By Elana Rivel, Associate Director

On Wednesday, October 22, our second Cohort of LeV congregations met for their first network meeting. LeV: Getting to the Heart of Education is our change initiative for congregations looking to rethink congregational education. This year’s cohort is made up of Congregation Kesher Israel in West Chester and Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood. Members of their Ometz teams came together to network and learn together.

Ometz” means courage in Hebrew – the leadership teams for this initiative must have the courage to think outside the box and take risks as they imagine, design and implement new models of education. At the Network meeting last week, we explored innovative educational models that include three key components:

  • whole family learning experiences,
  • the use of technology to enhance and/or extend learning, and
  • is learner-centered.

We believe that these three components are key to an effective educational model. Team members will now have time to explore these models even deeper on their own or through resources on our website to identify the components that are most exciting and meaningful for their communities. By December, they will design a new model for their congregation that likely will include different components from two or more of the models we presented.

Team members reflected that while they are somewhat overwhelmed by how much needs to get accomplished in the next few months, they are excited about the potential, want to learn more, and are eager to try something new in order to enhance their congregational education experiences.

Conversations about innovative educational approaches are happening all over the country.  If you are on Facebook, check out JEDLAB for a current discussion thread.