hakaveret: jeic team challenge

HaKaveret: JEIC Team Challenge identified an innovation design team of highly talented and motivated individuals for a facilitated, year-long creative process.

The 10 outstanding members of our Design Team have used the opportunity to learn with and from each other, as well as external experts.


Design team

SHARON FREUNDEL | Director of Jewish Life, Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital | Washington, DC 

JENNIFER GLASER | Director: The Engaging Texts Network and Co-Director: Israel Center for Philosophy and Education | Jerusalem, Israel 

RUCHEL GREEN | Teacher, Silver Spring Learning Center; Technology Specialist, Silver Spring Learning Center | Silver Spring, MD 

RINA HOFFMAN | Consultant, Experiential Education and Program Design | Sharon, MA 

ELIEZER JONES | General Studies Principal at Valley Torah High School | Valley Village, CA 

JEFF KIDERMAN | Executive Director, Affordable Jewish Education Project (AJE) | New York, NY 

AMY MELTZER | Kindergarten Teacher and Director of Family Engagement at Lander Grinspoon Academy | Northampton, MA 

MICHAL SMART | Associate Principal, Bi-Cultural Day School | Stamford, CT 

NOAM WEISSMAN | Principal, Shalhevet High School Los Angeles, CA 

TIKVAH WIENER | Co-Founder and Director, I.D.E.A. Schools Network; Chief Academic Officer, Magen David Yeshivah High School | Teaneck, NJ 


While currently still under development, the Design Team has shown a great sense of purpose in their creation of 5 innovative and engaging concept models of Judaic education to be piloted in Jewish day schools. HaKaveret designers shared the below models for feedback and refinement at our 2017 Innovators Retreat in Boston, MA. Watch videos of their presentations

  1. Making Meaning - This concept focuses on professional development that helps teachers validate and foster a broad range of Jewishly engaged behavior, encouraging students to link their passions with their Jewish identity and to see and develop themselves as Jewishly engaged individuals leading Jewishly meaningful lives.
  2. Encounters with G-d - Through this model, teachers become more comfortable within their own spirituality and become more adept at expressing it.
  3. Identity Builders - This model empowers educators to help students define who they are, shifting the focus of the classroom from accepted predetermined truths to a growth mindset which uses sources to develop identity that is informed by our sacred texts and traditions. 
  4. Torah Lishma - The “Torah Lishma” model focuses on developing a personal connection with Judaic studies by leveraging intrinsic motivation.
  5. JDS for All - This model allows Jewish Day Schools to focus on what they do best. This will create a more sustainable model for Jewish education, run by the day school itself, yet focused on children who attend public school. The model is significantly more affordable than the traditional day school and has the potential to expand the reach of day schools.

About hakaveret: jeic team challenge

HaKaveret: JEIC Team Challenge brings together an innovation design team of highly talented and motivated individuals for a facilitated, year-long creative process to develop multiple innovative and engaging models for delivering Judaic education in Jewish day schools that will then be piloted in North American schools. 

Funded jointly by Mayberg Foundation, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, and Arnee R. and Walter A. Winshall and operated by Joshua Venture Group, HaKaveret is designed to create and foster innovative, inspiring, authentic, and substantive engagement in Torah education in our Jewish day schools. 

Our first design team consists of 10 individuals who will learn with and from each other as well as external experts. Through an 8-month process, with 3 cornerstone retreats, Design Team Members have developed 5 new models for Jewish learning to be implemented in school environments that have expressed interest in rethinking their present school models. During the process, potential testing sites are being identified, and at the close of the process, the Team will present these models to, and will work closely with, select schools to adapt and test these ideas in partnership.

Designers committed to the following: 

  • Three 2.5 day retreats to take place November 1st-3rd 2016, February 2017, and May 2017
  • Approximately 3-5 hours per week from February through May 2017 for virtual meetings and individual work to design the models.
  • Creation of a deliverable in partnership with other Designers. The deliverable will consist of a theoretical framework, recommendations for adaptation, and a detailed outline for implementation of a new model.

Each Designer will receive a $10,000 stipend and all expenses paid for travel to cornerstone retreats in Silver Spring, MD; Chicago, IL; and Boston, MA.