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Meet the 2017 ISJL Education Conference Key Note Speaker: Eliana Light
By Rachel Stern, Director of Education
Last fall, I taught an adult education class titled Exploring our Relationship with God. I discovered it was a tough topic to teach, and I was having trouble figuring out what my areas of focus would be and where I would begin. I started to ask around to some colleagues who had taught similar classes, and a friend directed me to ELI Talks (the Jewish version of TED Talks). It was on their website that I saw an amazing session called The God Gap. It described how we learn a very simple understanding of God as a child and, as we grow, we fail to add to that understanding. Later, as adults, we feel disconnected from God, because our knowledge of God remains limited. It was a brilliant yet very accessible and relate-able session. I wanted to know more about this outstanding presenter.
The author and presenter of The God Gap was a person who I hadn’t heard about before, even though she is a music educator working at the well-known Park Avenue Synagogue named Eliana Light. When I saw her name in print though, it did sound familiar, and I realized she was the author of the hottest new Hebrew learning program called Hebrew in Harmony that teaches prayer and Hebrew through music. Not only was she the author of curricula, but she had created two albums of original Jewish music as well. We knew Eliana was something special and we needed to introduce her to the ISJL network.
As we began our conversations with Eliana, we soon realized that we didn’t just want her to join us at the conference, but we wanted to showcase her as our featured Keynote Speaker this year. Thankfully, she happily accepted. In the time since we first met, Eliana has been awarded the 2017 Young Pioneers Award from the Jewish Education Project. There’s no question that Eliana’s contributions to the field of Jewish education will keep expanding. We are thrilled to be welcoming her to our Annual Education Conference this Summer. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn from her!