICS: Jewish StudiesLeadership

How many times have you been asked, at school or in the boardroom, what the research says on a particular topic that is critical to your work in schools? How often have you thought, If we only knew why teaching X is so difficult or the best way to teach Y, we could increase significantly student learning and the quality of our schools? These are questions that practitioners often face and that funders often seek to answer.

The Transformative Value of Fieldwide Teacher Collaboration

by Deborah Fishman Jan 03, 2017 The AVI CHAI Foundation
RELATED TOPICS: HebrewInclusivityTeachers

Last summer, four day schools in the Midwest came together to explore a common challenge: how to differentiate instruction in a Hebrew classroom to meet the needs of students with varying levels of knowledge and experience. Teams of educators and administrators from each school—Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School in St.

Collaborating Towards a Better Staff Culture

by Maury Grebenau Jan 03, 2017 Yavneh Academy, Dallas

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Facing the Challenges of Collaborative Leadership

by Marc Lindner Jan 03, 2017 Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, MD

Collaborative leadership has great potential to help elevate Jewish day schools. It is grounded in our traditions of questioning, wrestling with issues, and considering alternative perspectives. In practice, it involves a leader who empowers others to play substantive roles in planning programs and events, in decision-making about issues of import to the school, and in visioning for the school’s future. The collaborative leader guides others to move efficiently through their processes of conceiving, brainstorming and formulating, from start to finish.


A Case Study in School and Synagogue Community Building

by Erica Rothblum and Yechiel Hoffman Jan 03, 2017 Los Angeles

Pressman Academy is a day school housed within a synagogue, Temple Beth Am, in Los Angeles. Like other Jewish day schools, Pressman must first meet all of the requirements and expectations of a school positioned within the independent school market. Additionally, the school is expected to meet the needs of the host institution.

Changing Mindsets: Can Building the Admissions Funnel Be An Opportunity for Community Partnership?

by Rachel Kalikow Jan 03, 2017 Gann Academy, Waltham, MA
RELATED TOPICS: AdvocacyCommunityLeadership

My position, director of community outreach and partnerships, is the result of a commitment to change how we think about admissions and about the role of our school in the Jewish ecosystem. With it, our school aims to change communal behaviors and create models for institutional collaboration which will impact how people view Jewish high school.


The Final Frontier: Designing Space for Teacher Collaboration

by Bruce Powell Jan 03, 2017 de Toledo High School, West Hills, California
RELATED TOPICS: CommunityLeadershipTeachers

The allocation and formation of space can be pivotal in creating a productive learning environment not only for students but also for teachers. This article describes how the design of a new faculty work space, intentionally programmed with the school’s vision in mind, created the conditions that allowed an enhanced culture of collaboration and creativity to flourish.


Dialogue Across Difference: The power of collaboration when colleagues disagree

by Lauren Applebaum and Sivan Zakai Jan 03, 2017
RELATED TOPICS: IsraelTeachers

We often think of collaboration as working together for a common purpose. But in many educational settings, we work with colleagues quite different from ourselves. We may share both space and students, but have different ideas about what we should be doing in the classroom, and why we should be doing it. What happens, then, when colleagues attempt to collaborate across these differences? What does it mean to collaborate when colleagues do not share educational goals, and when even the values and assumptions underlying those goals are strikingly different?


Teacher Collaboration to Improve Value Proposition

by Eliot Feldman Jan 03, 2017

The following emails arrived in my inbox soon after the opening of a school where I had assumed the headship.


Hi, Rabbi. I’m writing to tell you that my child will be arriving late to school tomorrow because of a scheduled medical appointment. I’m sure it won’t be too much of a problem since these are Jewish studies periods. Also, would you please speak with your Jewish studies teachers to ask that they lighten the homework load for the next few weeks? My child is in a play at the local drama club and won’t have time for Jewish studies homework.


Ingredients for Authentic Collaboration

by Susan Wall and Aviva Golbert Jan 03, 2017 Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies, Jerusalem

True collaboration results only when there is a commitment to bringing the experiences, values and thoughts of multiple educators to the table so that they can listen to one another. Merely convoking teachers with different backgrounds and expertise, or who work in different grade levels or types of schools, will not ensure a rich exchange of ideas or promote growth in learning.


The Definition of and Importance of Real Collaboration