PoP Update: Fall 2023
Dear PoP Educators, Supporters, and Friends,
Through this challenging time for Am Yisrael (the people of Israel) and medinat Yisrael (the state of Israel), the work of Jewish education is more important than ever. Read on to see just a few snapshots of PoP in action. Read on to see how PoP informs school leadership and school culture, and how PoP coaches offer ongoing support in our new Coaching Collabs.
Earlier this month, we also had the zechut, the privilege, of being at the Covenant Awards Ceremony in New York to honor the work of PoP (and specifically of Allison) and other Jewish educators; we share some highlights below.
We are proud to be in partnership with you, with our PoP schools nationwide, and with a wide array of dedicated educators and supporters in this moment. We send you chizuk, strength, and heartfelt prayers for peace.
Allison and Orit
An Honor for PoP
Earlier this month, PoP co-founder and co-director Allison Cook was officially presented with a 2023 Covenant Award. This prestigious award is given each year to three exceptional Jewish educators. Allison accepted the award at the Covenant Foundation’s annual awards dinner in New York City.
"Jewish education is about no less than this—changing the world,” Allison said as she accepted the award. “When teachers and students are truly committed to being fully present for one another, opening themselves to Torah, this true havruta that we form creates in this world-that-is just a little bit of the world-that-ought-to-be.”
In her moving remarks, Allison shared this recognition with co-founder and co-director Dr. Orit Kent and the work of the PoP team. We change the world, “as Orit and I like to say, ‘one havruta at a time,” Allison said.
The Covenant Award is a meaningful acknowledgment of PoP’s impact in the field of Jewish education. The special evening was a proud moment for Jewish educators, especially so for the PoP staff and Hadar community who joined to celebrate this accomplishment. Allison’s Covenant Award also reflects the work and devotion of hundreds of educators and thousands of students who are using PoP to build dynamic relationships with one another and with Torah. Mazal tov to Allison and to the PoP community!
PoP School Leader Spotlight, Faye Bearman, Schechter Chicago
Faye Bearman, Judaic Studies Coordinator and Instructional Coach, Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago.
Favorite PoP stance? “I have something to learn, and I have something to teach.” It can be empowering and motivating for kids to feel like they can be teachers too!
This is your third year as a PoP leader. How has PoP helped you reach your goals?
Teaching havruta skills has been a focus in the Judaic Studies upper grades at our school for a long time. Now we’re deepening the teaching and learning of that skill with the help of PoP. I love hearing the shared language of PoP that is becoming more and more ingrained in our upper-grade classes!
Can you describe PoP’s impact on students?
It is exciting to walk into a classroom and hear students engaging in havruta study in deeper and more meaningful ways than ever before. In the past, sometimes students would engage with each other to finish a text study assignment quickly. PoP has helped them build their stamina and their skills to engage more substantively with the text and with each other.
What’s something you’re working on now with PoP?
We will begin using the new PoP Observation Pad to collect data that teachers will use to assess havruta skills, inform havruta pairings, and communicate with parents about progress. We have already started using PoP as an anchor for professional development. Teachers–like their students–engage differently with a text and each other when they have a protocol to guide learning.
PoP’s Newest Publications
Check out our recent publications!
- In Partnership: How A New Program Makes Jewish Learning Meaningful for Parents Today, Allison and Orit describe a powerful collaboration between PoP and Project Zug to support parent learning at Boston’s Jewish Community Day School and Schechter Boston.
- Replacing Relevance with Relationship Senior PoP coaches Rabbi Devin Maimon Villarreal and Rabbi Miriam-Simma Walfish share our approach to help students “experience the dimensions of Talmud study that make it such a profound activity.”
Tuesday, December 5, 2023- Foundational Webinar: Rebooting Wonder: Exploring Unit 2
Monday, January 8, 2024- Experienced PoP Educator Webinar: PoP Reflection and Formative Assessment
Tuesday, January 16, 2024- Foundational Webinar: Interpretation at the Center
Monday, February 5-6, 2024- PoP Leaders and Coaches Institute
Monday, February 12, 2024- Foundational Webinar: Designing Multi-Modal Partnership Experiences
Sunday, February 25, 2024- PoP Local Gathering in Los Angeles