JEDcamp Los Angeles meets JEDcamp San Francisco Blog Post #6

As Jewish educators, we are responsible for helping our students discover who they are, and how they might serve the Creator in this world in their own unique way. If we do our job well, we see students carry on the eternal Jewish values that serve the community and the world at large. If we fail to do our job well, we turn students off to their Jewish roots.

The saintly Maggid of Mezrich had a follower named Reb Zusha of Hanipol who was humble in spirit but great in every other way. The story is told that Reb Zusha agonized over whether he would be accepted into Heaven. He worried that he didn’t do enough in his life with the gifts he was given. He taught that when he reached Heaven, and the Heavenly court was faced with his case, they would ask him not if he was like Moses, but if he was truly Reb Zusha.

The lesson we learn from this is that each one of us has to live up to our own potential, not that of someone else. Each soul is precious and has a unique task.

Today I met Debby Jacoby in a Starbucks in Santa Monica. The ocean breeze refreshed us as we shared our experiences as learners, parents of learners, and JEDcampers. We know from experience what it is like to be disappointed by educators who do heir best but fail to see the learners as precious souls with outstanding gifts. We are definitely kindred spirits (thank you Anne of Greene Gables.) Debby and I not only share the same name, we share a passion for providing every Jewish child the opportunity to discover their genius and authentic connection to being Jewish.

Thank you for encouraging me to make JEDcamp a reality in Los Angeles Debby!


Debby and Dvora meet in Santa Monica to discuss JEDcamping and Jewish Education

Here is a link to an article about Reb Zusha:


Summer Mode Anyone? This is a good time to create stuff! Blog Post #5

So many of the educators I come in contact with are tying up the loose ends and looking forward to the summer to rejuvenate.  Some of us can’t wait to lie on a beach and read those books that take us out of the real world. There are others of us who are eager to play with that new tool that we didn’t have time to mess with a few weeks ago.

In my case, I’ve been wanting to try out PowToons. Presentations are so ho hum, and I’m a fan of comics and cartoons. Instead of writing another article or press release for our Jedcamp, I created a Powtoon.

Here it is:

Our next step for JEDcampLA is to start making contacts with people we know and their friends by email and phone. It isn’t enough to send out social network blasts. Oh well! So I made this little video to use as an attachment when we send out those emails.

So much to do, so little time!!! Blog Post #4


Pico Robertson at Night

This is the end of the school year, and the beginning of a busy summer for those of us planning next year. With JedcampLA coming at the beginning of September, we will be busy putting all the pieces together.

The best part about planning a Jedcamp is meeting new people, and making connections in the education and larger community.

We are gathering sponsors, and setting up the schedule for our September 7, 2014 Jedcamp. Here’s a link to our flyer:

Please join us on September 7, 2014. Here’s a link to make a reservation on Eventbrite:

Eventbrite - JEDcampLA

JEDcampLA will be on September 7, 2014 blog post #3


I’m on the organizing committee of an edcamp which is designed for educators who work with Jewish students. Our JEDcamp event will be the first in Los Angeles. If you are not familiar with the JEDcamp model, here’s what you will find:

All kinds of educators- from early childhood to higher education, general studies and Jewish studies, PE, Special Educators, media specialists, old school, and new school. Everyone will be networking all day. There will be no solicitations or fees. When the day starts, attendees will vote on the topics of the day. Adjustments will be made as needed. There will be no set topic or prepared lecture given by an “expert.” Attendees will be encouraged to “vote with their feet.” During any session, if the topic or proceedings are not to their liking, they will move to a different session.

Our goal is to learn from each other, connect, collaborate, and create new ideas.

Our public Google plus group can be found under the name: JEDcampLA.
Eventbrite - JEDcampLA

#jedcamp #jedcampla #edcamp #jewisheducation

Good Shabbos to Los Angeles blog post #2


I’ve been experimenting with Comic Life this week. Emek Hebrew Academy is using it for the kids to create Jewish comic strips. I’d like to spread the project out to several other Day schools and Yeshivot.

Announcing our first unconference!! Do you think educators will hear? Not sure- But we'll keep blasting it

Announcing our first unconference!! Do you think educators will hear? Not sure- But we’ll keep blasting it

Here are the steps we’ve taken this week: Meet for a face to face with an active planning committee, delegate jobs for each of us to do, create a website/blog, and send out the flyer more times to social networks.  I visited one Jewish Day school on Monday this week, and will be visiting another, G-d willing, next week. It still feels like I’m talking to myself, but slowly, connections are being made.


JEDcampLA blog post #1: Let’s make this inclusive!

A new day in Los Angeles.

A new day in Los Angeles.

So far, we have a venue and a core of six educators who are working to make this a success. Our goal is to make this worthwhile and energizing for the attendees.

We want this to be inclusive.  JEDcamp has different styles, depending on the city. San Francisco has an open and inclusive style. NY/NJ is designed to attract day school educators. When I talked to Debby Jacoby from JEDcampSF, she inspired me to adopt the inclusive approach. This may be a stumbling block. Maybe I’m too ambitious. Los Angeles is a really hard place to break into because we’re so big, and everyone is so busy.

Why push the issue? What is 21st Century Learning?   We can design joint projects and open up a community of learners for our students. This can lead to project based learning that has real purpose to unite us to strengthen the Jewish community. It’s hard to find an authentic audience for student work. Building safe face to face and online connections will make this possible.

We need to break down the walls of our classrooms and connect. As educators, we have to start the process. We have a collection of very diverse educators with a wide range of expertise. We have so much to learn from each other. JEDcamp makes this a reality.

#edcamp #jedcamp #jedcampLA #21stcenturylearning #collaboration