Posted on January 20th, 2016

ARJE Update, January 2016

The newly adopted mission statement of the ARJE is a lofty one –
The ARJE is the voice for Reform Jewish education.
We advance the profession of the Jewish educator.
We are dedicated to inspiring excellence in Jewish education.
..and those who do the work take that challenge seriously.

Our upcoming Yom Iyun (registration is on-going, find a site near you and join us for this day of learning on Monday, February 8, 2016, http://yomiyun16.reformeducators.org/) focuses on Adolescent Mental Health. Dr. Betsy Stone will talk about the causes and implications this national epidemic places on our families and on our institutions. She will guide us in our work as we tackle the ways we can support our teens and their families and make our institutions safe and “low stress” places for our youth to gather. The Yom Iyun is designed to open a dialogue on this important issue and is open to participants from across the denominations. Please bring your colleagues from other synagogues or institutions to engage them in this important topic.

The ARJE has recently formed a Branding Task Force as we continue to look at how we express who we are – how do we turn our mission statement into an active imperative, inspiring participation in all the work we do. Currently, the Task Force is working on crafting the ARJE story, the narrative that tells who we are and what we do. The story should honor our history but also move us toward the future. Please contact me (anne@reformeducators.org) if you have an ARJE story or want to be part of this important work.

We continue to build on our partnership with NFTY and Kutz as, for the second summer, the ARJE is offering a Madrichim tract at Kutz. Laura Novak Winer and Melissa Frey write about this in this newsletter.

Finally, the work of the ARJE can only move forward when our members step up and offer their talents. Our Volunteer Coordinators, Lori Daitch (loridaitch@gmail.com) and Vanessa Ehrlich (vmehrlich@gmail.com) are always looking for people who are interested in both short-term task-oriented positions as well as serving on committees. Please do not be shy – reach out to them with your ideas.

Anne Berman-Waldorf, RJE, is Director of Lifelong Education at Congregation Beth Chaim in Malvern, PA, and she is an avid knitter. She is the ARJE’s First Vice-President.