“Uncommon Connections” – Looking Forward to the 2015 NAJDSC

image001Conference week is almost upon us!

One week from today, I will be headed up to Philadelphia to be sure I am ready to go for the 2015 North American Jewish Day School Conference, beginning Sunday, March 8th. This will be my first time as cohost, having had the wonderful opportunity to attend as a school head in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  (Last year, the field had two national conferences, Schechter (and me with it) having been a cohost of iJED.)

From Schechter’s part of the planning, I want to acknowledge Ilisa Cappell, Schechter’s Associate Director, for her tireless efforts on the conference’s Planning and Leadership Committees and for working so hard with Marc Kramer, RAVSAK‘s Executive Director, to develop a track at the conference for small schools.

In addition to my hosting duties, I will have the pleasure of presenting twice:

  • I will be co-presenting with Harry Bloom of PEJE on how small schools can leverage their resources to effectively recruit and retain families.
  • I will also be presenting on how schools can use “nings” to enhance professional culture, improve professional development and, thus, fulfill the promise of 21st century learning.

[I will send out links to both presentations once they go live.]

I am further thrilled to have chances to connect, celebrate, and dream with our Schechter shutterstock_796445201community (including our friends in the Jewish Montessori Society), our growing edJEWcon community and all the formal and informal opportunities to learn, reflect and share with old colleagues and new friends that make these experiences so powerful.

We are proud of the work we have done with our sister networks to create what we hope will be a meaningful learning experience for all participants. We have all worked hard to ensure the quality of content while trying to maximize access.  Schechter will have a strong showing and we look forward to our annual opportunity to be together. But in addition to the networking, the learning, the socializing, and the celebrating, we also hope this conference shows what happens when networks work together for the greater good, deepening and strengthening our collective service to the field.

See you in Philly!

Author: Jon Mitzmacher

Dr. Jon Mitzmacher is the Head of the Ottawa Jewish Community School. Jon has recently begun his rabbinical school journey at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is thrilled to have joined the faculty of the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI) as a mentor for Cohort 12. He was most recently the VP of Innovation for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.  He is the former Executive Director of the Schechter Day School Network.  He is also the former head of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, a K-8 Solomon Schechter, located in Jacksonville, FL, and part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center.  He was the founding head of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas.  Jon has worked in all aspects of Jewish Education from camping to congregations and everything in between.

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