Source: Sightline - August, 2016
Rabbi Joy Leasked herself founded the Jewish Journey Project, an initiative designed to “revolutionize Jewish education for children,” five years ago. The JJP is rooted in a flexible model for children in 3rd-7th grades, and offers courses held at several partner synagogues and at the JCC Manhattan weekly from Monday-Thursday. The program takes advantage of rich opportunities to engage outside of the classroom, making use of the vast Jewish resources of New York City. In addition, the Jewish Journey Project offers small classes and different learning modalities aimed at resonating with all families, including those with children who have special needs. There’s also a learning specialist on the JJP staff that can help families choose which classes might work best for children.
All JJP students plan and build their own personalized learning journey by choosing courses and workshops that match their interests, like Architecture: DIY Building, Discovering Israel Through STEAM, Judaism, Animals and Us, and Torah Stories and Stop Motion Animation, to name a few.
“The beauty of this program is that children and families have a lot of choices, our teachers have great expertise and then we put that together with Jewish content,” said Rabbi Lori Forman-Jacobi, director of the Jewish Journey Program. “The range of experience that we can offer students knows no bounds.” Forman-Jacobi added that since the JJP is self-selecting, this helps to address some of the behavioral issues that tend to arise in more traditional Hebrew school settings.
“Because we also do advising sessions with parents and meet with families one-on-one, we can articulate long term goals, go over new courses that we’re offering and help guide parents and children to consider classes and topics that might be outside of their comfort zone. Since kids are choosing topics that interest them, this helps to cut down on the sense of being forced to attend afternoon school,” she said.
Read the entire article at the Covenant Foundation August 2016 - Sight Line.