As the school year begins, The Jewish Education Project is launching a dynamic new Jewish Educator Portal (educator.jewishedproject.org) – a one-stop-shop for Jewish educators to access curated content and resources, ongoing professional development, and eventually a mechanism to create community by holding their own convenings and gatherings. The platform, which will be updated frequently, includes everything from teacher mental health resources, to an introduction on teaching outdoors, to a digital boot camp, and more. In the coming months, The Portal will add more features to support teachers who are teaching virtually, in-person, or any hybrid of both.
“Last spring, with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and schools closing campuses, educators were scrambling to adapt to a new reality of digital learning,” adds Susan Wachsstock, Chief Program Officer of The Jewish Education Project. “The marketplace of digital offerings all of a sudden became very crowded – understandably so – but now we want to help Jewish educators make use of the highest quality resources best suited for their educational settings and age cohorts.”
The Jewish Educator Portal is for the thousands of Jewish educators who work in various Jewish educational settings including day schools, congregational schools, early childhood settings, youth serving organizations, residential and day summer camps, and Israel and other travel experiences. As a community space, the Portal is designed for educators to share its content, to comment on how they use content so others can follow suit, and to build their own library of resources and share what they find with colleagues.
“In the midst of the busy school year, I need to quickly be able to find the right programs and resources for my teaching style and students,” adds Ora Bayewitz-Meier, English and Art History Teacher and Director of Chesed Programming at SAR High School. “The Portal will elevate all educators and will be a hub that enables us to help each other.”
The Portal builds on the support The Jewish Education Project has provided since the outbreak of the pandemic, during which more than 8,000 educators have utilized its resources and programs to help create and adapt learning experiences.
“We know there is high demand for high quality offerings to help educators at this moment,” adds Wachsstock. “The platform is designed to really encourage educator participation in curating and sharing resources with their peers. That interaction will help all educators enhance their skills and knowledge and deliver the highest quality educational experiences regardless of whether those are in-person or virtual.”
Beyond helping to navigate the vast world of online offerings, The Jewish Educator Portal is a gathering place with ongoing online professional development and convening opportunities for Jewish educators to come together, learn, and share successes and challenges. The Jewish Education Project expects the Portal’s professional development opportunities and resources to positively influence Jewish learning experiences of tens of thousands of children.
The Jewish Educator Portal is a project of The Jewish Education Project, a proud partner of UJA-Federation of New York. The Jewish Educator Portal is made possible due to the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Maimonides Fund through the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund (JCRIF), and GS Humane Corp.