The Beren-Amiel Program provides comprehensive training to create professional and engaging educators to teach in schools across the Diaspora. The skills they acquire are complemented by additional training in the George Weinstein Curriculum for Outreach and Pedagogy, in subjects such as the nature and role of Jewish schools, rhetoric and public speaking, time and management skills, marketing and using technology or social media.

Topics covered include:

Introduction to Jewish Education in the Diaspora

To maximize their effectiveness, educators must have a full understanding of the community and the educational institutions in which they will work. To this end, our students learn about the nature and structures of Diaspora educational frameworks.

  • The nature of the world Jewish community
  • The challenges of Jewish education in the Diaspora
  • Introduction to Jewish educational frameworks in the Diaspora
  • Formal and informal education

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The Professional Educator

To be effective, the successful educator must maximize his use of time and resources. This course explores the way in which an educator develops his vision and makes it a reality.

  • Mapping tasks and setting goals
  • Brainstorming and decision-making processes
  • Forming a personal vision - strategic and analytic planning
  • Time management
  • The educator in the eyes of the community
  • Moral and halachic dilemmas in the educator's work
  • Negotiation and conflict resolution skills

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Formal Education

For educators in a school setting, it is crucial to master the skills of classroom teaching. This course examines some of the fundamentals of the profession as well as exploring the meaning of building a successful school.

  • Classroom management
  • Successful pedagogy
  • Effective discipline
  • School management

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Texts in the Classroom - Analysis, Discussion and Implications for our Times

The Jews are the people of the book, but we sometimes struggle to illustrate the relevance of our writings to our students. This course explores ways to make the teaching of texts germane to the lives of our students.

  • The role and relevance of text study in Jewish education
  • The issues surrounding the teaching of Talmud
  • Innovative methods for teaching Talmud
  • The place of Midrash in understanding Chumash
  • Teaching the major texts of Jewish philosophy

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Informal Education

Some of the most effective Jewish education takes place in informal settings; through synagogue groups, youth movements, Shabbatonim and casual school settings. In these sessions, we look at how to maximize these opportunities.

  • Youth and adult education
  • Informal education according to the Jewish sources
  • Use of triggers, films and photos
  • Health and safety at informal educational events, campsites etc.

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Questioning Teenagers and Students

Many students have profound religious doubts and some are rebellious. We prepare our educators to relate seriously to their questions and deal effectively with their issues

  • Identifying the spiritual challenges faced by young people
  • Confronting difficult questions Belief in G-d, theodicy, reward and punishment, faith after the Holocaust etc.
  • Facing challenging questioners
  • Responding to religious rebellion
  • Supporting parents with rebellious children

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Communication and Public Relations

Once the educator has developed the vision and the programs he would like to run in his classroom/community, his success will depend upon his ability to market them effectively

  • Building a positive brand
  • Marketing the programs to the community at large
  • Principles of effective interpersonal communications
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication

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Counseling Young People

Many of the young people who attend our schools and youth movements need support through their emotional problems and crises. We train our educators to recognize the signs of trouble and to deal with them appropriately.

  • The limits of confidentiality in halacha, law and practice
  • Active listening
  • Spotting and working with eating disorders, addictions and suicidal tendencies
  • Taking to teens

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Computers and the Internet

The technological revolution has created extraordinary opportunities for Jewish educators and it is essential that they are up to date with the possibilities afforded by the web. In this course, we explore both the possibilities and the potential problems of cutting-edge technology.

  • Utilization of the media and incorporation into programs
  • Maximizing the web for your teaching
  • Building a website for your institution
  • Protecting students from abuse on the web
  • Computer aids

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