Through our involvement with Shinui: The Network for Innovation in Part-Time Jewish Education, we have seen first-hand the benefits of sharing an effective model with colleagues. In this spirit, we are compelled to share the model of the Retreat Institute (RI), a program of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland (JECC) that receives generous support from the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. The RI supports congregations, schools, and other Jewish organizations plan and implement “beyond the classroom” experiences – uniquely impactful opportunities for deeper learning, community building, and for fostering a love of Judaism.
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For eleven years now we have been working very hard to transform the Akiva Hebrew High School into @Akiva, a center for teens. The transformation is ongoing. Ironically, the tale ends with a major project of @Akiva to further Hebrew literacy, professional development, and advocacy in the academic year 2015-16. In a certain, way it marks a curious coming full circle to the “hebraic home” of the project. Like all journeys, the path of innovation is more than linear.
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