'Adapting: The Future of Jewish Education' is a podcast hosted by The Jewish Education Project. Hear CEO David Bryfman and a different guest each episode exploring the big questions, challenges, and successes that define Jewish education.
The Pedagogy of Death, Season 3, Episode 9
Death and dying are topics that are often avoided, both in the world at large and in the realm of Jewish education. Rabbi Melanie Levav—award-winning educator, chaplain, and certified social worker—not only makes these topics easier to discuss, but suggests that Jewish educators cannot and should not avoid the topic. In this week’s episode of Adapting, Rabbi Melanie and David Bryfman discuss her work and how she brings ancient Jewish wisdom into this emotional space. Their discussion pushes Jewish educators to consider how we can normalize conversations about death and dying, and in doing so reduce fear, promote greater connections, and paradoxically even bring Torah to life at moments of death.
#antisemitism and Empowering Gen Z, Season 3, Episode 8
Antisemitism is often referred to as the world’s oldest hatred, and perhaps it is not surprising that it's rearing its ugly head again in popular and sporting culture today. Now, with Ye, Kyrie, and Dave Chappelle at the forefront of educators' minds, it is as important as ever to analyze and discuss these issues with their learners – and the broader Jewish community must support and empower them to do so.
Joining David Bryfman on this week’s episode is Dr. Samantha Vinokor-Meinrath, Gen Z expert and author of #antisemitism: Coming of Age during the Resurgence of Hate. They discuss her groundbreaking research on how antisemitism is affecting the younger generation through social media and celebrities, and how educators can embolden the next generation to respond to hate and instill Jewish pride.
Is the Writing on the Wall for Jewish Day Schools? Season 3, Episode 7
Jewish Day Schools are having a celebrated moment, but will they be viable in 20 years? Are the trends and challenges that may impact day schools in the future...leadership turnover, a quality educator pipeline, and affordability, being sufficiently acknowledged and addressed? In this week's episode of Adapting, David Bryfman explores these topics and more with Dr. Chaim Botwinick, an executive coach, consultant, and day school executive director who is bravely challenging the status quo. His frank assessment of the strengths and deficiencies in the Jewish Day School landscape is both illuminating and disquieting, but ultimately leaves listeners with a newfound sense of optimism on how we can sustain a thriving Jewish Day School system.
The Case for Healthy Arguments, Season 3, Episode 6
Abi Dauber Sterne and Robbie Gringras want society to argue more. Really! The two veteran educators believe that arguments can be a constructive force in Israel education. Robbie and Abi, authors of the book Stories For The Sake of Argument, explain why argument does not always have to end in divisiveness, and how a healthy argument can bring people of opposing view points closer together. This conversation takes on added importance this week, in the aftermath of the Israeli election and as Israelis and Jews around the world prepare to observe and reflect on the 28th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a time when the space for healthy arguments was missing in Israeli society.
Why You Should Care About Israeli Elections, Season 3, Episode 5
In this episode of Adapting David Bryfman speaks with Noam Weissman of OpenDor Media, an experienced Israel educator and podcaster in his own right. They discuss how Jewish educators can use the upcoming Israeli elections as a teaching tool to further engage students with Israel and the complexities of Israeli society. Noam shares his affection for Israeli political ads, which OpenDor Media has translated and captioned for non-Hebrew speakers to access. In this discussion Noam is forthright in his views about Jewish education and that in today’s day and age, it’s not possible "to have a healthy relationship with one’s Jewish identity without including Israel in that.”
The Mindset and Kishkes of Jewish Philanthropy, Season 3, Episode 4
The ecosystem of Jewish education depends on the contributions of various stakeholders and philanthropy is playing an increasing role in this landscape. This episode of Adapting explores some of the passion, concerns, and challenges that funders think about when making their contributions to Jewish causes. In conversation with Shawna Goodman Sone, raised in Montreal and now living in Israel, David discusses why Shawna cares so deeply about the issues and the various causes that motivate her philanthropy. "It starts with the kishkes," Shawna says, "and everything else goes from there." The wisdom and learning from this episode clearly speaks to both funders and practitioners, and emphasizes the need for further conversations like these that bridge the seeming gap between the two.
Definitely recommend this podcast for any Jewish educators out there, great for both new and veteran educators, you’ll always learn something and gain new perspectives.
A great addition to my own Jewish education
While working on my masters in Jewish Professional Leadership, this podcast has been a great supplement to my program. I highly recommend!
Thought Provoking Conversation
I recently started listening to this podcast, and it’s opening my eyes (or ears) to the challenges the Jewish community faces today across the spectrum in engaging kids and families, and delivering relevant Jewish education and experiences today. Highly recommend!