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K-12 Parents: Get Involved with the Education Committee

09/08/2017 11:20:02 PM


Would you like to play an active role in shaping the learning experiences at the Jewish Experience Center?  If so, the education committee might be for you.  The education committee is focused on the needs of families with children in grades K-12.  This includes families with children in SJS, Kadima, Kesher, Confirmation and S.I.T.Y.  As a member of the education committee, you will:

  • Work with a dedicated and interesting group of parents
  • Partner with Jessica Bram, Director of Education and Youth Programming, on K-12 educational matters
  • Give parent input into the k-12 programming by being liaisons to the broader Temple Emanu-El community
  • Be a sounding board regarding programming and operations
  • Help develop fundraising opportunities to strengthen the JEC community.
  • Be a liaison to our new families
  • Work with JEC staff, as needed, at special programs and events

Share Your Talents: Join a Sub-Committee:

The education committee consists of a number of focused subcommittees:

  • Parent Hui
  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Fundraising
  • B’nai Mitzvah Hui
  • Purim Carnival
  • Summer Opportunities

Education Committee Meeting Notes Sunday, June 4, 2017

06/21/2017 03:01:52 PM


  • Welcome
    • The decision was made to change the next Education Committee Meeting to AUGUST 27TH 9:30-11:00.
    • Feedback on SJS & Kadima year: Madeleine, Todd and Jessica let all in attendance in an activity to elicit the successes and areas in need of improvement in both the SJS and Kadima experiences.  Below are the results:
      • SJS
        • Successes:
          • “More family education opportunities than ever before”
          • “Numbers lead me to believe that the times work”
          • “Starting on time more often”
          • “School Happiness (up)”
          • “Fantastic having madrichim so involved!”
          • “Jan doing a great job with the 6/7th graders!”
          • “Art”
          • “Teacher student relationship”
          • “Overall, things went well”
          • “Great organization and flow”
          • “The learners service for the 6/7th grade students and their parents to go through the BM process at TE”
          • “B’nai mitzvah decoration bins”
          • “Broadening the ‘success’ term for each BM student. “
          • “Having more than 1 teacher for the large 6/7th grade class.”
        • Areas of improvement:
          • “Organization”
          • “Length (for the younger students)”
          • “Teacher lesson planning”
          • “Communication with families”
          • “More parent involvement”
          • “Develop a Project Chesed time for each family”
          • “Google Docs for each BM student”
          • “How do we engage more parents?”
          • “Sustaining enthusiasm for post BM programs”
          • More involvement of teachers in the Ed Committee.
            • Kadima
              • Successes:
                • “Great job learning Hebrew and prayers for Bar Mitzvah prep.”
                • “Good teaching”
                • “Higher number of BM students who attend Kadima!”
                • “Kadima no longer an option”
                • “Great opportunity for the students to ‘hang’ and get to know each other.”
                • “Overall, things went well”
              • Areas of Improvement:
                • “Dinner program: if it is not special it is not worth it.”
                • “This year was less experiential than the year before.  There was more bookwork.”
                • “Kids missed the fun activities at the beginning of Kadima.”
                • “fun-ness of program lacking”
                • “Diversity in meals”
                • “Not enough staff”
                • “Students should get more one on one time with the teachers”
                • “Invitation to BM’s- the younger kids who are in Kadima are left out”
                • “parents could use a curriculum overview and web resources for more info”
          • B’nai Mitzvah Hui
            • Cathy Joseph, one of the Mitzvah Hui co-chairs brought great “Bnei Mitzvah Feedback Summary from Mitzvah Hui and Others”
              • “What’s Working Well”
                • “Students are happy and proud on the bimah; microphone awesome”
                • “Support from Rabbi Ken is intimate and trustworthy: “kids feel he has their back at all times””
                • “Project Chesed expectations have been more clearly defined; nice highlight from Director on bimah; true component”
                • “Jan present at each service, what a gift to students and their families to have their teacher share the day!”
                • “Moral of the class and bonding of student’s ideas, perhaps best ever?!”
                • “# of BM’s each student is attending top support their peers; families truly making the effort for others, carpooling, etc.”
                • “Model of lunch for congregation has been excepted.  Lots of options simple to elaborate, support to all, successful!”
                • “Individual student time with Rabbi Ken, Jessica, Jan, Bea or other upon request always made possible.  Likewise parent time with Richard and Jack always possible!”
                • “Madrichim looking forward to next year, talking amongst themselves, wondering about pay and commitment, PROUD”
              • Challenging Areas to Address”
                • “Protocol and address book to all parents needs work and early distribution”
                • “More empathetic understanding for the 7th grade student’s workload and pace during BM, check-ins and timelines”
                • “Ideally students should complete Project Chesed hours prior to intensive studying; planning and time management”
                • “How can we support this level of commitment from our teacher Jan, avoid burn-out, honor her?”
                • “Fundraising for families that cannot afford to provide lunch, table settings, favors or others”
                • “What does next year look like for All students?”
              • “New and Inviting to Expand On”
                • “Roster should be updated this summer with family picture”
                • Create “letter to 7th grade principal(s), Head of School, sports coaches or other from Rabbi Ken and Jessica for BM.”
                • “Start Project Chesed in 6th grade, use students and families that have completed this to share”
                • “Post BM moms should join the Sisterhood, role model to staying involved!”
                • Post BM opportunities should be out ASAP
                • “Keep students getting together “doing Jewish” (through) family driven playdates, meetings in the community, JFF dates etc.”
                • “BM decoration borrow bin continue to solicit donations, organize stuff in a proper place, replenish, call on old-timers”
                • “Mitzvah Hui could be much more than how the Education Committee is utilizing.  Further commitment from chair, resources, etc.”
            • Other Feedback from the committee included:
              • A need for clarification on if students are expected to continue at SJS and Kadima if the BM is during the school year.
              • Involve parents from this past year who have had a BM in the model service family education day.
              • Online resource for sample services for kids to see as well as parent resource to understand pieces and parts of the service.
              • Torah study for kids on Saturday?
              • Add to BM packet expectation of all Kadima students post BM.
          • Other:
            • Other ideas brought up in the meeting included:
              • Opportunities for families to hang out after SJS
                • Beach hang
                • California Pizza Kitchen lunch after SJS (could be a fundraiser as well)
              • The 2nd semester of 5th grade year should be the time to introduce Project Chesed and decide on BM date with the Rabbi and Jessica. 
              • Create a “What I did Today” sheet for each student to take home after every SJS that says what the student learned and 3 questions to ask your child on the way home.

