What is Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life?
EJSL is a three-semester, professional development program that provides educators with concrete ways to teach students to become spiritual seekers and makers of meaningful lives. It invites a deeper connection to and joy in Judaism as a pathway for engaged living and lifelong growth.
The program starts by building fundamental meditation skills, which underlie the teachings of the next two semesters: tikkun middot (positive character attributes), and contemplative tefillah (prayer).
Each semester begins with an in-person, half-day professional development workshop. Following the workshop, educators who want to further pursue Jewish mindfulness in the classroom enroll in an online, on-demand self-study course. In the case of Semester 1, that’s: Gift of Awareness for Educators: Jewish Mindfulness Meditation for You and Your Students. The online course comes with webinars, a discussion forum, journaling, and email access to an IJS coach.
Get started with Semester 1: Jewish Mindfulness Meditation, with the option to continue for the full three semesters.
Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life:
- Teaches mindfulness: the skill of paying attention, non-judgmentally, in the present moment;
- Develops social and emotional skills, including expanded capacity for managing emotions, being empathetic, paying attention, resilience, and positive relationships;
- Reduces stress; and
- Deepens connection to self, others, and Judaism.
What makes Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life unique?
- The Jewish framework.
- The teaching of multiple spiritual practices, including tikkun middot (developing prosocial character traits like patience, loving-kindness, and compassionate speech), contemplative tefillah (prayer), and mindfulness meditation.
- The dual professional development and personal growth opportunities for educators.
- IJS’s expert faculty and 20 years of experience.
Who is EJSL for?
The EJSL program is designed for Jewish day and supplemental schools and educators, but that doesn’t mean it’s limited to them! Any educator can benefit from bringing Jewish mindfulness into their life and their teaching skillset.
“When we first started teaching [a popular secular mindfulness program], the preliminary observation is that the students were better able to settle in assembly.
Now [thanks to EJSL], we touch the spirit of the child.””
(Head of School)
What You Get: EJSL Semester 1
Semester 1 focuses on educators developing a personal, Jewish-framed, mindfulness meditation practice, and concludes with specific techniques to model mindfulness in the classroom and age-specific ways to introduce “mindful moments.”
- A half-day onsite professional development workshop led by an IJS trainer (entire staff welcome)
- The 13-module online, on-demand, self-study course: The Gift of Awareness for Educators: Jewish Mindfulness Meditation for You and Your Students at the EJSL price of $180 per educator (list price: $240) for as many educators who would like to take the course
- Monthly webinars (3 per semester)
- A moderated discussion forum with educators from around the country (contact us for information on creating a local consortium with its own webinars and discussion forum)
- Your own online journal to track your progress
- The ability to find a study/practice partner who is also enrolled in the online course to help support your meditation practice
- Age-specific “mindful moments” that you can use in your classroom
- A parents version of “mindful moments” that reinforces what their children are learning in school
- Email access to an IJS trainer/coach
Online Course Time requirement: 60-90 minutes per week. (For additional information, click here.)
Semester 1 Outcomes:
- Foundational skills for adopting a regular Jewish mindfulness meditation practice to support Jewish spiritual engagement, well-being, and authentic teaching;
- Skills for modeling mindful, non-reactive presence in the classroom;
- A toolkit for delivering mindful Jewish moments in the classroom.
To learn about Semester 2: Tikkun Middot and Semester 3: Tefillah, click here to download the full program PDF.
“The middot that you bring are the middot that you are,
because you bring your whole self.”
Fee Structure & Investment
EJSL can be an opportunity for a community, not just one school. Participate as a single organization or reduce your costs by sharing the professional development workshop with two or more schools in your area.
Semester 1 has two components: a professional development workshop, and then a 13-week online course, The Gift of Awareness for Educators: Jewish Mindfulness for You and Your Student.
The In-Person Workshop
(Minimum number of workshop attendees: 18)
The half-day professional development workshop is delivered on-site by an IJS trainer. This is the “kickoff” to the program, where educators will begin to dive into the objectives, theories, and practices of EJSL. There are two options available for local workshop:
- Single School Workshop: In this version, a single school (or organization) hosts the half-day session, for $1500. The school is responsible for securing the workshop site and managing logistics, as well as paying for IJS trainer travel (capped at $750).
- Shared Local Workshop: In this version, three or more local organizations come together to share the workshop, which reduces the workshop fee to $850 (if there are three schools). Organizations are responsible for finding their own local partners. One organization is designated as the “host” school, and is responsible for securing the workshop site and managing logistics. In exchange for this work, they pay a reduced fee. IJS trainer travel is included in the cost of the shared workshop program fee.
Online Meditation Course
Following the professional development workshop, educators will have the option enroll in a special $240 educator edition of the IJS online Jewish mindfulness meditation course, offered at a discounted rate of $180 per educator (25% off the listed price!) as part of EJSL. There is no minimum number of educators who may take the course; however, to best share benefits among colleagues, we recommend that at least four people per school enroll. Educators who enroll in the online course will attend course-related webinars and discussion forums with fellow Jewish educators from across the country.
Local Consortiums – groups of schools in a community – are available, offering separate webinars and discussion forums. Additionally, there is a Premium Online Option that offers a private online course experience for educators of a single school.
Contact Sam for more information for more information about Local Consortiums and the Premium Online Option.
Example: EJSL for One School
Professional Development Workshop: $1,500 plus trainer travel capped at $750
Gift of Awareness for Educators, (4 educators): $720 (Savings: $320)
Nonrefundable deposit: $360
Total for Semester 1: $2,220 + trainer travel
Example: EJSL for Three Schools (shared workshop)
Professional Development Workshop Fee:
Host School: $425; Other Two Schools: $850 each
Nonrefundable Deposit: $250/school Gift of Awareness for Educators
(4 educators per school): $720 (Savings: $320)
Non-host school with 4 educators taking the online course will pay $850 for the workshop + $720 for the course for a total of $1,570 per school
(The host school with 4 educators taking the online course will pay $425 for the workshop plus $720 for the course for a total of $1,145.)
Ready to bring EJSL to your school?
“The huge variety of practices that I have been introduced to through the EJSL program has opened doors and windows to Judaism that I didn’t even know existed.”
Click here to download the EJSL Program PDF. For more information about bringing Jewish mindfulness to your school, reach out to Rabbi Sam Feinsmith, the Director of the Educating for a Jewish Spiritual Life program, by filling out this form: