Greensboro, NC — B’nai Shalom Day School received $4,500 from the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge’s (JEIC) 2020 Ignition Grant Program to support its recently launched program “Connecting the Unconnected,” a partnership of five Jewish day schools from small Jewish communities. JEIC Ignition Grants jump-start new or developing out-of-the-box programs that improve Jewish education in day schools.
Susan Siegel, the Head of School, explains, “this program is a a collaborative learning experience bringing together sixth through eighth grade students at five Jewish day schools in small Jewish communities (the “Alliance”) to apply Jewish texts, Jewish history, and Jewish values to real-world issues…through classroom instruction, virtual learning spaces, and real-world learning expeditions. In this program, students connect with students from other schools in Birmingham, AL, Woodbridge, CT, Omaha, NE, and Rochester, NY around the topics of Social Justice, Advocacy, and Israel.
“The program exposes students to the variety of Jewish practice while reinforcing that we belong to one Jewish people,” said Mrs. Siegel. “It helps encourage day school enrollment while overcoming the isolation in small schools.”
“We are enthusiastic about the Alliance’s approach to unsilo-ing students and using online resources to create synchronous and asynchronous online classrooms,” said JEIC Founding Director, Rabbi Shmuel Feld.
Over the past seven years, JEIC has supported more than 21 Jewish day schools’ innovations aimed at reigniting students’ passion for Jewish learning and improving the way Jewish values, literacy, practice and belief are transferred to the next generation.
JEIC is a bold initiative to catalyze radical change in Jewish day schools across North America by bringing together educators, funders, influencers, and consumers to challenge day schools to achieve their mandate of optimizing student internalization of Jewish wisdom, identity, and decision making in the modern world. Initiated in 2012 by the Mayberg Foundation and supported through multiple philanthropic partnerships, JEIC pursues lasting school change through directed funding, philanthropic partnerships, impactful conferences, and innovative educational enterprises.