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August 5, 2004.

Contact: Moshe Abelesz, moshea@lookstein.org or 972-3-535-4980


The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora in partnership with AVI CHAI conducted a summer institute in Israel for principals of Jewish day schools. The summer seminar was part of a uniquely designed five part professional development project for the participants. Twenty-five principals were accepted into the program from across the United States, Canada and Mexico at the ten day seminar that focused on the theme “The Integration of Two Worlds.” The Lookstein Center, part of the School of Education at Bar-Ilan University, presented leading experts in the field of education, psychology and Jewish studies.

“One of the biggest challenges facing Jewish educators and Jewish day schools is helping students deal with the interface of the two worlds that the student lives in—the world of Jewish tradition and the world of Western culture,” noted Stuart Zweiter, Director of The Lookstein Center. “We felt it was important to design and offer a program that provided academic expertise and best practices in which participants reflected on their leadership and vision and the values of their school, and how they are manifested in the school’s policy, program and instruction,” added Zweiter.

The conference, held at Bar-Ilan University and in Jerusalem, also included discussions, workshops and individual peer coaching. At the conclusion of the conference each principal selected a project that will be implemented in her school and will impact on an aspect of her school community. Participants are working with a peer coach and will report on their project at a follow-up conference to be held in February in Florida.

Lookstein Summer Institute

“A very beneficial part of this conference,” said Stanley Peerless who coordinated the Institute, “is that participants not only gained from leading experts who presented the latest theories and practices, they also gained from each other’s experience and expertise. Although the principals are from across the geographical and denominational spectrum, they share many of the same issues and there was a great deal of reflecting and sharing among them,” added Peerless.

The Lookstein Center was established to promote, through service and research, the advancement of Jewish education in the Diaspora. Its programs focus on leadership, teacher, and curriculum development, and include several world-wide listservs which connect thousands of Jewish educators from across the globe, three websites (English, Russian and Spanish), providing interactive platforms and on-line libraries of resources focusing exclusively on the needs of Jewish educators, seminars in Israel and North America, interactive web conferences which connect Jewish educators to experts in various fields, a journal for Jewish educators and consultations to schools.

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