Name: Deborah Bromberg Seltzer
Lainer Intern Cohort 2 – 1993-1994
Position: Director of Judaic Studies, Lander-Grinspoon Academy: The Solomon Schechter Day School of the Pioneer Valley
What the Lainer Interns Program Did For Me: I think that the Lainer program solidified my plans to go into Jewish Education. While I had planned on becoming a Jewish Day School educator, the opportunity to learn from amazing educators (some of whom I am still in contact with), connect with others interested in the field, and work in a TALI School made me sure that the path I had planned was in fact the right one for me.
What do you see as a necessity for the future of Jewish education? I think that money and technology are two big things, as well as well trained teachers. Especially in smaller Jewish communities, where there is not a plethora of resources, it is hard to find well qualified teachers and schools are forced to piece things together and hope for the best. Smaller schools struggle so much to pay the bills, let alone have the money to bring in new technology and new programs (which while not always expensive, require a large time commitment).
Name: Tamar Fox
Lainer Intern Hebrew University, Spring '05
Position: Associate Editor, myjewishlearning.com
Tamar graduated from the University of Iowa in December of '05, and then went on to receive an MFA in fiction writing at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. While in graduate school, she taught cooking and Jewish History for a Sunday school at a local Orthodox synagogue. Between her two years in Nashville, she was also summer fellow at Yeshivat Hadar in New York City. During this time, Tamar worked as a religion blogger for Jewcy.com. Tamar began working at her current position in October, and loves working as a Jewish educator without having to deal with discipline problems. She is also a writer for The Jew & the Carrot, and sits on their board of directors.
What the Lainer Interns Program Did For Me: Writing is my passion, but Jewish education is really where I come from. I think the Lainer class helped me to see that I could bring those two things together in a way that would make sense for me, and also make me a good educator. I also metioned my class professor during the interview for my current positon, and it turned out that he was one of the founders of myjewishlearning.com!
Name: Sara Shapiro-Plevan
Lainer Intern Cohort 1, 1992-'93
Position: Director and Lead Consultant at Rimonim Consulting, Adjunct Faculty at Jewish Theological Seminary, William Davidson School of Education
What the Lainer Interns Program Did For Me: My participation in the first cohort of Lainer fellows reaped a number of very real benefits for me. The social and professional relationships that were developed have lasted and strengthened, and the connections to the wider field have been immensely helpful in shaping my career. Through so many of these relationships, I have found mentors who have guided me to make good career choices, support my work and stretch my thinking to embrace new perspectives. Most of all, my participation enabled me to see the importance of meshing practice and theory, and putting in motion a lifelong desire to improve my practice and learn from the expertise of my colleagues.
What do you see as a necessity for the future of Jewish education? We're beginning to see a radical shift in the framework for Jewish education, one that moves us toward an understanding that relationships are key to powerful, ongoing and meaningful learning that lasts. We have the power to move away from the polarizing conversations about content, curriculum and teaching and reframe our work around where we can make a real difference, the relationships that provide the context for that content. Building strong networks and communities will enable our learners, at whatever age or stage, to be supported throughout their lives and along a lifetime journey of engagement with Jewish ideas, texts and values.
Name: Aimee Weiss
Lainer Intern Hebrew University, Fall '06/Spring '07
Position: MidWest Director, USD Hagshama and MASA Israel Journey with the Jewish Agency for Israel, World Zionist Organization and Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.
She provides high school students, college students and young professionals with Israel programming in their schools and communities, and helps them find programs in Israel. Aimee volunteers as the Hub Coordinator for PresenTense in Chicago running local invents, including Creative Zionist Circles, salon-inspired forums where the next generation seeks answers to questions about Jewish identity in the digital age in order to solve the problems facing the Jewish People in our time.
What the Lainer Interns Program Did For Me: For me, the Lainer Interns Progam was a safe space to learn and talk about how I can contribute to our Jewish legacy with professors and peers all interested in constantly learning and searching for fresh ways of creating positive changes in Jewish education.
Name: Jennifer Zwilling
Lainer Intern, Hebrew University, 1992-93
Position: Director, Senior Jewish Educator Initiative at Hillel's Schusterman International Center in Washington, DC
Hillel's Senior Jewish Educators provide Jewish opportunities and mentorship to students on the peripheries of Jewish life. The educational approach of the senior Jewish educators is to explore uniquely Jewish responses to the ‘Big Life Questions' facing all young adults. Currently there are five senior Jewish educators on campus and we will expand to ten educators in 2009-2010.
I have been working for Hillel for over four years. Prior to Directing the Senior Jewish Educator Initiative, I was Director for Human Resources, focusing on professional development, the creation of a Success Factor model for Hillel professionals and related planning, feedback and evaluation tool.
Prior to Hillel, I worked for the JCCs of Greater Boston for 7 years, creating a new initiative for teens, and doing planning work with the agency executives and with several department managers.
What the Lainer Interns Program Did For Me: The Lainer Interns program helped me to understand that there were actually careers in the Jewish world other than "rabbi."
I live in Washington, DC with my husband and 18 month old son Max and am still in touch with many friends and colleagues from my year at Hebrew University.