it starts with anidea 2012 Fellowship Jewish educational entrepreneurship
IntroductionJewish Education has always been one of the highest values for our people, but it has not always been the most innovative. Today,more than ever, we need creative and effective approaches to Jewish Education. It gives me the greatest pleasure to welcome you to acelebration of resourceful and responsible innovation in Jewish Education, the Launch Night of the first Threshold Fellowship.Threshold has grown out of the Nachlaot Community, known for its passionate and “out of the box” Judaism. The creativity and freshperspectives of our unique community are ready to be harnessed; providing an environment well suited to incubating new ventures.We have brought together a diverse and non-denominational group of talented men and women from all over Israel, individuals whohave been blessed with a vision for impacting Am Yisrael. Those of us who have shared in this process have watched them becomea powerful circle of peers, complementing and supporting one another, evolving as a professional cohort that I hope will continue tothrive well past this program.Around these individuals many others have gathered. The Nachlaot volunteers who formed the Steering Committee and created thismagic yesh m’ayin, the educational and communal leaders who did such a great job helping us select the Fellows, and the invaluableMentors and Coaches who were a crucial and definitive component in the quality of what has been achieved. In the name of theFellows, the community, the organization, and in the name of Am Yisrael, I thank you for your time and amazing efforts. Please seetonight’s achievements as your own.Frayda Leibtag’s performance as Program Coordinator was simply excellent, and we could not have done it without Yehoshua Looks,HaOhel’s Managing Director, who stepped up to the plate whenever needed. Thanks to both of you. Thanks as well to the PresenTenseGroup, whose know how and well-honed guidance powered the entire program. Most of all thanks to the Fellows, for believing inyourselves, for believing in us, and for believing that Am Yisrael is worthy of your energy and dedication.Behatzlacha! ויהי נועם ה‘ אלוקינו עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננה עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננהו Rav Aaron Leibowitz Dean, HaOhel Institutions Threshold, Sulam Yaakov, Shirat Devorah
Rebecca AminoffKol Hadassawww.kolhadassa.org ebecca has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, as well as experience teaching and working with high-school students,both in mainstream schools and in programs for youthat risk. Over the past few years, Rebecca has recognizeda growing need in the community for a programthat addresses the issues facing Olim teen girls. KolHadassa is a two year program, based in the heartof the Ramat Beit Shemesh community, combiningacademic studies with a student-run business, in astrong Torah environment. The program is gearedtowards teenage Olim who are seeking an alternativeeducational environment. It is a chance for them toreceive a high school diploma, to gain life skills and todevelop into healthy, confident young women.“The classroom of the future will be unlike any that mostof us have sat in. It will be much, much better.”
Natanel &Uri SchneiderMichelle CohenSchneider Learning:Al Pi DarkoShabbat of a Lifetimewww.shabbatofalifetime.com habbat of a Lifetime offers incoming tourists the opportunity to have an authentic Shabbat experience at the homeof a host family living in the heart of Jerusalem.Shabbat of a Lifetime was co-founded by Michelle,originally from Columbus, OH, who holds a Master’sdegree in Jewish Education, and Natanel Cohen,originally from South Africa, who shares his passionfor Jerusalem as a tour guide of many years.Michelle and Natanel have travelled the world, fromNepal to Guatemala, and even spent six monthsliving in India with their two wonderful childrenrunning a Bayit Yehudi center, which influencedtheir conception of Shabbat of a Lifetime. “”סולם מוצב ארצה וראו מגיע השמימה”Have your feet on the ground and your head in theheavens.”
Chaim DavidsSuper Slav Quail Farmwww.moshavmesorah.com y twelve years as a traveling chef, winery cellar-man, and butcher have shown me the emphasis that chefs place on highquality ingredients. Super Slav Quail Farm is a smallshkitah (ritual slaughtering) program dedicated toexpanding gourmet kosher products by introducing“game birds” to the market. These birds will be raisedfor their meat and eggs, catering to a niche marketof restaurants, specialty shops, and caterers- at first,in Israel. In Kosher spheres, high quality ingredientsare often extremely difficult to locate based on theirlimited production. In the spirit of tradition andreconnecting to the land-based heritage in Judaism,I pledge to uphold the highest standards of kashrutand sustainability. ”להתענג בתענוגים ברבורים ושלב ודגים״“Our rich culinary tradition has inspired me to launch thisprogram.”
Leora Ezrachi-VeredShonimwww.zeirim.blogspot.com honim is a community for Young Adults of the Reform movement in Israel. Shonim provides a platform for prayer, social action, Jewish study andpolitical activism. Offerings will include programs, seminarsand community centers run by young adults in Jerusalem,Tel Aviv and Beer-Sheva.Leora was born in Jerusalem to an American mother and anIsraeli father. She grew up in the Israeli Reform Movementand is currently the National Director of the Reform YouthMovement. Following her army service as an educationofficer in the IDF, Leora obtained a B.A. in Jewish History andis now pursuing an M.A. in the same field.“Henrrietta Szold is one of my heroines. She was ahead ofher time; she knew how to organize, advancing projects andmotivating people while never forgetting her commitment to aLiberal Jewish Identity. She had a clear vision of the potential ofIsrael.”
