Learn More About the Conference!
Meet Our Keynote Speaker
By Rachel Stern
Ron Wolfson, Evie Rotstein, Sam Joseph, Jonathan Krasner, Kerry Olitzky, Jeff Kress, Harlene Winnick Appelman... What do all of these names have in common besides being among the leaders in the Jewish educational world? They have all been the guest keynote speakers at the annual ISJL Education Conference.
To see all of these names together is quite powerful, and you wouldn’t expect this lineup to be in Jackson, Mississippi but that is exactly where they were. All of our speakers command top dollar as they ride the speakers circuit around the country, and yet they have set aside the time and excused their fee to serve our amazing network of ISJL education partners
While it may take some convincing at first,we know that these speakers will fall in love with our ISJL community. Many of them stay involved after the conference and all of them marvel at how special (and well run!) our conference is.This summer we will be adding Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire to our esteemed list.Read his bio below, to see why we are so excited. We are all in for some amazing learning!
Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire is the Chief Academic Officer and Dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College. He was born and raised in the UK and studied Hebrew Literature at University College London. Due to the influence of the American rabbi who led his Confimation class in a small isolated Jewish community, he staffed URJ camps in the USA and then enrolled for a Master’s Degree at HUC in New York. Following that, he swapped coasts and completed a PhD in Jewish Education at HUC and USC in Los Angeles. His doctoral dissertation grappled with the enhancement of spirituality in adolescents. At HUC he met his wife, Rabbi Marcia Plumb, who hails from Houston, and they have two children.
Rabbi Shire became the head of Jewish Education for the Reform Movement in the UK and then Vice-Principal of of the London-based Leo Baeck College rabbinic school. In 2011, he returned to American shores to begin his current tenure as Dean and Professor of Jewish Education at Hebrew College, a pluralistic graduate school and seminary in Boston. Dr. Shire has written extensively on the spirituality of children and adolescents, and he is the founder of the educational methodology called Torah Godly Play. He has written four books on creative liturgy illustrated with medieval illuminations from the British Library. He makes his home with the family in Needham, Massachusetts.