Last month past and current Shalom staff and board members, along with educators and JCA staff, gathered to hear Dr David Bryfman talk about Jewish education. The event, one of many celebrating Shalom’s 50th anniversary year, celebrates the impact Shalom staff have made and continue to make on the Jewish community.
Bryfman, the current CEO of the Jewish Education Project and past Shalom staff member, shared his thoughts on the challenges, bright spots and innovations in holistic Jewish education. He spoke on the topic “Jewish Education: What is it good for?”, which was followed by a discussion with former Shalom staff member and current CEO of AJFN Justine Saidman.
After working in formal and informal Jewish educational institutions in Australia, Israel and North America, Bryfman earned his PhD in Education and Jewish Studies from NYU, focusing on the identity development of Jewish adolescents.
He has authored several articles and presented broadly on topics ranging from the Jewish teenage experience, innovation and change in Jewish life, Israel education and more broadly about Jewish education. He was the lead researcher of the 2016 study “Generation Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teenagers Today,” and editor of “Experience and Jewish Education,” a compendium of essays written by and for Jewish experiential educators.
Shalom also welcomed the talented Hila Ben Gera for one day only earlier this month. Ben Gera performed – in English and Hebrew – interactive adaptations of two classic family favourites, “Max and the Wild Things” and “The Lion and the Strawberries”.
Ben Gera is a professionally trained theatre-maker (actress, director, playwright) and a children’s storyteller with over a decade of experience.
Born in Jerusalem, she graduated from Yoram Levinstein’s Performing Arts Institute in Tel Aviv and completed the Herbert Berghof Studio Playwriting and Stage Directing training in New York.