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MIFGASHIM  April 2009

MIFGASHIM April 2009

Subject:

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 65

From:

Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 17:07:01 +0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (241 lines)

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 65


1.	Two resources for Yom Ha’atsmaut
2.	Reactions to the Financial Crisis
	a.	Open letter to the Jewish community
	b.	No frills day schools
3.	Fellowship Nominations
4.	Marshall Memo:  Learning from Student Work


~~~~~~~~~


1.	Two resources for Yom Ha’atsmaut


Jacob Richman’s Israel videos on Youtube:
http://www.jr.co.il/videos/israel-videos.htm

Sixty-one things I love about Israel:
http://cgis.jpost.com/Blogs/guest/entry/61_more_things_i_love


Chag Ha’atsmaut Sameach,
Lee Buckman


~~~~~~~~~


2a.	Reactions to the Financial Crisis:  Open letter to the Jewish community


To: The Jewish Community

We, the undersigned parents, want to provide our children with a quality Jewish 
education. We send our children to and support our local Jewish Day School. But the 
rising cost of Day School tuition is creating a real financial strain on many families and is 
making a Day School education unaffordable. Yet, Day School has proven to be the most 
effective means of ensuring continuity in the American Jewish community. 

Although the affordability issue has been simmering below the surface for quite some 
time, the current financial crisis brings it to the forefront. Previous efforts to address this 
issue have fallen short and have not provided a viable long-term solution. Too many 
parents are sacrificing too much, indebting themselves for dozens of years to pay for Day 
School tuition. 

It’s not fair to ask grandparents, many of whom already paid for their children’s Day 
School education, to now pay for their grandchildren too. And, it’s not prudent or reliable 
to constantly seek the generosity of a few benefactors. 

We implore the administrators, educators, Rabbis, lay leaders, parents, Federation and all 
those who have an interest in providing our children with a Jewish education to create a 
new and sustainable system. Harness this challenging time to focus communal efforts. 

Be creative. Simple cost-cutting, one-time grants and other band-aids are not permanent 
solutions. Challenge the status quo, question basic assumptions, consider radical ideas, 
and hold nothing sacred until we, as a Jewish community, find a new and sustainable 
model. We want to provide our children with an affordable, sustainable, and excellent 
Jewish education. 

Please help us make that happen.

Sincerely,
The Undersigned
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?alephbet


~~~~~~~~~


2b.	Reactions to the Financial Crisis:  No frills day schools


A plan to create no-frills day schools that keep tuition below $10,000 is being considered 
in Englewood, NJ.  With larger classes and fewer extracurriculars, the proposed Jewish 
day school would be an alternative to the twelve existing schools that charge between 
$15,000 and $20,000.

“The proposal follows the recent attempt of another parents’ group in Bergen County to 
establish a Hebrew-language track in the Englewood public school system (the proposal 
awaits formal presentation to the board of education), and the earlier application for a 
Hebrew-language charter school (it was turned down by the state’s school board). 

The three initiatives are the latest sign that parents, many facing unemployment or 
reduced resources during the current recession, may turn away from successful but 
expensive day schools in favor of innovative educational approaches.

The 20-person committee behind the scaled-down institution envisioned for Englewood 
described at the recent meeting a day school that would feature a “stripped-down 
curriculum,” rotating aides for lower grades, and mandatory volunteer service by parents 
at the school, the New Jersey Jewish Standard reported.”

The New York Jewish Week article that reported on this development can be accessed at:

http://www.thejewishweek.com/viewArticle/c36_a15466/News/New_York.html


~~~~~~~~~


3.	Fellowship Nominations

This is the final call for nominations for the Jim Joseph Foundation Fellowships-Leading 
Educators Online. All nominations and applications must be received no later than May 15, 
2009. If you are considering nominating a candidate, please do so now.
 
Nominees should be established professionals in their field, with the energy, creativity, 
and vision to stimulate, inspire, and influence their peers.
 
The two-year professional development experience, funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation 
and developed by The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education of Bar-Ilan University's 
School of Education, will provide 14 select participants with leadership development, 
enriched Jewish learning, and in-depth training in how to build online communities of 
practice. Participating Fellows will receive an annual stipend of $10,000 for each of the 
two years of the program, in addition to travel, room and board at the seminars and 
retreats.

The first cohort will take place from October 2009 through April 2011.
 
