Election Day in NJ: OU’s Yachad/NJCD to Present Education Conferences

15 Oct 2007


Once again this year, Election Day in New Jersey will be an opportunity for teachers in New Jersey Jewish Day Schools as well as for their counterparts from around the country to improve their skills, as Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities (NJCD), an affiliate of the Orthodox Union, presents two high-level conferences.

NJCD is an agency of the OU that provides educational and social inclusion programs through its two major components, Yachad, for children and adults with learning and developmental disabilities, and Our Way for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The dual meeting — the National Yeshiva Special Education Conference and the Election Day Statewide Professional Development Conference — will be presented Tuesday, November 6, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Kushner Schools in Livingston, NJ. These conferences are presented by the National Association of Jewish Schools Serving Special Children and the New Jersey Association of Jewish Day Schools respectively.

The conferences, with the shared theme of “Educating the Whole Child: Academic and Psycho-Social Elements of Education,” will run simultaneously and will concentrate on general and Judaic studies as well as special education, mental health issues and administration.

In addition to New Jersey educators, special-education teachers from Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto are expected to attend. In past years, over 1,000 educators annually have participated in these conferences.

The conferences are co-sponsored by the Keren Keshet – The Rainbow Foundation of New York.

“Knowing how beneficial these conferences are to Jewish educators, we are pleased to hold them again this year,” declared Batya Jacob, Director of Educational Services of NJCD, and Associate Director of the New Jersey Association of Jewish Day Schools. “Our previous experience shows that speakers from these conferences are invited back to individual schools to address their specific needs and build on what they learned from these conferences.”

According to Mrs. Jacob, “This is the first time that the special education track will address not only the secular classroom curriculum but will meet the educators’ unique needs in the Judaic classroom environment as well.”

“In addition,” she continued, “the regular education track will have a co-curricular emphasis geared toward the specialty teachers; workshops will focus on music, art, photography and physical education.”

The Keynote speaker for both conferences, presenting the topic, Managing ADD/ADHD in the Classroom, will be Dr. Sandra Reif, a leading educational consultant, author, and speaker on effective strategies and interventions for helping students with learning, attention, and behavioral challenges to achieve school success. She has authored several books such How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD, The ADHD Book of Lists, and co-authored How to Reach and Teach All Children in the Inclusive Classroom.

The sessions are keyed to early childhood, elementary school, middle school, high school, mental health, special education, administration, general studies and Judaic studies.

Workshops topics for the Election Day Statewide Professional Development Conference for Teachers in New Jersey Jewish Day Schools include Improving Writing and Thinking Skills; Taamei Hamikra (Jewish text): Beyond the Notes; Becoming a Listening Leader; Music Curriculum for the Jewish Day Schools; The Jewish Lens – Using Photography, and others.

The National Yeshiva Special Education Conference topics include Brain-Based Teaching and Learning; Auditory Processing in the Classroom; Differentiated Instruction; Diagnosis, Identification and Intervention, Emotional Disabilities; Assessing and Addressing Problem Behaviors; Effective Practice: Ways to Approach Jewish Texts; and others.

Travel subsidies are available for educators traveling from outside the New York and New Jersey areas. For registration costs and for more information contact Batya Jacob at 212-613-8127 or 551-404-4447. She can also be reached via e-mail at jacobb@ou.org.