Faculty learning and writing serve as the basis for practical and action research projects in Jewish education.
Our Innovation Lab creates opportunities for educational experimentation based on ideas explored both within and outside the Faculty Beit Midrash.
2023 – 2024 Projects
Model Peace Process Club
Rabbi Shlomo Wadler and Dr. Hillel Grunberg are developing materials for an Israel Peace Process after school club, created in the mold of Model UN, to engage students in understanding the myriad perspectives that must be accommodated in order to create lasting peace for Israel and the Palestinian people.
Rabbi Shua Lindenbaum has begun researching game theory and classroom gamification models that he can use with our .1 Talmud students. The Innovator is also looking into the possibilities for app design to create a replicable model for Gemara teachers at other institutions with a particular focus on the unique vocabulary of Gemara, which can sometimes be a barrier for less fluent students.
The Freshmen Tefillah Placement Project, led by Daniela Lehman and Rabbanit Lisa Schlaff, is partnering with Azrieli School of Jewish Education at Yeshiva University to develop a survey instrument for incoming high schoolers that we aim, eventually, to share with other schools since tefillah placement is such a common area of difficulty across Jewish high schools.
The Antisemitism Curriculum for 10th grade is currently being developed, and its leaders from the history department, Dr. Caryn Keller and department chair Adina Shoulson, are meeting with consultant and researching best practices in teaching contemporary antisemitism through an historical lens rather than treating it only as a relic of the past.
2022 – 2023 Projects
The Ungrading Innovation will teach students to self-evaluate, empowering them to assess and develop their own learning on their own terms.
The Halakha Lab will be integrated into Judaic Studies classes, bringing the study of halakha to life for our students. Hands-on activities increase engagement, enable students to practice what they have learned in the classroom, encourage creativity, and lead to greater retention of the curriculum.
The Ivrit Learning Center will offer students opportunities to practice and expand their language learning skills through engaging technologies, interactive stations, and inventive language immersion activities.
History and English Skills Classes
The History Skills Class will bring together History and English teachers with Learning Specialists for team-taught courses that meet students where they are, collaborate on programmatic assessment and skill building, and coordinate learning across disciplines.
Through collaboration with our organizational partners, Machon Siach provides unique opportunities for educators to learn, experience, and develop relationships with the people and places of Israel.
ConnectEd is a joint Beit Midrash for 20 Israeli and American Religious Zionist educational leaders, rooted in the belief that educational leaders are public intellectuals with the capacity to serve as change agents for the Jewish community. Through this partnership, educational leaders in Israel and Diaspora communities will develop relationships, share knowledge and expertise, and engage the large educational-cultural questions that challenge the community in Israeli and English-speaking societies, producing both written, curricular and cultural products.
A Machon Siach project in partnership with Herzog College UnitEd and Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs
Kol Ha'am (In the spirit of President Herzog)
Israel, the US, and Middle East Peace
Machon Siach partners with the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace to provide seminars and on the ground experiences for educational leaders to learn about the US-Israel relationship and the possibilities for progress in the Middle East.
“Making Sense”: A Gemara Project
We bring the ‘Grand Conversation between Torah and the World’ into curricular and practical life through the study of Jewish texts, with a focus on teaching values and an awareness of the contemporary student mindset.
- The Sound of Silence: Mishnah Berakhot 2:3 by Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot
- Translating Talmud Series: Bridging Scholarship and Students by Rabbi Tully Harcsztark and Elana Stein Hain
- “Making Sense” of Gemara in a High School Classroom by Rabbi Tully Harcsztark
- A Pedagogy of Okimta by Rabbanit Lisa Schlaff
The Op-Ed Project
Writing is a powerful way for teachers to sharpen their ideas, considering how best to share their ideas with an audience in order to generate meaningful conversations about education. The Op-Ed project empowers SAR’s teachers through the opportunity to share their work and to envision themselves as experts in the field and thought leaders. It also enables Machon Siach to share its work and the work of SAR’s teachers with the tri-state area’s Orthodox community.
- The Ir Miklat of the Torah Classroom by Dr. Tammy Jacobowitz
- Leaving SAR but Remaining with the Jewish People by Alicia Germano
- Showing Up for Israel by Rabbi Jonathan Kroll
- Resolve and Resilience: School Decision-Making In the Face of the Unthinkable by Dr. Rivka Press Schwartz