muse: n. a source of inspiration

Zahava’s site

Zahava attended some of the workshops I did for CAJE this summer, and has created a great site for her teachers at Congregation B’nai Israel in Boca Raton. Way to go, Zahava!

October 30, 2007 Posted by | CAJE33, Education, Technology, Wikis | Leave a comment

Rewiring the Jewish Teacher

Okay, the title is hokey – but the article accurately describes much of what I experienced at CAJE. And I was accurately quoted, so I’m happy.

“Now in its 32nd year and under new leadership, CAJE decided to address the issue of technology and education with this year’s theme, “Engaging 21st Century Jewish Learners.” Amid the myriad workshops available every hour, teachers could choose to follow a technology track throughout the conference or simply drop in on more than a dozen sessions devoted to exploring the intersection of technology and Jewish life, covering everything from what a blog or a wiki is (online sites for posting and sharing information, photographs and videos) and how to use them in the classroom, to what are the ramifications the Jewish community faces in an increasingly digital world.” read more


August 26, 2007 Posted by | CAJE33, Education, Jewish, Technology | Leave a comment

What I learned from presenting at CAJE

I’ve thought a lot about what I learned from the people I spoke to during CAJE. I actually had a lot of thinking time as we drove with Allie to Orlando so that she could start her internship at the Big Mouse House (see her blog here).

What’s the next step for integrating technology into Jewish supplemental education?

Here’s what I think we need now:

Opportunities for sharing – cooperative wikis. How amazing would it be if a group of educators committed to creating wikis on various subjects, with each educator taking responsibility for a particular section?

Blogroll sharing – are you using a blog with your class? Are you using a blog to communicate with your teachers and/or parents? Are you willing to share so others can use yours as a template?

Social networking. Are you using FaceBook to communicate with your teens? What are some of the pitfalls? Successes?

What Internet sites are your favorite places to go when you’ve got those “night before Sunday school blues?”

Lesson plans that incorporate technology. Is technology giving you a new twist to an old activity?

We need to find out what it is we don’t know. If you could design the perfect tech class for educators, what would it be? Do you want to learn movie editing? Claymation? Flash?

Smartboard technologies – anybody using smartboards?

CAJE’s desire to feature technology at CAJE32 was a great start – now let’s see where it goes from here.

August 15, 2007 Posted by | CAJE33, Jewish, Technology | Leave a comment

Rockin’ at CAJE

On the lineup (well, at least what we chose to attend) tonight…

First the CAJE Chorale and Cantors’ Choir performance. Not exactly like we weren’t going to go to that – considering David performed in both groups.

Linda Hirschhorn’s Vocolot. Wow. What powerful music. And what beautiful voices. We bought three CDs.

Todd Herzog. Cantorial soloist, rocker. Soloist? At twelve? Okay, maybe he’s not twelve. Boy is he cute, though. I loved his music and thought it would be great to use with my 8th and 9th graders for social justice. We bought one CD.

Sheldon Low. Also twelve. Obviously a great appeal to the kids – had them up there with him on the stage.

What talent.

August 9, 2007 Posted by | CAJE33 | Leave a comment

It’s hot here

August 8, 2007 Posted by | CAJE33 | Leave a comment

Quickie wikis…

So this morning I had around 40 people at my Wiki presentation. I’m guessing, from the questions, that at least half of them had never heard of a wiki before but for some reason they decided that they just had to have one. And you know what? By the end of the session everybody walked out with at least one wiki. Most of the participants created a basic wiki to use with their class to share information. I’m so proud of them – many of these teachers were scared of this technology and they came, learned about something new, and jumped right in.

If you’re interested in the class materials, they’re here.

August 7, 2007 Posted by | CAJE33, Technology | Leave a comment

Midnight blogging at CAJE…

Just got back from an amazing four hours of music listening. First we heard Mark Bloom and Stacy Beyer. We’ve been fans of Mark’s since he was a scholar-in-residence at our synagogue and he delivered a solid performance. Stacy was fabulous and just delightful – we hear she’s going to be at our friends’ synagogue in Peoria next February; we may just have to drive down there for that one. Then we traipsed (in the still 90 degree heat) over to hear Peri Smilow and Josh Nelson. Josh uses PowerPoint!What a treat that was – Peri’s voice is beautiful as always and Josh just amazed. I was happy (in a really nerdy way) to see Josh using PowerPoint slides with the lyrics to his songs as he was singing. I had taught a PowerPoint session earlier today and would have loved to have a photo of that for the class.

The real surprise tonight, though, was the later-night performance by Steve Dropkin‘s new band. Now, we’ve been fans of Steve’s for quite a while, ever since David brought home his CDs from Hava Nashira many years ago. Well, Steve’s got a brand new band and some exceptional new music. Hey Steve – update your website – I wanted to get some information about your new stuff!

Earlier today I attended a thought-provoking session about Torah Aura‘s new book, What We NOW Know About Jewish Education. This book, edited by Paul Flexner and Roberta Louis Goodman (ahem, she was my sorority sister at NU), is an update with new information about Jewish education and learners and teachers and special ed… and all the stuff that we have to deal with and figure out. Sounds like it’s going to be a good one and I know we’ll be adding it to our library.

And now – it’s 12:33; I’m blogging and David’s off playing guitar with Hava Nashira buds. Of course.

Well – I’m “wiki-ing” bright and early tomorrow (actually, later today) so g’night.

August 7, 2007 Posted by | CAJE33, Technology | Leave a comment

First night at CAJE

What a great first day it’s been. My first presentation, Free on the Web, was really well-attended – it certainly looks like a lot of people want to know what’s out there. I ran out of handouts, but I promise that I will email copies to everyone who missed one! Or you can download them from

We went to the evening performance from four unbelievable musicians – Beth Schafer, Julie Silver, Doug Cotler and Rabbi Joe Black. It was so much fun to see Joe again after “I-don’t-know-how-many-years.” I was Joe’s youth group advisor when he was in high school Beth, Joe, Doug and Julie(whew – makes me feel old, but he does point out that he was a senior in high school and I was only a college sophomore). Anyway, the performance was awesome and a terrific start to the conference.

Other stuff? It’s hot – damn hot – here. Makes me wish we were in Jerusalem again. Dinner was good, if a little rushed because the line was so long. The dorm is really nice – much nicer than many, including the ones our girls were in at Illinois.

Okay – tired now – gotta go to bed. My first of FOUR 8:45 am presentations is tomorrow!

August 5, 2007 Posted by | CAJE33 | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: