The Pardes Rodef Shalom Schools Program


Source: Pardes Institute


The Pardes Rodef Shalom Schools Program is a unique middle school project that develops conflict resolution skills via the study of traditional Jewish texts. We help Jewish middle schools equip members of the school community to be skillful problem-solvers in social situations, active in the prevention of bullying and committed to creating a more peaceful world.

In 2012, the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators (PCJE) and the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution (PCJCR) developed the Pardes Rodef Shalom (Pursuer of Peace) Schools Program.

The rodef shalom is a rabbinic model of a Jewish peacemaker who pursues peace between individuals, families, and communities. Throughout Jewish history, there were people known in their communities as rodfei shalom. Today, to be a rodef shalom means to be mindful in seeking to understand, respect and assist in constructively balancing conflicting needs and perspectives, between individuals and communities, in the spirit of mahloket l’shem shamayim (disagreements for the sake of Heaven).

The Pardes Rodef Shalom Schools program is the first of its kind to incorporate the cultural wisdom and values of Jewish text with contemporary conflict resolution theory and practice. Furthermore, the program’s holistic approach is designed to engage the entire school community in the process, including students, faculty, administrators and parents, thus increasing the likelihood of successful results.

The Pardes Rodef Shalom Schools Program goals are four-fold: (1) To engage students in relevant and rigorous text-based Torah study. (2) To develop students’ practical conflict resolution and engagement skills through a Jewish lens, that incorporates being a rodef shalom and the ability to engage in mahloket l’shem shamayim. (3) To provide Jewish educators with a new lens and set of tools with which to approach Jewish text study through crucial professional development and supportive coaching. (4) To strengthen the classroom and school culture through the integration of healthy mahloket and redifat shalom into core community values.

The two year Pardes Rodef Shalom Schools Program membership includes:

  • Access to all current and future materials: Rabbinic Units (with both student and teacher manuals), the Advisory Program, holiday, prayer and school-wide activities and one-off lessons.
  • A Rodef Shalom coach assigned to your school, to help you tailor the program to meet the needs of your students.
  • Access to an interactive online learning educational website.
  • An on-site visit by a Rodef Shalom staff member.
  • Webinars, newsletters and other training throughout the year.

Get more information here.

Updated: Jul. 19, 2017