August 3rd and 4th

NOTE: This is in addition to the regular conference.

Even if you are registered for the regular conference

you still have to register for an intensive and pay the fee to participate.

Intensive Details:

This is an opportunity you can't miss out on.



An intensive on Integrating the Arts into Jewish Education by Marge Eiseman & Aliyah Cheskis- Cotel and the Arts Staff


Marge and Aliya will lead you on a quest to strengthen the way we use the arts in our schools and to deepen the ways you integrate them into your curricula. Together with a team of talented members of the NewCAJE arts community, they will bring you many new skills to add to your toolbox in Drama, Storahtelling, Creative Writing, Art, Music and Storytelling.


Marge Eisman: Storahtelling Maven, Singer/songwriter, friend, teacher, spiritual leader, free-lance writer, creative force, student, guide, inspirational speaker and so much more...Marge shares songs, stories and life's lessons with humor and depth.


Aliya Cheskis-Cotel: The recipient of a Gruss Award for Teaching Exellence, Aliya is a folk dancer, guitarist, former actor and singer. She specializes in creative curricula, arts programs and creative writing. She is the co-author of Open It Up! Integrating Arts into Jewish Education.




An Intensive on Bible with Professor Everett Fox


Leaders in the Book of Samuel: Good Models or Bad Models?


The book of Samuel doesn’t only tell how Israel came to have kings, but concentrates on the problems and pitfalls of leadership—something we worry about a great deal today. We will do a close reading of this gripping book in translation, paying attention to the reactions of kings and prophets to the dilemmas they face.


Dr. Everett Fox is Allen M. Glick Professor of Judaic and Biblical Studies and Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at Clark University in Worcester, MA. He received his undergraduate and graduate training at Brandeis University, and taught at Boston University before coming to Clark in 1986. He is the author of a number of studies on biblical narrative and translation, including The Five Books of Moses: A New Translation with Introductions, Commentary, and Notes, which was published by Schocken Books in 1995, and Give Us a King! A New Translation of the Book of Samuel, which appeared in 1999. His annotated translation of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings (The Early Prophets) is nearing completion. In addition to his academic duties, Prof. Fox served as a religious consultant to DreamWorks on the animated film The Prince of Egypt. Prof. Fox lectures widely on the Bible and is active in adult Jewish education. He has many presentations at CAJE conferences over the years, and taught for a decade in Boston’s Me’ah Program.




An Intensive on Bible with Rabbi Dr. Yosef Leibowitz


In this intensive, Rabbi Dr. Leibowitz will focus on the struggles of the Jews in the desert as seen in the book of Exodus. We will carefully read the text to better understand the events that led up to Sinai, the revelation itself and the events that followed including the Golden Calf and the giving of the second set of tablets. These texts contain challenging words and ideas. Why did God need a mountain? What was Moses’ real task? What exactly did Moses “place before the children of Israel”? We will look closely at the text and learn the skills necessary to read and understand it.


Rabbi Dr. Yosef Leibowitz is the director and founder of the Yad Yaakov Fund. He received ordination from Yeshiva University and a doctorate from University of California at Berkeley. He currently lives in Israel where he has taught at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies. He has run the Torah education program for the city of Kfar Sabaand served there as rabbi of Minyan Hachadash. He teaches Torah on line and in scholar in residence programs across America.


An Intensive on Educational Leadership: Staff Development for Experienced Religious School Directors with Diane Zimmerman


Everything Counts: Building an Outstanding Staff


Your school is as good as the teachers on your staff. You provide them with a curriculum, lesson plans and perhaps even a scope and sequence for the year. But what does it really take to lead your staff to excellence? How DOES the principal create a staff that cares about students and the school, strives to prepare and lead excellent lessons AND raises the bar for learning in your school? This takes an experienced educational director who knows that “everything counts” from hiring, staff workshops, emails, available resources, weekly supervision and staff oversight. Participants will leave this intensive with plans in hand to elevate the quality of teaching and learning in their schools—including a plan for teacher orientation and an outline for a “hands-on” staff development workshop.


