Upcoming Events

3 Jewish Spiritual Education Training Programs for Educators

January 24, 2019 - 1:30pm - December 30, 2021 - 2:00pm
Location: 
Live on-line videoconference classes, mentoring, story coaching and annual retreat

Institute for Jewish Spiritual Education 

presents three training programs for Jewish Educators


Program 1. Guiding Jewish Journeys in Challenging Times: Jan 24-27, 2019                 

This is an intimate conference with limited attendance for Jewish educators of all ages who are seeking to be in better rapport and of greater support and relevance to a new generation and to sustain relationships with the old. 

Through the methods of Jewish spiritual education, i.e., applied Jewish wisdom delivered through the lens of students' daily lives, we will explore the ways to guide our students’ Jewish journeys, no matter what their age, which will deepen our teaching and their experience. We will look at example classroom programs, community interactions, one-to-one spiritual guidance, and deepening relationships with families and communities. We will create programs designed to support those going through the traumas common to our times and to prepare our students for life's challenges and deepen their understanding of their own transformation. 

This introduction to the principles, methods and resources of Jewish Spiritual Education will help those you serve flourish through a supportive, and inclusive Jewish lens on living. 

Bring a Journal and your questions, experiences, successes, and challenges.

Those who elect to continue in 

Programs 2 and/or 3 below will receive 8 elective credits towards certification and/or ordination.

Location: Camp Young Judea just outside of Austin, TX.


Room and Kosher Meals: $110-140/night. No commuters, time together is rare and precious.

Tuition: $398. Some scholarship is available and the graduate/student discounts are:
$100 Discount for Maggid-Educator alumni
$25 discount for those enrolled in 2019 B-Mitzvah! Specialist Training
$50 discount for those beginning Maggid-Educator Certification and/or ordination in 2019.

Inquiries and session proposal guidelines, Rabbi Dr. Goldie Milgram, MSW, rebgoldie@gmail.com

Program 2. B-MITZVAH!SM (b’nai mitzvah) Specialist Training,
Begins January 2019, date, day of week and time TBA based on participant time-zones.

This 8-week interactive live Zoom video class offers new paradigms, principles and methods to support you in shifting the focus gradually from time spent creating “rabbis and cantors for a day” to the true purpose of Jewish rites of passage—preparation and support for entering the next stage of life.

The methods of Jewish Spiritual Education(JSE) connect b’nei mitzvah students’ intellectual learning to their physical, emotional and spiritual experiences in ways that support them to develop as whole persons. The JSE model includes learning healthy pr

ocesses to guide students of any age, plus transformational Jewish practices students that will help students arrive at the day of their ritual with a strong sense of integrity and authenticity. Our methods are effective across the spectrum of Jewish life and learning.

Through curriculum, lesson plans, d’var Torah lab, ritual and celebration approaches and case studies, we will support you in new ways to evolve and customize your teaching to your students’ needs. You

’ll develop supportive, soulful relationships with healthy boundaries. You’ll create an approach grounded in Jewish wisdom of living. You’ll inspire students to live a mitzvah-centered life! 

Completion of this training Includes the option to apply to continue in the Maggid-Educator Training 

Begins January 2019, date, day of week, and time TBA based on time zones of participants

Cost: $379 for eight weekly one hour classes plus four one-to-one mentoring/fieldwork support sessions, plus books and materials.
Photo credit: PhotosbyTodd.com

Program 3: Maggid-Educator Training:
Certification (2 years) and/or Ordination (3 years)

This program reclaims the traditional role of maggid as a master educator who inspires, engages, and guides the students of all ages on their Jewish journeys.Designed as a two-year certificate program or three-year Maggid-Oman (Maggid-Educator) ordination training, this program is comprised of weekly video-conference classes, annual retreat intensives, and regular face-to-face video-conference field-work supervision, storytelling and rites of passage coaching, and mentoring with our faculty of master teachers.

