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Reinvigorating and Reenergising the Chadarim System: Striving for Excellence in the 21st Century

On 5th January, 70 Cheder teachers and head teachers representing 15 Chadarim from London and Manchester, attended the second National Cheder Teachers Conference organised by Tribe and the US Living & Learning department. The aim of the conference is to provide Cheder teachers with new ideas on how to engage their students in the classroom, with an emphasis on the uses of new modern and creative resources.

Chayli Fehler, Children Education Manager and Rabbi Andrew Shaw, Executive Director of US Living & Learning welcomed the attendees and spoke on the importance and benefits of Cheder education for a child. Chayli discussed the importance of ensuring that every pupil gains a strong sense of Jewish identity, a solid foundation of Jewish learning and positive experience of their Cheder education. Rabbi Shaw continued to stress the value of linking Cheder pupils to the wider Jewish community and Jewish activities to ensure their ongoing connection and participation in Jewish life. Attending the conference for the first time, Chief Rabbi Ephraim delivered his inspiring key note speech on ‘Enhancing our Chadarim – striving for excellence.’

Following the talks, nine practical and informative workshops were on offer throughout the morning, including topics such as ‘Creativity in your classroom’, ‘Managing differences to make a difference’ and ‘Bring Cheder learning to the 21st Century.’ The workshops were run by nine leading Jewish educators including Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum, the Dean of LSJS, Chana Kanzen, UK Director of Jewish Interactive, Yolande Pieters, Primary Kodesh Lead at the Jewish Cirriculum Partnership division of PaJeS (Partnerships for Jewish Schools) and Jason Marantz, Chief Executive of LSJS.

After the conference, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis commented: “Our Cheder teachers provide a warm and welcoming environment in which Jewish education can thrive. I was delighted to address the Cheder Teachers’ Conference, affording an excellent opportunity for teachers to come together, to hone their skills and to see how we can deliver more as part of this vital service.”

Chayli Fehler, who also directs the popular Aleph Learning Centre at HGSS with over 240 pupils said: “I’m pleased that so many teachers were motivated and inspired by the sessions and workshops, I hope this conference will enhance our Chadarim as we strive for excellence and professionalism within supplementary Jewish education.”

Siobhan Dansky, Head Teach of the Radlett Cheder said: “The conference was practical, inspiring and gave us a range of new ideas to help make the cheder classroom a more dynamic learning environment. it is our responsibility to give the most informative, exciting and positive take on Judaism that we can to our students and to sow the seeds for them to grow into confident, competent and pro-active Jewish teenagers and adults.”

Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum, Rabbi and Head teacher of the Hadley Wood Cheder commented: “The conference was both engaging and highly informative, with the lecturers providing clear and practical guidance that can readily be applied in practice. We came away inspired and enthused to continue building our own cheder in Hadley Wood into a centre of excellence for the children of our community.”

Chayli Fehler, Children's Education Manager, David Collins, Executive Director of Tribe, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Rabbi Andrew Shaw, Executive Director or US Living & Learning

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