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Inspirational keynotes, workshops and networking opportunities for educators, administrators, board members and stakeholders of network member schools will engage participants around design thinking, school change, board development, educational leadership, innovative technologies, contemporary ideas of Jewish pluralism, Israel curricula, modes of prayer education, special needs inclusion, early childhood education and more. 

*Schedule subject to change.

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Tuesday, January 21


From Play to Practice: Investigating the transformative power of play for our schools and society

Using an action research approach day school leaders will investigate how "play" can be used as an inspiring process for professional and leadership development throughout the Jewish day school community. Activities focusing on direct solo play and cooperative play followed by exercises including journal writing, discussion, and photo analysis will illuminate how the play process can advance learning for adults and children.  Participants will select and present artifacts from their investigation into play and translate them into action plans in collaboration with peers from other schools.

Heads of School, Principals, Board leaders, Jewish Studies directors, ECE directors and day school leaders ready to dive into an engaging exploration of "Play" will go home with new ideas for professional development, teacher learning and parent education that will strengthen the culture of the school.

avatar for Walter Drew

Walter Drew

Founder and Executive Director, The Institute for Self Active Education
Walter F. Drew, EdD is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Self Active Education and facilitator with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Dr. Drew is co-author of the book “From Play to Practice: Connecting Teachers Play to Children’s Learning”, which was selected as the March 2013 Comprehensive Member Book of the month for NAEYC.  His play research spanning more than... Read More →

Tuesday January 21, 2014 9:15am - 12:15pm
Concourse Ballroom


Head of School Professional Excellence Project (PEP)! Fellows Intensive
Fellows in RAVSAK's Head of Schools Professional Excellence Project will have the opportunity to share their day-to-day experiences as school heads to create rubrics that can help to achieve key goals, and will learn how to maximize the benefits of coaching through discussion with coaching expert and school head Mr. Peter Sturrup.

avatar for Peter Sturrup

Peter Sturrup

Headmaster, Pickering College
Peter Sturrup has been Headmaster of Pickering College, a coeducational, Kindergarten-to-12 day and boarding school in Newmarket, Ontario since 1995.A passionate educator for almost 30 years, Peter also taught for 10 years at Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, Ontario) and for the last five years at the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Leadership Institute.   Peter is an inspiring speaker internationally, presenting at... Read More →

Tuesday January 21, 2014 9:15am - 12:15pm
National Room Westin LAX


Measuring Our Success: Creating and maintaining standards in Hebrew and Judaic studies

Learn about, identify and develop key competencies for Judaic studies. Work with colleagues to reach consensus on the core disciplines and competencies that might define an educated Jewish student at ascending grade levels. In small groups, identify what knowledge, understanding and actions students would be expected to master in each discipline. Build templates that you can utilize and build on for your school.

avatar for Sharon Freundel

Sharon Freundel

Director of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital
Mrs. Sharon Freundel, MAJE, has been involved in Jewish Education for 35 years, working at Yeshiva University, the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, MD, and Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore. She is currently the Director of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at the Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital in Washington DC, (www.jpds.org) and is the rabbanit of Kesher Israel, the Georgetown Synagogue, in... Read More →
avatar for Karen Gazith

Karen Gazith

Director, Department of Formal Education, Bronfman Jewish Education Centre
Before receiving her doctorate in Educational Psychology from McGill University, Karen Gazith taught in a number of special needs institutions and schools, including the Instrumental Enrichment Institute with Dr. Feuerstein. She then served as the Coordinator of Special Education at the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre. | | She is now the Director of Education and Interim Executive Director at the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre and an adjunct... Read More →

Tuesday January 21, 2014 9:15am - 12:15pm
Westchester B Westin LAX


Recruiting and Retaining 21st Century Jewish Families

Recruiting & Retaining 21st Century Jewish Families is designed for school teams (of Heads of School, Admission Directors, Marketing Communications Directors and Board members involved in school advocacy). Download the slides here.

Teams will learn from case studies of proven recruitment and retention strategies from the independent and Jewish day school worlds. They will have time to process and refine their learning with peers from other schools, and to begin to develop strategic action plans they can implement in their schools to gain market share and retain current students.


  • Provide session participants with 10 proven strategies for increasing new enrollment and for retaining current students in light of increased demands from parents (a) for the delivery of excellence in 21st century skills within a rich Jewish context and (b) for more value for their tuition dollars.
  • Learn from independent school and Jewish day school experts who will share real case studies of schools applying 10 proven strategies.
  • Enable participants to process what they learn with peers from day schools around the country, and walk away with tangible strategies they can implement “Monday morning.”

Dr. Harry Bloom, Mike Connor and Dr. Rick Newberry will serve as co presenters.

avatar for Harry Bloom

Harry Bloom

Strategy Manager Day School Sustainability, Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education
Dr. Harry Bloom is a 10 year veteran of the Jewish Day School field and PEJE’s Strategy Manager for Day School Sustainability. He is an experienced marketing manager and strategist with Brand Management experience at Procter & Gamble, GE, and McKinsey & Company. He has helped over 50 Jewish day schools strengthen their finances, recruitment and retention processes, and fundraising.
avatar for Mike Connor

Mike Connor

President, Connor Associates
Mike Connor is the President of Connor Associates Strategic Services and co-author of NAIS’ book, “Marketing Independent Schools in the 21st Century.”  He has presented keynotes and workshops nearly every year over the past two decades at national and international conferences. Connor Associates has worked with nearly 400 independent and private schools in the areas of predictive psychodemographic modeling and... Read More →
avatar for Rick Newberry

Rick Newberry

President, Enrollment Catalyst
Dr. Rick Newberry is President of Enrollment Catalyst. He provides educational consultation expertise in enrollment management strategies, marketing planning and institutional brand development to independent, private and faith-based schools across the nation. 

Tuesday January 21, 2014 9:15am - 12:15pm
Westchester A Westin LAX