Tamar Field-Gersh& Akiva GershTiyul B’Aretzwww.tiyulbaretz.org iyul B’Aretz is a university-accredited and MASA- sponsored study abroad program in Israel that is unlike any other. On Tiyul B’Aretz there is no campus,no classrooms, no dorms or dining halls. Taking the learning on theroad, we seek to give college students an academic experiencethat goes beyond the classroom walls while incorporatingvalues that are often missing from mainstream education,such as personal growth, spiritual development, tikkun olamand community living skills. Students will gain a more intimateexperience of Israel than they ever could on a traditional studyabroad program by traveling throughout the semester throughthe diverse regions of Israel and living in a variety of communities.Tiyul B’Aretz was co-founded by Tamar and Akiva Gersh who havebeen working in the field of Jewish education and programmingfor over a decade, including directing a traveling summerprogram in the U.S. and Israel for Jewish teens for the renowned92nd St. Y in New York City.
Rabbi FivelYedidya GlasserP’tach Libiwww.ptachlibi.org ivel studied at top Ivy-league universities (Dartmouth, Harvard) and Israel’s leading Anglo yeshivot. Raised in rural New York State to love the outdoors, he has beendeveloping a unique niche teaching about Judaism, spiritualityand the environment, both formally and informally for over adecade. Fivel’s love of Torah and the Jewish People is infectious.He also has the ability to bridge ancient wisdom and modernparadigms. P’tach Libi offers a unique fusion of wildernessexperience with Traditional Jewish ideas that imbues studentswith the tools necessary to develop a strong and lasting Jewishidentity. Through multiple models, using the best of experientialprogramming, themes of identity, leadership and spirituality areexplored. Come out to look and discover what is deep inside.“The biggest problems facing our community are apathy, boredomand impatience, coupled with a lack of real leadership. This leads to alack of Jewish unity and no shared purpose. WE MUST BE RELEVANTAND INSPIRE!”
Yaakov LehmanWhen Boy Meets Girl:A Kabbalistic Perspective hen Boy Meets Girl: A Kabbalistic Perspective is a stunning twelve- part film series, created by a crewof top international filmmakers, that takes someof Torah’s deepest, most profound secrets onmale/female relationships and self-transformationand combines them into a cutting-edge filmexperience geared towards a universal audience.Based on a tried and tested curriculum that hasblown away thousands of students worldwideover the past seven years, our goal is to make amajor contribution to this generation’s spiritualculture by producing one of the most stunningpieces of Jewish media ever conceived.Yaakov Lehman’s previous film project “Cruisin’with DAJUS” was seen by tens of thousandsof people and recently won Best Film at theJewlicious Film Festival.
Rabbi HillelUri Schneider&Darko Learning: Chaya LesterSchneiderAl PiThe Shalev Centerwww.shalevcenter.org t the Shalev Center, we are pioneering the field of Jewish Personal Growth. We take Jewish wisdom and make it experiential,applicable and explicitly relevant to our most intimatelives. In addition to our counseling center, our uniquearray of workshops, retreats, classes and groups aimat enhancing relationships, self-awareness, meaningand well-being. We have already witnessed thetransformation of hundreds of lives through thisexciting synthesis of Judaism and personal growth.The Shalev Center was co-founded by Hillel andChaya Lester. Hillel, a Rabbi and therapist, has over 20years of experience as a meditation teacher. Chayais a psychotherapist, Jewish educator and widely-published writer. They are both passionate aboutcreating frameworks for personal transformation,providing tools and opportunities to go deep and grow.
Matthew MausnerThe New Jerusalem Talmud Projectwww.newjerusalemtalmud.org atthew Mausner (B.A., History, Yale, & M.A., History & Interdisciplinary Studies, Bar Ilan) managed software development projects forWall St. firms, including Goldman Sachs. He learns part-timeat Yeshivat Sulam Yaakov in Jerusalem. The New JerusalemTalmud Project is a cognitive mapping platform, a wiki forcontroversy, and a methodology for critical thinking, inspiredby the wisdom and format of the Talmud. It addresses thepolarization impoverishing debate in education, academia,politics, and the blogosphere. The NJT shows multiple sidesof controversy and commentary on one page, and structuresinteraction to bring intelligent filtering to any complexsubject. Employing cutting edge technology, expert scholars,moderation, and crowdsourcing, it realizes the promise thatthe Talmud is the world’s ‘original hypertext.’“There was a time when Hillel and Shammai argued; they heardeach other and others heard them. And the world is a betterplace for it.”