Diane Zimmerman, Associate Director of Religious Education, Temple Sinai, Washington DC, is primarily responsible for teacher training and professional development. She has been an educational leader for over 20 years, as director of supplementary schools, chairperson of the Education Directors Council in DC, and as a workshop presenter. Diane researched avocational teachers in an important study published in Jewish Education News. She learned a great deal about the teachers who work in Jewish education and this research informs her work and her teaching. She specializes in leading interactive, practical, on-target workshops for teachers and principals.


An Israel Intensive with Rabbi Fred Guttman


In this intensive you will learn the background (from the birth of Zionism to today’s headlines) for current events that will enable you to answer the questions that your students ask about Israel. This course will cover reasons Jewish nationalism arose and the challenges that idea it has faced since its inception.  You will learn about Israel’s wars and about the process for peace that it has been engaged in since Oslo. What is the role of the Arab world in Israel’s story? What role do the Great Powers like the United States play?  What about recent events such as the rise of J Street and the Arab spring? This intensive will help you put Israeli history, politics and ideology into context.


From 1979 to 1991, Rabbi Guttman was the rabbi and principal of Alexander Muss High School—a study abroad program in Israel for High School students which is designed to help them develop a deep appreciation of Israel’s history and its place on the world stage. Currently, he is serving as the rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Greensboro, North Carolina where his many accomplishments include moving confirmation to the 12th grade and making sure that most of his students visit Israel in High School.
In addition to his Rabbinical Ordination from Hebrew Union College in 1979, he has a Masters Degree in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College and a Masters of Education from the University of North Florida. In 2004, he was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity from Hebrew Union College.
He has been the chair of the Israel/Foreign Affairs subcommittee of the Commission of Social Action for Reform Judaism and has been instrumental in helping draft several significant Union for Reform Judaism resolutions, including resolutions on torture and human rights.



A Prayer Intensive by Joel Grishaver


From his very first book, Shema is for Real, Joel has always been passionate about prayer. He is currently writing a book about the Midrash in prayer, and in this intensive he will provide a toolbox to help you teach prayer in a meaningful way. He will keep you on your toes and by the end of the session you will have a much deeper understanding of the prayers and how to convey them to your students.


Joel Grishaver is a Jewish writer, teacher, cartoonist and storyteller. In 1981, he and two friends started Torah Aura Productions. Joel was a founding member of CAJE and a winner of the Covenant Award.



An Intensive on Technology for the Classroom w/ Dr. David Mandel


In this intensive you will have an opportunity to see and use the best technology available for the classroom today. This workshop will have a hands-on component allowing you to work on a project for your own classroom. You will see many examples of how to use this technology to teach subject matter and to use it to communicate with your students and between home and school. There will also be a discussion and demonstration of social media and it uses.


  Dr. David Mandel is the Dean of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at the American Hebrew Academy.

 Coming, most recently from corporate America, Dr. David Mandel has always been involved in how information is used and stored for the present and the future.  He has most recently specialized in intellectual property analytics and innovation assessment, working at companies (including Xerox and EDS) that are using cutting edge technology in the field of information extraction.  Dr. Mandel also had his own business for 15 years creating applications for universities, small businesses and corporations.  In addition, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut, developed and taught computer literacy courses at the University of New York at Buffalo for over ten years and has conducted courses for public school teachers on computer use. The work that he is engaged with now at AHA has top of the line educational technology and uses it to enhance both Jewish and general studies.



Many of these subjects will be geared toward both Day Schools and Hebrew Schools.

These will be held from Wednesday August 3rd after lunch until Thursday August 4th at noon.

Spaces are limited in each of these categories, but we will do our best to accomodate everyone.

In the next few days we'll be posting a link on how to register for these special extra courses, so check this site and your emails, and make your travel plans accordingly.

They will cost an additional $100 which covers the program, meals and a dorm room if needed (with a very small linen charge if you have not been staying at the regular conference).

Please note: While seats are limited, if a single group doesn't get filled you will be given the choice to attend a different intensive. We will contact you if this is the case at the end of regular registration.