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NewCAJE6 Conference Draws 400 in Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. – NewCAJE6, a conference for educators in Jewish schools, drew 400 attendees to the University of Hartford August 2-5 for professional development. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation, a leading supporter of the conference, used the opportunity to spotlight the Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education by sponsoring events and classes for North American and Regional Awardees of this prestigious prize.

During an awards session on Aug. 3, the three top winners spoke about the inspiration that came from their lives as educators.

New CAJE

New CAJE: Sue Kline, of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, second from the right, with the Grinspoon Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education North American winners, from left, Jill Eisen, Maria Gonzalez Griffith, and Howard Rothbart.

Howard Rothbort, of the Joel Braverman High School at the Yeshivah of Flatbush New York, spoke of the dramatic ways in which he brings relevance to the sphere of history he teaches. Maria Gonzalez Griffith, an early childhood educator at Temple Shalom in Needham, passionately described how she brings out each child’s strengths and encourages them to make their own contribution to the local and worldwide Jewish community. Jill Eisen, the assistant principal of the Berman-Lipavsky Religious School at Beth El Congregation in Baltimore, Md., urged those assembled to consider the many faceted needs of families in creating convenient and welcoming school environments.

The four-day conference, brainchild of Rabbi Cherie Kohler Fox, offered hundreds of workshops along with targeted certificate tracks for principals, early childhood educators, and special needs educators. Pre- and post-conference sessions offered intensives in other areas as well as a retreat for young professionals. Hours of nightly entertainment featured the talents of attending musicians, singers and storytellers. The exhibitor hall made educational products and programs available for browsing continually during the conference.

Lisa Litman, director of PJ Goes to School at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation along with other Grinspoon associates and award winners led workshop sessions on topics of high interest. Litman’s sessions explored ancient text study as well as new ways to integrate Jewish children’s literature into any curriculum or program. Her session with tech guru Michael Mino focused on incorporating technology into the classroom. Rabbi Janie Grackin taught techniques of storytelling.

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