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What You Can Get Out of the ISJL Education Conference
By ISJL Education Fellow Mackenzie Haun
Every year, around the time of the ISJL Education Conference, we get some of the same questions. “Why do I have to go to this conference thing? What do I get out of it? What’s the point exactly?”
I took it upon myself to ask around the office, and also to reach out to some of the communities we serve, to get you answers to these questions.
Here are a few things that the staff wants you to know:
“I want the attendees to know that the ISJL is there TO HELP THEM. Often they suffer in silence, and then they have these problems that we learn about too late.”
“I would like to see participants excited going into their session, ready to learn something new, and excited coming out of their session, ready to bring it back to their community.”
“I want conference participants to be able to create relationships with other Jewish professionals and learn alongside the ISJL staff!”
“I hope participants build lasting partnerships as they engage in both social and intellectual programming!”
Knowing what the team wants you to get out of the conference is one thing, but let’s hear what other community members have gotten out of it!
“I learned that my community faces similar issues as other small southern communities as well as all of the positive things we do have that others go without… Our small shul is a part of something larger.”
“I have learned new ways to enhance student interest in the curriculum, new approaches to several topics, and a lot of tips to help corral my class even more.”
“I didn’t have an appreciation for exactly what ISJL was before the conference. I knew it was an institute that provided curriculum and rabbinical services, but what I could not have known until coming here was the passion and commitment ISJL encompasses. I got so much more out of the speakers and sessions than I imagined I would.”
“I learned classroom management techniques; how better to talk about God with students; how to organize classroom/school more effectively, and tips for better teacher/student/parent relationships!”
“I got a chance to refresh myself to go back to teach one more time. I learned new things. I met new people. I got some great ideas. As my old rabbi always told me, take what is meaningful and leave the rest. There was very little that I need to leave. How much more could I take home if I could have attended every session? My head might explode. Great conference. Different than others but lots to offer.”
“There are always new things to learn, and having more people to bounce ideas with is really helpful. Beyond that, it can get really easy to get pessimistic about education, and the conference recharges my passion for the subject and teaching religious school.”
“The Fellows are fantastic and I gain ideas and information to better serve my community. I also love meeting other communities that face similar issues and getting ideas from each other and making connections.”
“The opportunity to hear outstanding Jewish educators, to feel the dynamic energy of rooms full of like-minded teachers with the goal of teaching kids how to be Jewish, is amazing. I want all my teachers to attend, not just me.”
We hope all of you are as excited for the 2019 ISJL Education Conference as we are! We are looking forward to learning and working with every single participant!