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  • February 27, 2013


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  • February 26, 2013

What if Mordechai, Haman, and the Wizard of Oz held a rap bat­tle? That’s the ques­tion or stu­dents asked.

The video is a project of one of our Emtza “pods.” Emtza is our seventh/eighth grade project-based pro­gram at Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, where I work. (You can read more about the pro­gram in my pre­vi­ous post on the topic.)

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  • February 26, 2013

As part of my job at Temple Isaiah, I devel­oped Emtza, a project-based pro­gram for our mid­dle school stu­dents. When I say “I devel­oped,” what I mean is that I had a basic con­cept, an idea sapling. I handed that idea to an edu­ca­tor hired to run the pro­gram, Jessie Downey, who devel­oped the idea fur­ther, bring­ing it into the realm of real­ity and giv­ing it some real “umph.” Then she handed it to her amaz­ing staff of teach­ers.

This video — one of two — is a piece of evi­dence that we were on to some­thing. It’s a prod­uct of our stu­dents, who cre­ated it from scratch. They had a lot of sup­port from their teach­ers, but it really is theirs. I hope you get a kick out of it… I sure did. (Click “More” for an expla­na­tion of how the Emtza pro­gram works.)

Read More

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  • February 18, 2013

This is the only orga­ni­za­tion I’ve ever played in or been in. I came here with Jackie [Robinson] and Gil [Hodges] and Duke [Snider] … and played with great peo­ple like Don [Newcombe or Drysdale?] and Tommy [Davis], Willie [Davis] and Maury [Wills].

Sandy Koufax (via BLS)

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  • November 7, 2012

Videoconference between Confirmation class and class­mate in London. Technology helps stu­dents cross oceans with­out even try­ing.

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  • November 5, 2012

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  • November 4, 2012

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  • November 3, 2012

According to Zentall, an activ­ity that uses a sense other than that required for the pri­mary task — lis­ten­ing to music while read­ing a social stud­ies text­book — can enhance per­for­mance in chil­dren with ADHD. Doing two things at once, she found, focuses the brain on the pri­mary task.

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  • October 21, 2012

Know that it is OK to do two things at once: carry on a con­ver­sa­tion and knit, or take a shower and do your best think­ing, or jog and plan a busi­ness meet­ing. Often peo­ple with ADD need to be doing sev­eral things at once in order to get any­thing done at all.

Ratey, John J. Md; Hallowell, Edward M. Md.
Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder, (p. 311).
c. 1994, Random House, Inc. (via adhdisme)
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  • September 17, 2012

Awesome way to start the new year. Shanah Tovah. (Taken with Instagram at 7‑Eleven)

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  • July 11, 2012

No one can deny the pop­u­lar­ity of the Farmer John pork-laden Dodger Dog, or its all-beef, but still non-kosher, alter­na­tive. A report from the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, a project of the American Meat Institute, which pro­vides data, research and recipes to food man­u­fac­tur­ers and reporters, states that the Dodger Dog was the No. 1 best-sell­ing Major League Baseball ball­park hot dog in 2011, and it is expected to be the fourth-high­est-sell­ing this year.

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  • July 10, 2012

Now, if it is true that indi­vid­u­als develop a sense of con­nec­tion to and con­cern for a larger col­lec­tiv­ity in the ways that I’ve described – through the prac­tices of story, lan­guage, and love – then we should notice that peo­ple­hood edu­ca­tion does not con­flict with other sub­stan­tive, con­tent-rich Jewish edu­ca­tional efforts but rather com­fort­ably co-exists with them.

Jon A. Levisohn, “Pursuing the Pedagogy of Peoplehood: More than Mifgash” in The Peoplehood Papers, Volume 8: Nurturing Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century — What Should We Do Differently? (Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education, 2012)
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  • June 14, 2012

Smarter Stand is my friend Dotan’s project on Kickstarter. Simple, bril­liant, insanely use­ful.

Check it out.

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  • June 10, 2012

Spotted in the ele­va­tor on June 9
(Taken with Instagram)

Today, a new orga­ni­za­tion called B’nai Mitzvah Revolution announced itself to the world.

I’ve been priv­i­leged to serve as the web­mas­ter/tech-guru on the project. Working with the team behind BMR — notably the co-direc­tors and their col­leagues at HUC-JIR/RHSOE/ECE and the URJ — has been an amaz­ingly ful­fill­ing and insight­ful expe­ri­ence. I’m thank­ful to Isa for giv­ing me the oppor­tu­nity.

Check the site out. I’m incred­i­bly proud of it (though, truth be told, a lot of the con­cep­tu­al­iza­tion and tweak­ing came from the entire team).

Viva la rev­o­lu­tion!