The 7th annual London School of Jewish Studies National Conference for Primary School Jewish Studies Teachers had about 170 educators attending from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow. The Conference Theme was “Building Connections & Being Connected”. Participants gained the opportunity of building connections with other educators while also connecting with new ideas of how to educate students even more effectively.
The opening Keynote speaker was The Chief Rabbi, LSJS President. He praised the work of teachers, emphasising the importance of the impact teachers make on young people. It was a powerful and energising start to the day’s activities.
The second Keynote speaker, Rabbi Daniel Rowe, provided fresh insights into the story of Esther, with Purim fast approaching. He showed how some of the lessons in Esther are particularly relevant to educators, the impact of whose work may only be seen some time later.
There were over 20 presentations during the day from which participants could choose. These included Rabbi Pinchas Hayman, from Israel, on topics relating to the teaching of text as well as Mrs Shoshana Hayman speaking about how to encourage caring and considerate children. There was advice from Jonny Turgel on Caring for your voice as well as Rabbi David Meyer giving a Guide to good leadership.
Other educators giving presentations included Eliezer Segal (Head of Jewish Studies at Bet Shvidler Primary School) on how to engage students of all abilities, Yolande Pieters (Head of Jewish Studies at Simon Marks Primary School) on Talking to children about God and Sammy Morhaim from Jewish Interactive who ran three sessions about the use of ICT in the classroom.
The day ended with a structured networking opportunity, facilitated by Nic Abery. Participants were full of enthusiasm about the day which for some is an event they look forward to throughout the year. Comments included that it was great to hear speakers of such experience and passion, that the day was inspirational as well as the wish for more time to hear more of the sessions.
Conference Co-ordinator Esther Colman was delighted with the positive feedback. “We always aim that participants should leave with something they can try in the classroom the next day. It is heartening to hear that so many of those who came feel that is the case”.