Jewish Day School Standards and Benchmarks
Jewish Day School Standards and Benchmarks supports schools in delivering excellence in the teaching of Judaic studies. It provides high-quality professional learning for instructional leaders that inspires teachers and students to delve deeply and meaningfully into the study of our sacred texts. Through participation in the initiative, Judaic Studies leaders will gain invaluable insights into their own leadership practices.
Over 90 day schools across denominations have participated in the Standards and Benchmarks programs to elevate their teaching of Tanakh and rabbinics, helping them meet their expectations of excellence for Judaic studies.
In just one year, the changes in our learning community and the excitement sparked by these changes have been palpable. Under the guidance and mentorship of the institute’s leaders, there is a heightened sense of shared vision and mission amongst our teachers, who look forward to meeting each week to learn from and with each other. Most exciting of all, though, our students, eyes shining, enthusiastically engage with the text, finding their places in the stories and teachings of our people and creating a home for these stories in their hearts.
—Nancy Rosen, Judaic Studies Coordinator, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford
A Standards-Based Approach
A standards-based approach aids schools in articulating and creating a coherent vision for their curriculum. This vision provides school leaders, faculty, students, and parents with a shared understanding of overarching goals, helping to set expectations and criteria for mastering Tanakh and rabbinics—ultimately greatly improving student learning.
Participating schools reflect on the standards in order to select those that best speak to their vision:
TANAKH STANDARDS ADDRESS:
- Literary Independence
- Chain of Interpretation
- Multi-Vocal History
- Formative Narrative
- Land of Israel
- Sacred Grappling
- Role of Mitzvot
- Inspiring Resource
RABBINIC STANDARDS ADDRESS:
- God and Holiness (Kedushah)
- Halakhic Development
- Jewish Identity and Practice
- Pursuing Justice and Loving Kindness
- Rabbinic Value Commitments
- Textual Access
- Voices in Conversation
Skilled instructional leaders guide their faculty’s professional development to improve teaching and learning. Jewish Day School Standards and Benchmarks provides schools’ Judaic studies leaders with an intensive program, advancing their skills to review and revise curriculum and instruction; coach and mentor faculty; and develop collaborative faculty cultures.
Our work with The Standards and Benchmarks program has made a fantastic positive impact on our community in many ways. For our Instructional Leaders the opportunity to … connect with colleagues, work with mentors, learn Torah Lishmah and grow professionally has been energizing and [has] provided support for their leadership.
—Jodi Hirsch Rein, Principal, Gesher Jewish Day School
Who It’s For
Jewish day school leaders looking to advance their instructional leadership skills and to enhance the teaching and learning of sacred texts should apply.
The program is applicable to all school divisions (Elementary–High School) supporting Conservative, Reform, Modern Orthodox, and community day schools across North America.
This project is generously supported by funders that include the Mayberg Foundation.