Jewish Educators Learn New Tricks at NewCAJE

 In Building

Charna Schakow, an Edot Teacher at Temple Isaiah’s J Quest School, was seeking professional development opportunities. Jewish educators are in a tough situation. Their specialty mandates growth opportunities, but due to Jewish education’s specific nature, such opportunities are few and far between.

Fortunately, Federation helps fund professional development for East Bay Jewish educators. This year, it allocated scholarships to the NewCAJE conference—held in Moraga—that seeks to teach Jewish educators new skills, as well as connect them to each other.

“There were educators from all over the country,” says Charna, who attended many of the old CAJE conferences in the 90s. “And there were so many workshops to choose from, from people who have taught a long time. It was hard to choose!”

Charna is already thinking about applying concepts she learned at the workshop, such as creating a Holocaust museum in the school or looking at the world through “the Jewish lens” (an actual camera lens) to explore Jewish identity. She shared them with her principal, as Charna is retiring this year.

Still, there is one more thing she wants to do as a teacher: “I’m seeing if there’s a chance to go to [the NewCAJE conference] in Hartford next year.”

Through the support of The Schoenfeld Fund of The Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay, our community is able to provide professional development for Jewish educators.

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