A first-of-a-kind symposium has opened today, July 8, 2015, focusing on tefilah in Jewish day schools. Aleinu Leshabe’ach, organized by the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators, has brought together 17 tefilah facilitators, across all grades, from Orthodox, Conservative and Community day schools, to spend six days exploring the challenges and new possibilities for tefilah education.
Participants bring to the symposium best practices from the field, including classical texts, storytelling, music, film, use of the outdoors, meditation and student engagement. Guest presenters, who include expert thinkers and practitioners of prayer and spirituality in education, will address areas of stages of faith development, teaching prayer, cultivating spirituality and making organizational change in schools.
The objectives of the symposium include clarifying educational goals, reflecting upon developmental priorities and crafting a variety of directions to address this most challenging aspect of the day school curriculum.
Reflections from the symposium will be published in the fall.
Pardes has been exploring the area of tefilah education in day schools over the last decade, specifically through the experiences of the more than 140 graduates of the Pardes Educators Program, which has been training teachers for Jewish day schools throughout North America since 2000.