Trainees become professional sacred storytellers who educate and guide. They develop a substantial repertoire of Jewish spiritual practices (mitzvot) that are paired with professional educational methods which include storytelling, text study, tikkun olam/project-based learning approaches, Hashpa'ah (Jewish spiritual guidance and development), practices drawn from Mussar, InterPlay(TM), meditation and the arts, and curriculum development. 

Our faculty are award-winning master teachers and leaders in the field of Jewish spiritual education, who will provide the methods, principles, guidance, and resources you need to help guide your students and families. See their bios below.

Graduates of our programs often speak of the joy of having their isolation as Jewish educators reduced, and the freedom to think outside the box with the deep respect for Judaism that our learning environments provide.

For information or an application, contact Dean Batya Podos: batsongs@gmail.com

Begins January 2019.

Cost: $1499 per year plus books, materials and an annual week-long summer retreat.
1.5 hours weekly interactive videoconference class, plus chevruta, fieldwork support and one-to-one faculty mentoring

EXAMPLE OF A MAGGID-EDUCATOR IN ACTION   

The educator turns to the students saying: "Let me tell you a story!" and the way that the educator tells the story turns on a light in each soul. The mitzvah being explored is "lo tikom—to refrain from holding a grudge" and the middah (ethical attribute) is savlanut—patience."

The educator has chosen a story that illuminates these ideas. After the story is over, the students are given 

InterPlay™ movements, sounds and gestures to express the feeling of a grudge, and then invited to share their personal "grudge" stories. Almost every hand goes up to share—from the youngest to the eldest. As the educator guides the soulful exploration of personal experience—burdens begin to lift. The light of Torah, mitzvah-centered lives, shines through the radiant faces and body language of all present.

Returning to the text for the mitzvah and middah, the students dive in—for now they understand from the inside! Soon a tikkun olam approach emerges, as students are invited and guided to imagine, plan and implement ways to bring their learning experience into action.

What our graduates are saying: (Purple Hyperlinked student names take you to videos of them offering professional Jewish storytelling at an event we designed to help a congregation with their need for healing.)

"A new world opened. Jewish Spiritual Education is the new paradigm for training Jewish educators working with all ages and in all Jewish learning and living settings. You will use everything you learn. While I really didn't have the time to do this—I'm so glad I did!"

Danielle Kassin, Director of Education, Sinai Temple Religious School, L.A.

"B-Mitzvah!(SM) and Maggid-Educator training complements the more traditional forms of Jewish educator training by addressing the spiritual aspects of our own — and our students’ — lives. My constituency responds very positively."
Paul Solyn, Executive Director, Jewish Center and Federation of the Twin Tiers, Elmira, N.Y.

"Telling a story is one thing, but telling a story in a way that stays with students is a really magical thing. It has been an honor to learn from the master teachers of the Maggid-Educator program. Storytelling is the doorway, which together with the other six areas of concentration we are learning has transformed my teaching for all ages. 

Chana Stein, Teacher, Jewish High School of Connecticut, Stamford, CT     

Faculty: Rabbi Dr. Goldie Milgram, MSW, Founder. Batya Podos, Dean. herie Karo Schwartz, Judith Black, Cassandra Sagan, Cathy Schechter Mindy Shapiro, Danny Siegel. 

Graduates and Ordinees: Rina Daly-Goode, Los Angeles, CA, Danielle Kassin, Director of Education, Sinai Temple Religious School, Helene Kates, co-Founder of the Baal Shem Tones, Cantorial Student, Freelance Educator, Atlanta, GA, Rhonda Lillianthal, Director, Center for Jewish Life, JCC of MetroWest, N.J., Lynie Mirvis, Memphis, TN, L.A., Paul Solyn, Executive Director, Jewish Center and Federation of the Twin Tiers, Elmira, N.Y., Chana Stein, Teacher, Jewish High School of Connecticut, Stamford, CT,  Phyllis Binik-Thomas, z'l, Cincinatti, OH and faculty ordinations: Batya Podos, Cassandra Sagan, Peninnah Schram, andCherie Karo Schwartz.