All nominations and applications must be received before May 15, 2009. All nominees will 
receive notification by June 30, 2009.

Who is the ideal nominee? A leading Jewish educator who:

•	Is currently employed in the U.S. in the field of formal and/or informal Jewish 
Education (e.g. camps; congregational, supplementary and day schools; community 
centers; youth groups)

•	Has professional supervisory responsibilities

•	Has demonstrated leadership in Jewish education, and the energy, creativity and 
vision to stimulate, inspire and impact on others

•	Expresses strong interpersonal skills that will enable him/her to collaborate (online) 
with others 

•	Is part of an organization that understands that proficiency in online networking and 
collaborative work enhances and complements the nominee's current responsibilities 

•	Will be comfortable working in a web 2.0 environment

For more details on the program, please see http://www.lookstein.org/jjff.htm.

To nominate a candidate, please go to http://www.lookstein.org/jjff.htm and click on 
nomination form; if you have any questions, please write us at email: [log in to unmask], 
or call: 1-914-233-3944.
Direct applications are not accepted; fellows must be nominated.


~~~~~~~~~


4.	Marshall Memo:  Learning from Student Work

In this Educational Leadership article, literacy coaches Gabrielle Nidus and Maya Sadder 
describe their work with teacher teams at a preK-8 school on Chicago’s South Side. They 
say that teachers tend to identify a problem their students are having – not using rich and 
descriptive vocabulary, for example – talk about what they’ve already tried and how it 
hasn’t worked, and throw up their hands in frustration. 

This dynamic changes, say Nidus and Sadder, when teachers look at their own students’ 
work – journals, responses to questions, graphic organizers, and verbal responses – and 
figure out what’s keeping students from doing better. This is much more productive than 
discussing a teacher’s personal opinions about an instructional approach. 

Teachers sometimes find analyzing student work mind-boggling; there’s so much 
information embedded that it’s hard to know where to begin. That’s where coaching and 
protocols are helpful. Here is the authors’ Quick Sort Protocol:

-	Describe the assignment: Purpose? Standards covered? Individual or group work? 
Scaffolding? Differentiation?

-	Describe the criteria: How will the work be evaluated? Rubric, checklist, exemplar?

-	Sort students’ work: Below standard, on target, above standard?

-	Analyze one pile: Strengths? Weaknesses?

-	Reflect: Does the assignment evaluate knowledge and skills? Do students 
understand its purpose? Know the evaluation criteria?

-	Plan: What type of instruction does this group of students need?

-	Repeat: Repeat the last three steps with the other piles.

Nidus and Sadder present an actual dialogue with a teacher who was struggling to get her 
students to use more adventurous vocabulary. The teacher saw that some students trying 
to use new vocabulary were using words incorrectly. She noticed that these students did 
well on multiple-choice vocabulary quizzes but weren’t able to apply what they knew in 
their writing. 

Why not? asked the coach. Probably because of insufficient practice and reinforcement. 
Solutions? Having students practice thinking of sentences and saying them out loud to 
each other. Great idea! And what else? Encourage students to take risks trying new words 
in their journal entries.

A few weeks later, the coach followed up with this teacher, and another batch of student 
papers showed marked progress. But some students still weren’t going beyond simple 
words. What was going on? The teacher’s hunch was that they were afraid of making 
spelling mistakes – or perhaps they didn’t understand the rationale for using more 
challenging words. The coach suggested individual conferences to get more information.

When teachers look analytically at their students’ work, conclude Nidus and Sadder, they 
become researchers, asking “How did students respond to a specific method of 
instruction? For which group of learners was this method successful?” The authors say 
this kind of coaching has changed the way they conduct large-group professional 
development. It’s now based on needs from students’ work. The coaches also try to build 
bridges between classrooms. “Closing the door to your classroom is no longer an option,” 
they say. “Collaboration is a necessity if our students are to succeed.”

“Learning from Student Work” by Gabrielle Nidus and Maya Sadder in Educational 
Leadership, February 2009 (Vol. 66, #5, online only); article available at:
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/feb09/vol66/num05/Learning_fr
om_Student_Work.aspx

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

The Mifgashim List is a project of
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora,
The School of Education, Bar Ilan University

The Center encourages you to become a paid member and
benefit for the wide variety of programming offered by the Center.
For information see http://www.lookstein.org/joinus/.

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