Marshall Center Summer Workshops

Registration Fee for Each Workshop:

$25 per person (BJE Member Synagogue/Organization)     $30 per person (Non-Member Synagogue/Organization)
The Fine Print: 15 person minimum required for a class to go forward / 20 person maximum per class / biilling is based on registration, not attendance

Workshops listed in BLUE will take place at the BJE Campus in Northbrook, IL

Sticks and Stones: Using Open-Ended Materials to Deepen Thinking and Engagement in Your Religious School Classroom 

Explore the fascinating pedagogy of loose parts (often referred to as open-ended materials) as a means to deepen the engagement, questioning and wondering of children in all grades and ability levels. In this workshop, you’ll learn about the underpinnings of the theory of loose parts and the many ways that you can integrate them into explorations of holidays, Jewish values, Torah stories, and Hebrew literacy. You will walk away with a solid understanding of how to source and display materials, how to effectively introduce them to your students, and how to incorporate strategies for success. Come prepared to play, wonder, and collaborate.

Presenter: Alison Zimbalist
Length: 2-Hour Workshop
Location: BJE, 3320 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062
Date: Sunday, August 18, 2019, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.


Biographies of our Summer Workshop Presenters

Nanci Caplan

is the Director of Student Services at Sager Solomon Schechter Day School. Previously, she worked in public schools in Chicago and New York City. She is from Altoona, PA and currently lives in Deerfield, IL with her husband Ben and their two daughters, Dani (6) and Sofia (4).

Smadar Goldstein

is recognized as one of the most dynamic and successful online educators in the world of Jewish education. After serving as a classroom teacher in the US, she moved to Israel in 1998, where she made the transition from classroom instruction to online instruction. In 2009, Smadar founded JETS, Jerusalem Ed Tech Solutions, an online provider of synchronous and asynchronous courses, professional development programs on incorporating technology in Jewish studies and Hebrew language classrooms, and school partnership programs.  JETS has recently collaborated with Hebrew at the Center on creating blended learning paradigms for teaching Hebrew using online tools and resources. Smadar has provided professional development, both online and face-to-face, to over 1000 teachers in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Holland, and Israel.

Rabbi Toby H. Manewith

knows how to juggle and has perfected baking gluten-free brownies, both of which have brought her renown in very small circles. In her professional life, Rabbi Manewith has worked as a formal and informal Jewish educator, served as Director of Education for congregational schools, and worked as a consultant and curriculum writer for more than 25 years. She counts Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing, Ta’am Yisrael, and Second Nurture among her clients. Rabbi Manewith worked for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, for ten years, most notably as the director of the Syracuse and American University Hillels. She has been a faculty member at several summer camps including Kutz, Camp Harlam, Camp Ben Frankel and (her favorite) OSRUI, and has taken hundreds of students on trips to Israel, Ukraine, and Germany.  Rabbi Manewith is a Curriculum Specialist for the Marshall Jewish Learning Center.

Jessica Rogers

has been teaching, directing, and performing improvisation and sketch comedy at The iO (formerly the Improv Olympic) and The Second City in Chicago for over almost two decades. Originally from Miami, Florida, Jessica received her a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education (minor in Theatre) from The University of Florida,  a Master’s Degree in Special Education from UIC, and second Master’s Degree in School Administration from The American College of Education.  Jessica merges her creative expertise with twenty years of work experience as a public school teacher. She provides Professional Development through the use of improvisation in the classroom to educators nationwide, including teachers and administrators within the Chicago Public Schools and members of the Community Foundation for Jewish Education of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. Proud to be the lead teacher for Improv for Creative Pedagogy and the director of the Second City’s Teen Ensemble, Jessica loves teaching. A Company Member and Assistant Director of Face Off Unlimited, and the former Artistic Director for CIP’s Teen Comedy Festival, Jessica has performed in and directed countless shows throughout the greater Chicagoland Area and numerous National Improv and Comedy Festivals. All of these opportunities have been made possible by the love and support of her husband and son.

Linda Sonin

is the Director of the Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago’s Marshall Jewish Learning Center and Founding Director of JTeach.org. A seasoned educator, Linda has dedicated her career to inspiring teachers to widen their educational approaches so that their students find joy and meaning in Jewish learning. She is a sought-after workshop leader, and has served as an education director, art educator and curriculum specialist in a variety of Jewish settings. She earned an MA in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University, and a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Illinois. Linda Sonin is the author of Celebrating Israel through the Arts and Walk the Talk: Jewish Values in Action.

Rabbi Eric Zaff

is a veteran educator with over a decade of experience in both formal and informal environments. As a teacher, he strives to bring joy and seriousness of purpose to his students, who have ranged in age from Kindergarten to retired. In his role as a Curriculum Specialist in the Marshall Jewish Learning Center, he continues the work he has done writing and implementing curricula in a variety of settings. A well-traveled learner, he attended the University of Chicago, where he received a BA in English Language and Literature; Machon Pardes and the Pardes Educators Program in Jerusalem, through which he earned an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University; and, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York, where he received rabbinic ordination. He is teaching his children to love Torah and the Red Sox.

Alison Zimbalist

is the PJ Goes to School consultant for the grades K-2 program. Prior to her family’s relocation to suburban Chicago last June, Alison served for three years as the Director of Early Childhood Services at the Macks Center for Jewish Education in Baltimore. There she oversaw the professional development for the 19 Jewish preschools in the greater area and created and ran year-long communities of practice for center directors, assistant directors, teacher-leaders, new teachers, and early childhood educators dedicated to Israel education. Prior to that position, she founded and co-directed a synagogue-based preschool in New York for nine years. For the past two decades, Alison has been steadily writing curriculum for NYTimes.com (serving as the education specialist and education editor for nine years), Scholastic.com, The Jewish Lens, and Shalom Learning, among many other companies. She is a graduate of Emory College (B.A., English and Education) and Emory University (Masters in Education). A St. Louis native, Alison is happy to be back home in the Midwest with her high school sweetheart husband Morris, a congregational rabbi in Long Grove, and their wonderful children, Evelyn (9) and Zach (15).