MEET OUR FACULTY

Rabbi Goldie Milgram, D.Min., M.H.L., MSW,  is the founder and Executive Director of Reclaiming Judaism Institute for Jewish Spiritual Education and the Maggid-Educator Training Program. Rabbi Milgram has worked at every level of Jewish educationreligious school teacher, principal, day school high school co-founder, youth groups director, BJE executive, and for camps, pulpits, JCCs, campuses, as an educational consultant, Federation executive, member of university and seminary faculties, and as a seminary dean. She has also taught trauma training for student and graduate Jewish communal service professionals and emergency response staff of the City of New York.

Rabbinic graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, "Reb Goldie"  subsequently also received private smicha, ordination from her teacher Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, of blessed memory, as rabbi, maggid (sacred storyteller), mashpia (spiritual guide) and shaliach (emissary). Her Masters in Social Work is from Yeshiva University's Wurzweiler School.

A Covenant Award finalist for Jewish educational innovation and excellence, and also a widely published author, her newest works are Seeking and Soaring: Jewish Approaches to Spiritual Guidance and Development and Reclaiming Bar/Bat Mitzvah as a Spiritual Rite of Passage. "Reb Goldie" presently teaches Hashpa'ah--Jewish spiritual guidance and development for the Maggid-Educator and B-Mitzvah!(SM) Training Programs.

Batya Podos, Dean of Programs is an ordained Maggidah-Omanit-- educator, storyteller and guide in the Jewish tradition, earlier ordained Maggidah by Rabbi David Zaslow and Maggidah Debra Gordon Zaslow. A Reclaiming Judaism Maggid-Educator Training Program faculty member specializing in curriculum development, her career spans over thirty years as a middle school drama/language arts director, artist-in-residence, educational consultant, counselor, and youth director. Her work extends across a broad spectrum of settings, denominations, and age groups in the roles of principal, teacher, B’nei mitzvah educator, service leader and Torah teacher for Shabbat and holy days, and scholar-in-residencies for Shabbatonim. 

Batya Podos is also one of the founders of Abraham’s Tent, an interfaith summer camp for Jewish, Christian and Muslim children. Among Batya's recent publications are: Rebecca and the Talisman of Time (Portal Center Press), a novel for middle school students, and works in New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family (Reclaiming Judaism Press) and The Language of Life, by Milt Markewitz, an exploration of the energetic patterns of the Hebrew letters. Presently a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, she can be reached at batsongs@gmail.com.

Cherie Karo Schwartz, our dean of stories, has received Omanit HaSippur ordination from the Institute for Jewish Spiritual Education, she also holds an MA in Developmental Theater. She is also a storyteller, author, and educator living in Denver. She has shared stories with audiences of all ages throughout America and abroad for forty years. She shares a kaleidoscope of spirit-filled tales of wishes, wisdom, and wit drawn from worldwide Jewish folklore, sacred texts, family folklore, original stories and modern midrashim. Cherie offers storytelling performances, master classes, workshops and keynotes for conferences, organizations, museums, storytellers, schools, and libraries world-wide. She was co-founding coordinator of the international Jewish Storytelling Network of CAJE, following her heart-friend-in-story Peninnah Schram. Cherie has authored three books, numerous recordings and articles.

Judith Blackone of America’s foremost storytellers is grounded in Jewish roots, from which she retells history from new perspectives, tickles familial dysfunction, offers ironic explorations of aging, and calls people to pay attention to their planet. As a Wheelock College graduate and professional teacher, she is able to draw storytelling through the educational landscape, showing its profound uses in cognitive, emotional, and social learning. Featured on stages from the Montreal Comedy Festival to The Smithsonian Institution, the National Storytelling Festival, and over 12 CAJE conferences, she is the winner of the Oracle Award, storytelling’s most coveted laurel, and was recently given the Brother Blue and Ruth Hill Award. Judith also sings, gardens, is a Rotarian and environmental activist.

