Educating the Educators

August 26, 2016 by Hayley Hadassin
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A huge turn out to the recently  Zionist Federation of Australia’s (ZFA) 10th Biennial Educators’ Conference in Melbourne. 

Silvio Josckowicz, Leon Schneider, Dr Danny Lamm

Silvio Josckowicz, Leon Schneider, Dr Danny Lamm

There were over 450 delegates from across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and of course Israel who attended the two day event.

The conference was informative and innovative, carefully designed to address formal and informal Jewish education from early childhood to high school. It has become such a landmark event that several Jewish day schools close on the Monday to enable their staff to attend.

It was a wonderful opportunity to network with global leaders in Jewish, Hebrew and Israel education. There was no shortage of choices with over 90 sessions and a considered framework constructed under the expert guidance of Dr Miriam Munz, Education Chair of the ZFA.

Emanuel School educators

Emanuel School educators

David Brody, Academic Dean and Chair of the Early Childhood Department of the Efrata College of Education in Jerusalem: – “This is an amazing experience, a fantastic opportunity for people to get together and learn together. There’s such a feeling of community and I’m proud to be here.”

The 60 local and 17 international presenters spoke on topics that ranged from ‘New frontiers in learning and teaching for a complex and connected world,’ to ‘Who am I? Finding your own identity,’ and ‘High school Tefilla: The wasteland of Jewish education.’  A plethora of sessions covered Jewish History, Israel Studies, Hebrew, Technology in education, text studies and informal education, with opportunities for sharing of best practice and networking between professional educators.

BJE educators

BJE educators

Ginette Searle, Executive Director, ZFA said:- “The international and local presenters have shared their expertise, knowledge, insights and best practice to present an incredible program, which benefits educators, students and ultimately the Jewish community.”

A conversation between Mount Scopus Principal Rabbi James Kennard with Bialik Principal Jeremy Stowe-Lindner provided the packed room a keen insight into what would normally be a private conversation on the topic “Broad and Balanced or Leftist Propaganda: where’s the Zionist educational line?”

Moriah Pre-School educators

Moriah Pre-School educators

The Moriah ELC team had another packed room of attendees dancing along with their Kabbalat Shabbat presentation led by one of the longest serving Jewish educators, Uncle Velvel together with Cathy Milwidsky, Director of Early Learning. Each session saw educators and presenters come together and grow together in what will undoubtedly benefit those who attended and those who sit in their classrooms.

Dr Danny Lamm, ZFA President said: – “I am incredibly impressed with the wall to wall rapport between professionals from all over the country and with our international guests under the direction of ZFA education chairperson Dr Miriam Munz, past Jewish Studies Director at Mt Scopus and Principal at Yavneh College. The community can be really confident that every effort has been made by the Jewish educational community to be at the cutting edge of Jewish education in Australia.”

 

Moriah College Principal John Hamey with Rabbi Scot Berman

Moriah College Principal John Hamey with Rabbi Scot Berman

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