Whether over breakfast, on the drive to or from work, or resting in your armchair in the evening, enjoy an episode of a Prizmah podcast. These podcasts consist of conversations that delve into issues from contemporary education and scholarship, exploring how Jewish school leaders reflect upon leading trends and ideas and bring them to life in their schools.

Kol ha-kavod! I just finished listening to your recent podcast. I intend to use this in a professional development session with my colleagues for the questions you raise about skills, content and values.
- Rabbi Judd Kruger Levingston PhD, Director of Jewish Studies, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

We bring you two podcast series:

Research Encounter, hosted by Elliott Rabin, Prizmah's director of thought leadership, presents a discussion between a researcher and a day school leader about a recent work of scholarship.



Start-up Day School, hosted by Josh Gold, middle school principal at HAFTR, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaways in Lawrence, New York, offers a give-and-take on matters of contemporary educational leadership in Jewish schools.



Share them with colleagues and friends, discuss them in faculty meetings, and continue the conversations! Let us know how you use them and feel free to send suggestions for future episodes.

Research Encounter Description  
Putting Creativity at the Heart of Jewish Schooling Dr. Miriam Heller Stern, National Director of the HUC-JIR School of Education in Los Angeles, and Susie Tanchel, head of school at JCDS Boston, talk about creativity as a vital component of a school’s mission and vision. They explore how the school's conception of creativity can be guided by Jewish values, and ways that it can inform school culture, curriculum and pedagogy.

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Strengthening Jewish Studies with Insights from Cognitive Science Dr. Moshe Krakowski, Director of the Master's Program at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University, and Rabbi Daniel Alter, head of The Moriah School in Engelwood, New Jersey, discuss findings from the Science of Learning (cognitive science) and how they can inform Jewish Studies. They look at techniques that can improve retention of material and lead to greater fluency, mastery and enjoyment of Jewish text learning.

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Teaching the Students, not Jewish Identity Dr. Tali Zelkowicz, Director of Curriculum and Research at the Wexner Foundation, and Dr. Sarah Shulkind, head of Milken Community Schools in Los Angeles, examine the perils of teaching for Jewish identity. They consider how a focus on identity outcomes can overburden the Jewish studies classroom with unrealistic expectations that go against what we know is good pedagogy, which creates room for student exploration and growth on students’ own terms.

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What Do Students Really Think of High School Talmud?

Dr. Arielle Levites, managing director of CASJE, Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education, and Rabbi Jethro Berkman, dean of Jewish education at Gann Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts, reflect upon the findings of a study into student responses to their Talmud education. They consider the possible shortcomings of Talmud curriculum and pedagogy and discuss other ways that schools might approach the teaching of rabbinics.

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Reflecting on and Learning from Jewish Day School Boards Daniella Pressner and Moshe Werthan, head of school and board member at the Akiva School in Nashville, Tennessee, discuss their experiences of working with board members, the challenges and successes that their board has seen, and the culture that they try to cultivate on the board. They are joined by Alex Pomson, principal and managing director of Rosov Consulting, and host Ilisa Cappell, Prizmah’s vice president for leadership development, who draw upon Prizmah’s recent study of lay leadership in Jewish day schools to highlight contexts and trends in this field.

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Preparations for Success During Covid Professor Jack Wertheimer of the Jewish Theological Seminary talks with Cheryl Maayan, head of the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School in St. Louis, and Dr. Steven Lorch, head of Kadimah Day School in Los Angeles, about how Jewish day schools have fared during the pandemic. Wertheimer proposes trends that have set up many day schools for success in the face of the overwhelming challenges that schools and families have experienced. Listen Here

Gender, Class and Young Jewish Women

How do we support girls in the transition from middle school to high school? Joni Fishman, middle school dean of students at the Rashi School in Dedham, Massachusetts, speaks with researcher Cheryl Weiner about Rosh Chodesh groups, SEL, and ways that girls think of themselves and their overlapping identities as they enter the cusp of adulthood. Listen Here


Start-up Day School Description  
Want to effect positive behavior changes in students? Be their coach. Rabbi Yaakov Sadigh, the head of school at HANC, the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, joins Josh Gold for a conversation about student behavior and support. They focus on shifting the ways that teachers and administrators work with students, especially regarding behavioral and social-emotional issues, from a punitive approach to one of guidance rooted in moral reflection based on Jewish values.

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Hearing the song beneath the words: Active listening strategies for school leaders Bracha Rutner, interim head of school at the Yeshiva University High School for Girls ("Central"), participates in a discussion on active listening and empathy. She and Josh Gold explore the changing paradigm of good teaching, which requires teachers to be good listeners more than good speakers and to foster authentic dialogue between students. They also present ways to generate authentic dialogue with parents and teachers.

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Turning Challenge into Opportunity under COVID Daniel Weiss, head of the Bornblum Jewish Community School in Memphis, discusses running a school under COVID: adapting to changing needs and conditions of education, new opportunities that may be arising now that will reap benefits later, and holding on to a school’s vision and strategic plan.

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Collaborating with Students Dr. Eliana Lipsky, middle school principal at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland, discusses ways that her team works with students to help strengthen their sense of agency, through collaborative problem-solving and the study and practice of leadership. Hosted by Josh Gold, middle school principal at HAFTR in Lawrence, New York.

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"Driving the Car"--Project-Based Learning in Jewish Education Tikvah Wiener, founding head of The Idea School in Tenafly, New Jersey, joins Josh Gold to discuss the goals and impact of project-based learning, the educational philosophy upon which her school is based. They talk about student agency, self-actualization and reaching deeper levels of knowledge. Hosted by Josh Gold, middle school principal at HAFTR in Lawrence, New York. Listen Here

Torah, Forest Baths, and Environmental Education

Yosef Gillers and Sara Just-Michaels, co-directors of Grow Torah, join Josh Gold to discuss their work leading a team of environmental educators employed in many day schools and camps. They explore their philosophy and pedagogy and the benefits of this learning for students. Hosted by Josh Gold, middle school principal at HAFTR in Lawrence, New York.  Listen Here