Our Stories

JPDS-NC Selected to Write "Standards and Benchmarks in Teaching Rabbinics" for North American Day Schools

April 30, 2015 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

JPDS-NC is one of several prominent Jewish day schools throughout the United States and Canada chosen by the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) to write Standards and Benchmarks in the Teaching of Rabbinics. This program is designed to improve Rabbinics curricula in Jewish Day Schools throughout North America. The study of Rabbinics includes Midrash, commentary, Mishna and Gemara (the Talmud), codes of Jewish law, philosophy, and other Jewish literature written after the close of the Biblical era (circa 500 BCE.)

For the last five years, JPDS-NC has been a proud contributor in Standards and Benchmarks in the Teaching of TaNaKH (Bible), a program also developed by JTS’s Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. The Bible program was developed to enhance and create consistent expectations of Bible acquisition in all of the grade school grades. “Standards” are overarching educational goals and “Benchmarks” are the specific educational objectives which will help our children attain mastery of the standards. Over the course of the last five years, the JPDS-NC Judaic Studies faculty has written TaNaKH units and created lesson plans addressing the standards of:

  • Students will become independent and literarily astute readers of the biblical text in Hebrew.
  • Students will develop a love of Torah study for its own sake and embrace it as an inspiring resource, informing their values, moral commitments, and ways of experiencing the world.

JPDS-NC is now embarking on a new adventure. I am personally thrilled to be on the development team of this new initiative, and I am honored to be representing JPDS-NC on the national stage. The team will be meeting four times over the course of the next school year at the Jewish Theological Seminary to brainstorm, edit down, and fully develop Standards and Benchmarks for all grades from elementary through high school. I will be sure to update you as things unfold with this most exciting enterprise.