Herzog Global has opened an innovative professional development program for the Tanakh teachers at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy (ICJA) in Chicago. The first online course commenced in December 2023, with Rabbi David Saltzman, himself a graduate of ICJA, lecturing on the topic of “Student-Centered Learning in the Limmudei Kodesh Classroom”.
Herzog Global has years of expertise in developing asynchronous pedagogy learning programs that create an immersive, effective online learning experience. Over six months, the ICJA Tanakh faculty will take this wide-ranging academic course in a format that allows them to study and discuss the material together.
This initiative was born out of a meeting between Amihai Bannett, Director of Herzog Global, and Rabbi Reuven Spolter, Herzog’s Director of Educational Programming & Professional Development, with Lynn Kraft, Chair of the Tanakh Department at ICJA. Twelve experienced educators from ICJA are participating in this first professional development program, which is subsidized by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs through the UnitED organization in partnership with Herzog College.
One of the participating teachers, Rachel Avner Polsky, is a graduate of the 2022 Herzog Global Rimonim Teacher Training Program. She said: “I’m thrilled to participate in this Herzog-led professional development course alongside my fellow Tanach teachers at ICJA. I’m excited to use this expertise to enhance the educational experience in my classroom.”
Welcoming this ICJA initiative as a pilot program for further online professional development programs in other Jewish day schools, Amihai Bannett said: “Herzog Global has created asynchronous academic online courses focusing on Jewish education, which can be adapted to the scheduling and needs of each individual school. We believe that this flexible solution allows experienced pedagogy experts to share their knowledge and skills with Judaic Studies teachers all over the world.”