More than 150 attend Liberal and Reform teacher training

11 January 2018

More than 150 heads, teachers and assistants attended a joint Liberal Judaism and Reform Judaism training day, held at Leo Baeck College.

Organised by Liberal Judaism’s Rabbi Sandra Kviat and Reform Judaism’s Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, the day featured presenters from both movements and the College, as well as from the National Library of Israel, the Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), Jewish Interactive, Camp Simcha and the Alliance for Progressive Judaism’s Israel Desk.

The wide range of topics covered included technology, inclusiveness, Hebrew, crafts, Israel, behaviour and curriculum development.

Rabbi Sandra Kviat hailed an “inspiring” event, which provided “a great opportunity for different communities and their teachers to meet and learn, further their own understanding and find new ways to pass on their love of Judaism”.

The day opened with a keynote address from Karen Ettinger of the National Library of Israel on ‘Teaching Israel at 70’.

Liberal Judaism’s Director of Youth, Rebecca Fetterman, delivered a packed session on positive behaviour management (pictured).

Another highlight was Reut Noyman – Director of Jewish Peoplehood Education Center (Yachdav) and Director of Israel and Overseas at the Education Department at the IMPJ – running a special session for heads. Reut detailed various resources ranging from one-time programmes around the Holocaust and memory to year-long curriculum linking classes in the UK with a classroom in Israel. This is the first time these programmes have been offered in Britain.

There was also a ‘shuk’ with book and creative materials to help educators and a “delicious” lunch that won much praise from delegates.

Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers said: “It was wonderful to be able to gather together 150 of our educators and assistants to invest in them when they invest so much in the future of our communities.

“We were overwhelmed by the numbers wanting to attend and are already looking for a bigger venue for next year!”

Participant Gwendolen Burton, head of Southgate Progressive Synagogue’s religion school, added: “It was fantastic to see my staff engaged in the sessions, and enjoying the day spent together with teachers from across Progressive Judaism.”

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