Uri SchneiderSchneider Learning: Al Pi Darko ri Schneider is an innovative educator, speech- language pathologist and entrepreneur. In addition to building Schneider Speech into an internationalpractice with 5 offices in NY and Israel, he has embarked on apassionate journey to pave the way to educational success for thenext generation of Jewish learners. Too often, education fails beforeit begins because it’s predicated on a one-size-fits-all solution.The two-part platform individualizes the learning experience, andensures that students achieve their fullest potential - no studentsshould fall through the cracks. The research-based assessmentand pin-pointed lessons can be embedded into a wide rangeof educational models and institutions; (1) assessing learners’skills and styles, and (2) providing customizable modules andexperiences to drive skill mastery and educational success.“The Jewish maxim “chanoch lana’ar al pi darko - educate thestudent according to his way,” is far more necessary and morepossible today, than ever before. Individualizing education is theway to empower learners to achieve independence in their Jewishlearning experience.”
Baruch ShapiroIsrael Herb School Fellowshipwww.israelherbschool.com srael Herb School, our flagship program, offers young Jewish adults a unique experience living close to the land, studying herbal medicine intensively,while growing in familiarity with our Jewish tradition and itsmodern expressions. Wild Plant Seeders, our second projectis now beginning the process of reseeding the hillsides withwild herbs and flowers. Located at Moshav Aviezer in theEmek Haelah, we have just completed our pilot program with12 students from around the world who came to live andlearn together for the 4 month program. We are expandingour offering to include an arts emphasis to accompany ourbotanical medicine and farming apprenticeship. We enjoyworking with like-minded organizations to further our goalsof stability, growth, and generosity.Baruch Shapiro has been working in environmental andeducational endeavors for 18 years. He is an active participantin land restoration in the Emek Haela through the Wild PlantSeeders project, teaching children and adults how to carefor personal and planetary health.
עמיתי התוכנית רבקה אמינוף: “קול הדסה” היא תוכנית לימודי תיכון עבור עולים חדשים דוברי אנגלית המשלבת רכישת מיומנויות של ניהול עסקי.נתנאל ומישל כהן: “שבת לחיים” היא תוכנית המציעה חוויית שבת אותנטית בבתי משפחות מארחות בלבה של ירושלים עבור תיירים בארץ. חיים דייוידס: “סופר שלו” היא תוכנית לימודי שחיטה המוקדשת להרחבת האפשרויות בתחום בישולי גורמה כשרים. ליאורה אזרחי-ורד: “שונים” היא תוכנית לבניית קהילה עבור צעירים מהתנועה הרפורמית בישראל. תמר פילד-גרש ועקיבא גרש: “טיול בארץ” היא תוכנית חווייתית להיכרות בלתי אמצעית עם מדינת ישראל ואזרחיה ומיועדת לסטודנטים מחו”ל. הלימוד בתוכנית מקנה נקודות זכות ללימודי תואר ראשון עבור המשתתפים בה.פייבל ידידיה גלסר: “פתח ליבי” היא אפשרות מודולרית לחינוך יהודי - סביבתי בלתי פורמלי. התוכנית מאפשרת לגלות את המרחבים הפנימיים דרך התנסות במרחבי הארץ. יעקב להימן: “כשנער פוגש נערה” היא סדרה של קטעי וידאו אינטרנטיים השואפת לקדם מודל קבלי ליחסי גברים ונשים. הלל וחיה לסטר: “מרכז שלו” - מרכז חלוצי להתפתחות וצמיחה אישית. מתיו מאוזנר: “התלמוד הירושלמי החדש” הוא פלטפורמה למיפוי קוגניטיבי של חשיבה ביקורתית בהשראה ובתבנית של התלמוד. אורי שניידר: “לימוד שניידר: על פי דרכו” פיתוח דרך לימוד אישית עבור כל לומד בתחום של לימודי יהדות על מנת לאפשר ללומדים להשיג את מלוא הפוטנציאל הלימודי והאפשרות ללמידה עצמאית של החפץ בכך . ברוך שפירו: “ביה”ס הישראלי לצמחי מרפא” מציע תוכנית לימודים של רוקחות בוטנית, חקלאות ואומנות דרך למידה חווייתית של נושאים אלה.
Special ThanksTo our Steering Committee Our Mentors Our Coaches Our RoundTable PresentersAdi Friedman (Chair) Devora Corn Abby Alfred Moshe ChesedBatsheva Ganz Hillel Grossman Ron Allswang Rabbi Yehoshua FassNoga Hullman Zvi Grumet Jamie David Shuey FogelDavid Katz Sandy Hammer Ammi Dorevitch Ronen GafniLorelai Kude Zev Lanton Chana Mesberg Dov GordonYaakov Ort David Mason Regina Ostrovski David KatzMarc Rosenberg Eugene Rice Stuart Schrader Rabbi Aaron LeibowitzZev Stub Georgina Rice Yoni SherizenMoshe Vineberg Nadav Serling Laurie TamresLewis Weinger Zev Stub Lewis WeingerHoward Weisband Michael Wegier Howard WeisbandMottle Wolf Galina VromenThreshold is an incubator for Jewish Educational Entrepreneurship that enables our Fellows to create their own meaningful venturesand occupations, while continuing their lifelong dream of living in Israel. www.threshold.org.ilInterested in applying for the 2013 Fellowship or volunteering as part of our Steering Committee, or as a coach or mentor?Be in touch! firstname.lastname@example.orgJewish educational entrepreneurship