Cassandra Sagan is an ordained Maggid-Educator who has devoted her life to helping others access their creative brilliance through poetry, storytelling, movement, and Torah. For twenty years Cassandra taught as a Poet in the Classroom, pre-schoolers through high school, adults and seniors; in gifted, new immigrant, and special needs classrooms; editing and producing almost 100 volumes of student writing. An ukulele toting singer/songwriter, Cassandra performs a weave of original and traditional songs and stories, while encouraging audience participation and individual expression. She is also a mosaic artist, an InterPlay leader, and has developed InterPlay Torah study, a playful approach to personal midrash, insight, and embodied Torah. She is also a contributing author to New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family.

Cathy Schechter is an ordained Maggid-Educator (ordinee storytelling video)and community educator, also serves as a Jewish comunity educator, writer and researcher. After over a dozen years of Talmud study with the late Rabbi Judith Abrams, Cathy earned her Masters in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College. She is also an alumna of Pardes Institute. Cathy's stories often spring from the deep well of Talmud and rabbinic literature, in the hopes that their timeless observations and lessons about Jewish life and learning will find their way into our modern landscape to offer sustenance, hope, insight, and laughter.

Mindy Shapiro, M.A, is a Jewish communal professional with 30 years of experience. She was the founding director of Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing!, a program of Moving Traditions. She has also worked for other Jewish organizations including Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, International Hillel and the Gershman Y. Mindy has been studying  Mussar with Rabbi Stone since 2003 and teaching since 2009. Mussar provides her with a framework for leading a more mindful life, something she helps others to do. She is also a papercut artist and teacher. Mindy serves on the editorial team for the next release from Reclaiming Judaism Press, in honor of Danny Siegel: New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family.

Danny Siegel is best known for bringing the discussion of Tzedakah and doing of Tikkun Olam back into Jewish communities. He is a brilliant finder of the perfect teaching sections of sacred texts and guide to their study. A well-known author, lecturer, and poet, Danny has spoken in more than 500 North American Jewish communities on personalized Tzedakah, Mitzvah heroes, and Jewish values. He is the author of numerous books, including Danny Siegel’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah Mitzvah Book: A Practical Guide For Changing the World Through Your Simcha; Heroes and Miracle Workers, a collection of essays about everyday people who are Mitzvah Heroes; Who, Me? Yes, You! — Danny Siegel’s Workbook To Help You Decide Where, When, Why, and How You Can Do Your Best Tikkun Olam; and Giving Your Money Away — How Much, How to, Why, When, and to Whom: Danny Siegel’s Practical Guide to Personalized Tzedakah. He has also published several collections of poetry and children’s stories. Danny served as the Tzedakah Resource Person on the United Synagogue Youth Israel Pilgrimage for 37 years, and is a recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators.  

The next groups begin with our conference January 24-27, 2019 and then continues weekly on Zoom video-conference. Class day and time will be set to fit time zones of accepted registrants. For information or an application, contact Batya Podos, Dean: batsongs@gmail.com
 

 

 

 

Mission: Reclaiming Judaism

March 15, 2018 - 8:58am - March 15, 2020 - 8:58am

Reclaiming Judaism develops and provides programs, training, resources, research and consultation in the emerging field of Jewish spiritual education, i.e., guiding people to be able to thrive through the beauty and power of a Jewish lens on living. Founded by Rabbi Goldie Milgram, Reclaiming Judaism was incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit in 2003 under a grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Our books and programs have been honored and featured by the Covenant Foundation, the National Jewish Book Awards, and the Jewish Futures Conference.

Major initiatives include the Institute for Jewish Spiritual Education (2017) and it's Maggid-Educator Ordination Program, the Mitzvah-Centered Life Initiative (2015), Reclaiming Judaism Press (2009), and the Bar/Mitzvah [R]evolution (2001), now known as B-Mitzvah!
 

Our faculty of master teachers is complemented by over two hundred professional volunteers who assist in administration, publishing, and program development. Teachings and programs of professional training have been given in over 637 cities and 79 countries. Professional education and courses for the public are now also available worldwide through limited attendance, live video-conference sessions.

 

Inquiries: Rabbi Goldie Milgram, Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief, rebgoldie@gmail.com