OU’s Yachad/NJCD To Present Annual Election Day Professional Development Conference in NJ

19 Oct 2006


To enrich the classroom experience and increase the academic potential of Jewish children, the New Jersey Association of Jewish Day Schools, an affiliate of the Orthodox Union’s National Jewish Council of Disabilities, will hold its annual Election Day Statewide Professional Development Conference for Teachers in New Jersey Jewish day schools on Tuesday, November 7, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Kushner Schools in Livingston, NJ.

Over 1,000 educators from throughout New Jersey attend this conference every year.

The theme of the day will be, “Educating the Whole Child – From Instruction to Assessment and Beyond,” which will concentrate on general and Judaic studies as well as special education, mental health issues and administration.

“The conference is designed for educators so that they can learn the latest techniques in teaching and education. Topics on classroom management and the use of technology in Jewish schools are sure to enhance the child’s academic experience,” declared Batya Jacob, Director of Educational Services of NJCD, and Associate Director of the New Jersey Association of Jewish Day schools.

Dr. Jeffrey Lichtman, Founder and Director of the New Jersey Association added, “This annual conference plays a vital role in networking New Jersey yeshiva/ day school educators and enhancing their annual ongoing professional development.”

The conference is co-sponsored by the Keren Keshet – The Rainbow Foundation of New York – and is in cooperation with the Association of Modern Orthodox Day Schools and Yeshiva High Schools, and Jewish Education Services of UJA-Bergen County.

The Keynote speaker, presenting the topic, There is Only One Way to Improve Student Achievement or How to be a Successful and Effective Teacher, will be Dr. Harry Wong, who is often described as “the most sought after speaker in education today.” He is the author of more than 30 publications, including The First Day of School, which has sold more than 2.5 million copies. He will speak at 1 p.m. An Instructor Magazine reader’s poll in March 2006 naming the most admired people in education lists Dr. Wong among such notables as Maya Angelou, Laura Bush, Bill Cosby, Hillary Clinton, Ron Clark, Marva Collins, Howard Gardner, Mel Levine, and Oprah Winfrey.

OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, who is also a distinguished clinical psychologist, will speak on Counseling High School Students within a Torah Framework.

Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, Founder of the Tanach Torah Center, will discuss Teaching Tanach: New Approaches. Rabbi Leibtag is one of the pioneers of Torah education via the Internet. His essays on the weekly Torah portion, read by literally thousands of subscribers world wide, introduce a vibrant analytical approach to thematic study of the Bible. He will speak about Tanach (Bible) studies throughout the day.

A special presentation and breakfast for principals — Integrating Technology into a Yeshiva Environment — from 8-9 a.m., will feature Aryeh Eisenberg, Director of Technology at Maayanot Yeshiva in Teaneck, and Ruth Lubitz, a consultant specializing in educational technology in the day school/yeshiva environment. This session will explore ways to successfully integrate technology into the Jewish day school without compromising the values or safety of the students.

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

In addition to sessions mentioned above, highlights include:

•Rabbi Rafi Fuerstein, Vice Chairman of the International Center for the Enhancement of Learning Potential in Jerusalem, will address the concept of cognitive modifiability, which is based on the belief that every individual can change, and that their ability to function can be meaningfully developed through proper education;

•Dr. Richard Audet, Associate Professor of Science Education, Roger Williams University, will speak on assessment in science on all grade levels;

•Shayna Reiss, is a Masters candidate at Montclair State University in the Educational Administration and Supervision program. She will present workshops and programs in the areas of language arts, writing and balanced literacy/guided reading;

•Jill Slansky, Adjunct Assistant Professor at The University of Portland in Oregon, presents workshops which include the use of rubrics (assessment devices), to help students self-assess their work, and assessment in creative writing;

•Liz Szporn, Clinic Director of the Lindamood-Bell® Learning Center in Morristown, NJ, will speak about phonics and reading;

•Rabbi Yosef Adler, Rosh HaYeshiva at Torah Academy of Bergen County and Rabbi of Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, NJ, will present on Lamdut (teaching) and Gemara (Talmud);

•Alfred Posamentier, Dean of the School of Education and Professor of Mathematics Education at The City College of the City University of New York, will address mathematics on the high school level;

•Patricia Rose-Attia, MSW, Vice President of Liberty Management Group, Inc., is Director of all Downstate Arms Acres Outpatient Clinics in the Metropolitan New York Area and is an Adjunct Professor at Yeshiva University. Her topic will be suicide prevention;

•Eliezer Vilinsky, M.A., educational consultant, Educational Support Services, Inc., Monsey, NY, will explore the teaching of Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) to students with learning disabilities;

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.

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. It works to ensure that every Jew can participate in the joys of Jewish life and the observance of mitzvot (Torah commandments). NJCD’s inclusive activities sensitize the community to its member’s strengths and abilities, their needs and their dreams.