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East Bay Learning Network: How Jewish Values and Compassionate Dialogue Meet in the Classroom | DATE TBD

  • TBD East Bay United States (map)

Facilitator: Kathy Simon PhD
6 weekday mornings in the East Bay, beginning week of October 30
$500/participant – includes six sessions plus participation in February Day of Learning

In any community, differences of perspective are inevitable. But it’s hard to know how to talk about our differences without creating painful divides.  It’s similarly hard to know how to teach Jewish values and how they might express themselves in real-life action without "getting political".  And getting political is fraught, perhaps now more than ever. In both cases, having the skills to dialogue around difference is crucial.

This series is designed to:
•   help educators gain tangible skills for dialogue about difficult topics
•   explore Jewish content that seems potentially “too hot to handle” in the current climate, applying the skills of dialogue
•   prepare plans for introducing the skills of dialogue with colleagues, students, or parents, especially around areas of Jewish content
•   explore ways of sharing with stake-holders the necessity of treading on potentially controversial ground in the context of Jewish education

A pre-launch survey will insure that we discuss the content that is most relevant to your schools and find ways of introducing topics that now seem too controversial to broach. We’ll also look at conflicts that arise in the course of your work — and find ways to approach them that are as graceful and honest as possible.

*During the 2017-18 school year, Jewish LearningWorks offers educational leaders and classroom teachers a series of opportunities to explore how to provide relevant, compelling Jewish Education in Times of Division.  Many senior educators are wrestling daily with when to lean in to a difficult conversation, how to refrain from deepening a divide and how best to move their schools and moral communities toward just action.

We hope you will consider participating in one of our two learning networks this fall – one on the Peninsula, one in the East Bay – designed to provide collegial support, robust learning and new skills.  We anticipate bringing both networks together in February for a shared day of learning.

Each network will include six, three-hour sessions between November and January.  Meeting dates and times will be chosen according to the preference of registered participants.  The fee for participation is $500.  For more information, or to register, please email Dana Sheanin –

Kathy Simon holds a B.A. in English and Hebrew Literature and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teacher Education. A former high school English and drama teacher, Kathy taught student teachers at Stanford University and co-directed the Coalition of Essential Schools, a national school-reform organization. Kathy is the author and co-author of several books on curriculum, teaching and school reform, including Moral Questions in the Classroom and Teaching as Inquiry. Kathy has served on the faculty of MTEI since 2006. She also is a certified trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication, and leads communication courses and workshops for couples, parents, teachers, and non-profit organizations.