BJE’s first LA Religious School JEDCamp took place at University Synagogue on January 17 with 60 educators in attendance, representing seven different synagogues.
In 2009, a group of educators in Philadelphia envisioned an innovative new form of teacher professional development, one that was organic, participant-driven created by educators, for educators. In 2010, the first EDCamp “unconference” was held, a day that gives educators a voice and relies on those present to set the agenda, create the workshops and learn from each other.
Since then, over 700 EdCamps have been held in 25 countries around the world, providing participants with high quality personalized professional learning.
JEDCampLA is an adaptation of this open-source model for Jewish educators. Following the experience of JEDCamps in New York, South Florida, San Francisco and New Jersey, BJE experimented with the model this past year with a team of volunteer educators and has adapted it to work with Religious School educators across LA. The model is simple; there is no cost to attend, there are no vendors or keynote speakers and participants develop workshops that morning as they share what they want to learn or discuss and what they would like to share.
After posting their ideas for topics to learn or topics to teach, 8 workshops were generated, including Classroom Management, Best Practices in Hebrew Language Instruction, Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Classrooms, Ed Tech share-In, Working with Parents and Making Religious School Fun. Participants had the opportunity to attend two sessions during the morning.
"JEDCamp provides Jewish educators a medium to freely express their knowledge and experience to those woh are truly interested, and have their knowledge and experience to share." Anonymous