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Awarding Innovation

Beth El Temple in West Hartford was recognized recently for innovative educational programming with three awards from the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Commission on Jewish Education and Leadership (CJEL). The awards span a broad spectrum of the synagogue’s religious school programming presented this past year.

Teachers Carrie Berman and Anita Levy were honored with an Innovative Education Program award for a seventh grade program in collaboration with the Jewish Association for Community Living (JCL), which serves men and women with developmental disabilities. Over six Sunday mornings, the students engaged in Jewish learning and worked together with their new JCL friends on creative arts projects.

Medura, which means campfire in Hebrew, was one of several experiential eduational programs that helped earn Beth El Temple a CJEL award.

Medura, which means campfire in Hebrew, was one of several experiential eduational programs that helped earn Beth El Temple a CJEL award.

Beth El Director of Lifelong Learning Rabbi Howard Rosenbaum received an award on behalf of all the teachers for a series of experiential education programs that fostered learning through hands-on activities, that included such programs as Judaism and Nature at Westmoor Park, an activity designed to explore the Jewish relationship with nature, and Medura, an indoor campfire experience with camp-style songs capped off with s’mores.

In addition, teen Rebecca Zeuschner was named a Uniquely Effective Madricha (guide) for her work with the school’s young children.

“Our goal is to help our children find in our school a love for Jewish heritage and culture, and an understanding of Jewish prayer, history, and the ethical standards that are so much a part of our faith,” notes Beth El President Lois Koteen. “We are committed to providing the kind of caring, supportive, and joyous atmosphere where children can fall in love with their Jewish past and present.”

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