Attendee Alison Turner added, “As someone planning on starting a Cheder looking for ideas to excite and educate children far from a Jewish community, I was enthused and pointed in the direction of much useful material,” she said. “I travelled around 150 miles to be there and it was really worth the effort.”
A ‘revolution in Jewish education’ for a more enlightened future is now underway after more than 100 Progressive cheder headteachers, rabbis, general teachers, and education leaders discussed a range of changes necessary to fit the needs of today’s young people.
It was the first joint Reform and Liberal Educators Conference since the two movements announced they would be uniting to form one single Progressive Judaism. It left the classrooms at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue in north London buzzing with ideas, discussions, and mutual inspiration.
The conference delivered a range of expert sessions throughout the day from alternative ways to engage with Torah learning, to how to capture students’ imagination through hands-on craft lessons that included creating a chocolate seder for example.
The feedback was positive and the organisers were delighted with the opportunity to share teaching experiences and expand their knowledge with fellow professionals.
Alex Gellnick, Liberal Judaism’s Director of Development and Membership and Reform Judaism’s Youth and Education Coordinator Elena Izmailova said they were thrilled by how the Conference went, “Everyone who attended will go away with a host of educational ideas. There were opportunities to chat, network, see old friends, and make new ones. And just as importantly we were able to eat lunch together!”