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The Power and Purpose in Values

I am so fortunate to have recently returned from my first in-person conference since before the pandemic. I spent 3 days with a cohort of fellow educators exploring and sharing ideas on how to infuse experiential Jewish education into our community.  The program was with M2 through the Institute for Experiential Jewish Education (IEJE).  This seminar was the kickoff of an 18-month program with 25 fellow Jewish educators from across Chicagoland.  Throughout the 18 months of this program, we will develop a shared language and approach for transformative experiential education, gain new ways of thinking about educational practice, and acquire skills and effective methodologies that are relevant in all settings.

During this first seminar, we focused on The Power and Purpose in Values.  We learned how to put values at the center of our work and unlock the core tensions within a value that catalyze their exploration.  This whole process was incredibly eye-opening for me.  I have always found merit in a values-based approach to Jewish education, but I did not always understand how to deepen the learning.  I would get stuck in what made a universal value particularly Jewish.  I now understand this concept and am starting to see clear places where I can utilize my learning through M2 to enrich our curriculum and programs at ECRS.   

Our cohort will now gather monthly as a Community of Practice between seminars for 3-hour sessions that will provide space for ongoing enrichment, experimentation, and collaboration.  In addition, I have been paired with a mentor who will help me focus on my growth in my professional identity, knowledge, and context and who will help guide me in utilizing my skill sets and applying the learnings from our cohort back here to my work at Emanuel.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have been given to delve into this learning.  I know that the next 18 months will be incredibly valuable for me as an educator, and for all the learners that I get to work with.  I cannot wait to see what will come next.


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