By: Yitzchak Carroll | News  | 

Azrieli to Hold Inaugural Conference for Jewish Educators

The Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration is slated to hold an inaugural conference for teachers and administrators preceding its annual Jewish Job Fair. The event will take place on February 26-27 in Englewood, New Jersey.

At the conference, dubbed “Azrieli HUB: Reconnect, Connect, Recharge,” Orthodox Jewish educators, as well as Azrieli students and alumni, will discuss a variety of challenges in Jewish education, while providing a forum to exchange ideas and suggestions in an innovative and unconventional fashion, according to Azrieli Dean Dr. Rona Novick and Rabbi Eliezer Barany, Azrieli’s Communications Coordinator.

“Orthodox Jewish educators and educational leaders shared with us their desire to connect to the array of resources YU has to offer,” said Novick and Barany in a joint statement. “They want to both advance their own learning and to enhance their schools, in addition to enriching the learning of their staff members. We wanted to provide a comfortable place for them to connect and recharge, to share thoughts, ideas, challenges and possibilities,” they added.

According to Barany, convention participants will probe potential programs and initiatives for Jewish schools to implement through “progressive, constructivist learning approaches.” Putting YU’s resources as well as participants’ first-hand experience to use, discussions will center on a myriad of issues, including problem- and inquiry-based learning, funding challenges, and spirituality in Jewish education.

Azrieli officials are calling this event an “unconvention,” as the topics selected for presentation were requested by school officials. Additionally, the presentations will be given “via innovative and constructivist pedagogy,” according to Barany, as “those present will be active participants in each of our sessions, sharing methodology we hope will translate to the classroom.”

The two-day event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Englewood, NJ, culminating in the Jewish Job Fair at 6 p.m. on February 27 at the Max Stern Athletic Center on the Wilf campus, during which hundreds of professionals and nearly 100 Jewish day schools and organizations are scheduled to come together to learn about each others’ roles, while affording participants the opportunity to apply for employment.

Novick anticipates the conference will help address pressing issues facing educators in today’s generation. “We heard from our constituents, that they see Yeshiva University and Azrieli as continued resources to them, and that they want to learn with and from us,” she said in a statement. “We want to create a safe space for Orthodox Jewish professionals to workshop their unique questions.”

“Since a major challenge for the field is how to recruit qualified educators and how to develop them throughout their careers, the theme of professional development in Jewish education will resonate through the HUB and the Job Fair,” Barany said. “Azrieli and Yeshiva University have so much to offer, and putting these two events together is just one example of all we can do for Jewish schools.”