Outstanding speakers to inspire our teachers

04/08/2022
Posted by: Emily Gian
Departments, News and Views

The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) is delighted to announce that the 12th Biennial ZFA Jewish Educators’ Conference will take place on 14-15 August at Mount Scopus Memorial College.

This Conference provides Jewish educators from around Australia with the opportunity to listen, learn and interact with leading Australian and overseas educators. This Conference and its 11 predecessors are a unique biannual event (except for the Covid interruption) implemented by the ZFA to provide professional development to Jewish educators from around Australia, as well as the opportunity to exchange ideas with their peers.

Outstanding educators from Israel and the USA include Wendy Amsellem, Tal Gale, Zvi Grumet, Alex Pomson, Rachel Raz and Noam Weismann. The Conference has six or seven presentations in parallel, with 6 hours scheduled each day for a total of 78 sessions.

The keynote address for the opening of the conference will be a conversation between one of our international guests – Dr. Alex Pomson, and ZFA President Jeremy Leibler. Dr. Alex Pomson was a member of the faculty at the Hebrew University, and before that Professor of Jewish Teacher Education at York University in Toronto. He has published numerous articles and books in many areas of Jewish education, including most recently, with Jack Wertheimer “Inside Jewish Day Schools: Learning Leadership and Community”. Alex and Jeremy will be discussing the topic of Jewish Day School Education: Reasons for Optimism or Pessimism?

Dr. Miriam Munz, ZFA’s Education Chair, interim CEO and coordinator of the conference said, “We are so delighted with how this wonderful program has come together this year. The Educators’ Conference is always a big event in the ZFA calendar and it was such a shame that we missed out on holding it in 2020. While there were initial concerns that COVID might keep people away, we have seen an increase in the number of registered participants. I would imagine this is largely due to a real thirst for professional development, and for the kind of collaboration that takes place between educators when they come face-to-face, which cannot be replicated in an online forum. Additionally, we are excited by the quality of international and Australian speakers – all of whom are outstanding in their own fields and who are bringing a real depth of knowledge and practical experience to this event.”

She continued, “but it is not all about the program. The Educators’ Conference is a wonderful opportunity for people working in Jewish and supplementary schools across Australia to network, to exchange ideas, and to feel a part of a greater whole – to be invigorated with new energy and new ideas.”

The international guests are a very diverse group covering topics of Jewish history, text study, Israel studies, Early Childhood, Jewish identity, curriculum development and educational leadership. In addition to Alex Pomson, the other international presenters are:

  • Rabba Wendy Amsellem teaches Halakha at Yeshivat Maharat and directs The Beit Midrash Program, a joint project of Maharat and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.
  • Tal Gale who has worked at Hebrew at the Center (HATC) since 2015 and serves as Chief Hebrew Advocacy Officer.
  • Rabbi Dr Zvi Grumet who is currently Director of Education at The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education and head of the Tanakh Department at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi.
  • Rachel Raz who the founder of the Space Torah Project. For over a decade Rachel led the Early Childhood Institute of Hebrew College’s Graduate School of Jewish Education and she also directed the Boston-Haifa Early Childhood Educators Connection.
  • Noam Weissman is Executive Vice President of OpenDor Media, where he spearheads the organization’s educational vision and leads content creation across all divisions

The conference in numbers:

  • 360 registrants confirmed.
  • Over 50 presenters (including 6 international and 45 local presenters)
  • 8 streams (Hebrew Language, Early Childhood, Jewish History, Text Study, Advocacy, Israel Studies, Informal Education, General)
  • Over 75 sessions

The ZFA Educators’ Conference will take place on 14-15 August in Melbourne. For more information, please contact educatorsconference@zfa.com.au

 

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