TRADITION’s recent Fall 2020 issue was largely dedicated to a symposium on Mahashevet Yisrael – the educational challenges and goals of Jewish thought, ably guest edited by Mali Brofsky. Among the 11 essays in the symposium, we published a piece by R. Dov Singer, “Service of God as a Unique Discipline.” Rav Dov is the Rosh Yeshiva of the Makor Chaim high school in Gush Etzion and the founder of the Beit Midrash Lehithadshut and its Lifnim educator training program.
In his essay Singer laid out a theory of how to educate toward spiritual connection and meaning. In this podcast, Mali Brofsky talks with Yehuda Chanales and Rick Schindelheim, who have been working closely with Singer in applying this process to the classroom in the Fuchs Mizrachi School, in Cleveland, as part of a groundbreaking partnership with Yeshivat Makor Chaim to enhance the culture of personal and religious growth in schools. In the episode they discuss the program outlined in Singer’s article, what the program really looks like in practice, the strengths and challenges of the suggested process, and how it is transforming the culture among both teachers and students alike.
R. Rick Schindelheim has taught Judaic studies at the Fuchs Mizrachi School since 2013. His informal educational experience includes over a decade of work at Camp Stone in a variety of capacities. He is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and holds a Masters and Education Specialist degrees.
R. Yehuda Chanales is Director of Educational Advancement and a member of the Judaic Faculty at Fuchs Mizrachi. He was formerly a faculty member at the TABC and MTA high schools, and is a three-time graduate of Yeshiva University, and most recently completed a Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership from Harvard University.
Click here to watch a Zoom video recording of the conversation.
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One aspect of Makor Chaim’s work with Fuchs Mizrachi is a simple attempt to convert the Judaic studies staff into a “Chabura” – a spiritual self-help group. Regarding the discussion of concrete frameworks and toolboxes, it is worthwhile to look at these guides developed for Chaburot in general:
Also, we highly recommend you see this brief video about the work we are doing at Fuchs Mizrachi: https://tinyurl.com/y3qe87ff