Professionalizing the Field of Jewish Learning after School: Voices from the Field Conference

June 10, 2019

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


Afterschool Jewish educators are on the front lines of Jewish learning for hundreds of thousands of children making Jewish life and learning meaningful and joyful every day. They support our kids and families to build positive Jewish identities. Yet too often they are undervalued and left out of larger conversations about Jewish learning after school.

Jewish after school educators understand the needs of children in ways traditional teachers do not. They appreciate the limits of their students knowing they’ve already had a long day of school. They adopt a variety of strategies making learning joyous and effective while not burning kids out. And they nurture complicated social and emotional needs following a long day of school. Jewish after school educators are master experiential educators, often with deep and intuitive understandings of children’s needs. And, for many, they represent the only Jewish educator an individual will ever meet.

Our plan is simple, to create a space to listen to the voices of these educators, celebrate them and their work, and in so doing contribute to the professionalization of the field.

To that end, we’re excited to announce a new conference devoted exclusively to innovations in Jewish learning after school – Voices From the Field. (November 17-19, 2019 – Berkely, CA) We believe there are many shining lights in the Jewish learning after school space. We believe there’s a large community of professional educators who’ve embraced this domain and identify as professionals and educators in it. And we know if we work together, if we develop the infrastructure, and we combine our efforts we’ll be successful in ushering in a new era for after school, supplemental Jewish youth learning.

We’ve seen this develop for Jewish camping, for Jewish early childhood education, for Jewish outdoor education, and for Jewish day school education. The time has come for the professionalization of the field of afterschool Jewish educators and we along with many of our friends and colleagues are stepping up to the plate to say we can do it. We need to do it, we owe it to our students and their families to make these learning experiences as excellent as they can be.

Studio 70 aims to transform the landscape of Jewish learning opportunities in order to foster more powerful Jewish learning and living in North America. We do this through innovating and incubating program models within a learning laboratory, and contributing new knowledge and research-based practices to the field of Jewish education.

Learn more at the conference website.

Updated: Jun. 20, 2019