9 January 2020
More than one hundred Reform and Liberal Judaism cheder and religion school teachers gathered at The Liberal Jewish Synagogue for the organisations’ flagship annual teacher training event. Participants had the opportunity to deepen a range of skills, with sessions selected based on teacher requests and specific development opportunities.
Marking the impending 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, one track allowed educators to consider how to effectively educate about the Holocaust in a post-survivor world. A poignant highlight of the day were three presentations from Yoni Berrous, a leading educator at Yad Vashem.
Teachers addressed key communal issues, including mental health, for which JAMI and Reform Judaism’s mental health ambassadors lent their expertise. There were also opportunities to deepen knowledge of Hebrew, special educational needs, working inter-generationally, as well as using games, yoga and music effectively.
Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, who organised the day alongside Liberal Judaism’s Rabbi Sandra Kviat, said: “This was our fifth year collaborating on our teacher training and it is an essential part of the calendar. Teachers give up chunks of their weekends to invest in the next generation of our communities, and it’s so rewarding to be able to give something back to them.”
Caroline Loison from Belsize Square Synagogue added: “It was a fantastic day of learning as well as sharing knowledge, techniques and experiences and I am sure it will benefit both my own practice as well as that of my staff in the future. We will be back next year!”
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