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Educational Services

The Jewish Federation provides support to congregational school directors, early childhood directors, classroom teachers and day school professionals throughout the East Bay. Our programs serve nearly 25 synagogues and other educational programs working to build Jewish identity and create a vibrant Jewish community.

Educational Services is offering a series of workshops designed to nurture and train congregational school educators, entitled "A Year of Courageous Teaching". CLICK HERE to learn more. (PDF)

Our commitment to professional development and excellence in Jewish education is demonstrated through the following learning opportunities:

Support for Special Education

CLICK HERE to download a PDF of Special Education Events & Programs

Through generous funding provided by donors to The Jewish Community Foundation, we are pleased to be able to support our congregational schools and day schools in more effectively serving children with special educational needs.

Our Special Education Council meets quarterly to review the needs of the diverse learners in our community and strategize as to how to meet them.

In addition, we offer free on-site workshops for classroom teachers on topics critical to meeting the needs of all students. This year, our consultant will be offering four different workshops for teachers:

We also hope you will join us for:

Meeting the Challenge of Sensory Issues in the Preschool Classroom:
Facilitated by Lynette Wong, M.S., CCC-SLP, Developmental Specialist with the Early Intervention Services (EIS) department at Children's Hospital & Research Center
October 24, 6:30-8:30 PM, Jewish Community Center of the East Bay

Lynette will address the range of issues for children with sensory integration challenges and offer strategies for effectively responding to them. Please bring your questions and examples from your school. Preschool directors and classroom teachers welcome!

For more information on any of these services, or to schedule a teacher workshop, please email liora@jfed.org.

East Bay Educators Council

The Educators Council meets monthly to provide an opportunity for networking, skill building, and shared advocacy on behalf of Jewish education. Meetings generally take place on the third Thursday of each month at the Federation office and are open to all school directors working in K-12 settings.

Monthly meetings are organized around topics of interest as defined by Ed Council participants.

We will also be hosting a luncheon in appreciation of our East Bay educators on Thursday, November 14 at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley. Please join us to celebrate your colleagues!

For more information, please email liora@jfed.org.

Professional Development for Classroom Teachers

This year Federation will sponsor “A Year of Courageous Teaching”, a series of opportunities for classroom teachers to come together and build their skills.

These sessions include:

Hachnasat Orchim and the Courage to Teach: A Professional Development Workshop for Jewish Educators
Facilitated by Karen Erlichman, LCSW
Sunday, October 20, 2013, 1- 4PM, Congregation Beth El, Berkeley

Abraham Avinu meets Parker Palmer in this Parashat Vayera-inspired half-day workshop for Jewish congregational educators, early or mid-career as well as seasoned teachers, focused on innovative approaches to cultivating courage as teachers and Jewish educators. How can we bring ourselves more fully to our work by reconnecting to the heart of what matters most to us?

Together we will explore principles and practices that foster creative, ethical learning environments in Jewish institutions, and to reconnect with the core values that are at the heart of your work as Jewish educators. Drawing on sacred texts, Parker Palmer’s work, and other inspiring resources, the afternoon will include small group dialogue, contemplative reflection and mindfulness practices, and opportunities for professional growth and collaboration.

Symphonies Start with Notes: Keys All Jewish Educators Should Have
and Learn to Use

Facilitated by Michael Lederman
Begins November 3, 2013, 4-6 PM, Temple Sinai, Oakland

We will once again be sponsoring our popular six session series for new teachers. The group will hold its first meeting on Sunday afternoon, November 3, and future dates will be planned by participants. Meetings will alternate between in person, and on line sessions.

The focus of this community of practice is to provide new and emerging teachers with classroom skills and teaching resources around the following:

All teachers attending at least five of six sessions will receive a $150 stipend at the year’s end.

Teaching Teachers to Care for Their Mind, Body and Spirit:
Sunday, April 6, 2014, 1-5 PM, Peninsula Jewish Campus, Foster City
This program is offered in co-sponsorship with Lehrhaus Judaica

For more information on any of these opportunities, please email liora@jfed.org.

Early Childhood Educators Council

The Early Childhood Educators Council meets monthly to offer professional development and idea exchange to the directors of East Bay Jewish preschools. Meetings cover a range of topics including school planning, leadership, staffing, teacher recruitment, policy and protocol, budget, and team building.

We will also be hosting a luncheon in appreciation of our East Bay educators on Thursday, November 14 at Congregation Beth El in Berkeley. Please join us to celebrate your colleagues!

The ECE Council plans and sponsors an annual conference attended by more than 100 early childhood educators, which will take place this year on Friday, February 14, 2014 at Temple Isaiah.

For more information on any of these opportunities, please email michelle@jfed.org.

Special Educators Council
The Special Educators Council meets quarterly and brings individuals from different Jewish institutions together to share ideas, build resources and develop programs that support and advance our region's diverse learners.

Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education Department aspires to advance early childhood Jewish education by offering support, resources and expanded learning opportunities to East Bay Jewish preschool teachers and administrators through site-specific consultation and a range of professional development opportunities. In addition, we work with Directors on scholarships received from the Jim Joseph Foundation, supporting the application process. We work to engage East Bay Jewish families with young children in meaningful Jewish life and community through a wide variety of innovative programs and special events such as PJ Library, Passover University, Kindergym, concerts and workshops held throughout the area.

Early Childhood Jewish Educators Conference
The annual Early Childhood Jewish Educators Conference provides an invaluable professional development opportunity for teachers working in our Jewish preschools. Over 100 Jewish preschool teachers participate in this day-long conference held in February, collaborating with and learning from one another.

Early Child Educators Council
The Early Childhood Educators Council meets monthly to offer professional development and idea exchange to the directors of the Jewish preschools in the Greater East Bay. These meetings cover a range of topics including planning, leadership, staffing, teacher recruitment, school policy and protocol, budget, team building and current issues in education.

For Families

PJ Library®

PJ Library® promotes Jewish literacy in early childhood and encourages Jewish families with young children to connect to their local communities. Every month, the Federation/Foundation distributes free of charge, wonderful age-appropriate Jewish-content books and music to families with children from 6 months to 7 years of age. Created and supported by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library® is funded nationally in partnership with local philanthropists and organizations. In the East Bay, we are proud to partner with the Jim Joseph Foundation as the primary funder of this innovative program.

To register for PJ Library®, click here and follow the link that says 'Enroll in this Community'.

Additional Resources: