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Aliza Rosenbaum has been teaching Judaic Subjects to seventh and eighth grade students at Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School in Skokie, Il for seven years. She has spent much of that time experimenting in her classroom in the hopes of developing the most effective ways to teach and work with her students. In 2017, she applied for the Sefaria’s Educational Partnership Initiative to see what might happen when Sefer Devarim (Deuteronomy) goes digital. The result, Aliza explains, was student-led learning come to life: “It’s the best – it’s how I’ve always wanted to do it.” In the past, she would select a given text, translate it, print it for her students, and they would have to respond to accompanying questions. However, it never felt to Aliza like they were truly learning as much as they could be. They were completing their coursework, to be sure, but because so much of the process was done for them, the students weren’t really owning their work. Unsurprisingly, she found that it was hard to get thoughtful answers …
Faustine Sigal was born, raised, and continues to be based in Paris, but she spent Chanukah in Munich, part of January in Brussels, and the week before Pesach in Prague. She visits these places and many others in her capacity as the International Director of Jewish Education for Moishe House, an organization that provides vibrant Jewish community for young adults by supporting leaders in their 20s as they create meaningful home-based Jewish experiences for themselves and their peers. Moishe House currently operates over 100 houses in more than 25 countries.
Chani Richmond, a middle school teacher at Hebrew Academy RASG in Miami Beach, Florida, is one of twelve partner educators in Sefaria’s 2017-2018 School Partnership Initiative. An educator with 20 years of experience, Chani has spent that time exploring new educational technologies and experimenting with bringing innovations happening in general studies classrooms across the country into her Judaic Studies classroom. She credits a 2008 blizzard and the resulting Google slides presentation that she and her students worked on remotely together as her aha moment in which she came to truly understand the potential of collaborative online learning.
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