Pardes Brings Together Teachers across Denominations to Tackle Tefilah Crisis in Schools

Aug. 16, 2016

Source: Jeducation World 


At the start of the summer vacation, twenty four teachers, spanning grades 2-12, across denominations and from throughout the U.S., participated in the Aleinu Leshabe’ach II: Conference on Tefilah in Jewish Day Schools. The five-day conference, run by the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators (PCJE) with support from the AVI CHAI Foundation, aimed to work with teachers on the front lines who are seeking ways to make tefilah (prayer) more meaningful in their schools.

During the conference, teachers examined their own connections to tefilah and their challenges in facilitating tefilah for their students. Self-reflection continued throughout the program, something that teachers regretted not having time to do during the year.


Although most schools are concerned with building tefilah skills and basic knowledge (such as navigating the sidur (prayer book), encouraging correct reading of prayers, etc.), the program pushed participants to explore other approaches that would more likely inspire and give prayer meaning for the students in the long run. These included using tefilah to cultivate emotional dispositions and character development, to connect to God and to build community, past, present and future.

The last day of the program was devoted to “taking it home” and ensuring that participants had clear next steps they could take back to their schools. Everyone involved left with a belief that things could be different regarding tefilah in schools.

Read more at Jeducation World.

Updated: Aug. 31, 2016