Education Committee Meeting Notes Friday, December 9th

12/21/2016 10:12:40 AM


Agenda for Education Committee Meeting

Friday, December 9th 9:30-11:00 A.M.

  1. Welcome, nosh and meet any new faces

    2. SJS Numbers
            a. Total Enrollment numbers: 53 students
                Totals by Grade-Sunday:
                i. Kindergarten/First grade-7
               ii. Second/Third grade- 8
              iii. Fourth/Fifth grade- 8
              iv. Sixth/Seventh grade- 22
               v. Madrichim-8

           b. Totals Enrollment-Wednesday: 23 students
               Total by Grade-Wednesday:
               i.Eighth: 1
               ii. Sixth/Seventh: 19
             iii.Fifth grade: 3

    3. Introduce new Education Committee Co-Chairs
         a.Madeleine Hill and Todd Devere
         b. Change of time for Education Committee from Friday’s to Sunday’s

    4. Recap of the past 12 months
          a. Set schedules that met every other month in a timely, fun 90 minute model.

          b. Created an open forum for people to come whenever they want or can

          c. Modeled parent/professional Co-Chair leadership

          d. Transparency through posting all Ed. Committee minutes online

          e. Created subcommittees (6)

          f. Enhanced communications, more frequency, fun formats

          g. Board representation at all Education Committee meetings.

    5. Next steps for the education committee
          a. Have each of the 6 subcommittees meet 2x between Education Committee meetings.

    6. Questions and answers
          a. Add a security committee?

          b. What is the protocol for students who have had their Bar/Bat Mitzvah?  Do they continue in Kadima on Wednesdays?

          c. Creating a designated play area for the little ones on Saturday morning services

          d. Creating an online platform for parents to chat.  Facebook, Shutterfly or individual website?

    7. Text study
          a. We revisited the Education Committee Visioning poster made at the beginning of 2016 to see how we did in achieving our goals and where we would like to focus for the next year.

Education Committee Meeting Notes Friday, October 14

10/17/2016 02:27:57 PM



Temple Emanu El

Education Committee Meeting

October 14, 9:30-11:00


9:30     Introduction of New Faces

9:40     Director Jessica Bram facilitates our Learning Path

                        Opening and High Holiday programing review

  • Opening Day:
    • The Numbers
      • 51 students present opening day
      • All parents were in attendance
      • 16 new students registered for opening day
        • 5 new families-many have joined temple
      • Waiting on 7 families to register with 9 kids
    • Review-ATTACHED
  • High Holiday Programming
    • RH
      • Erev: 11
      • Jr. Cong.: 20 participants
        • 9 participants not part of SJS
          • Contacting families with a survey monkey review and invite to Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
    • YK
      • Erev: 4
      • Jr. Cong: 12

9:55     Subcommittee updates from:

  • Teacher Appreciation, planning ahead: Monica
  • Purim, Bigger and Better: Jessica
    • Purim Committee call out beginning on after Thanksgiving
  • Bar Mitzvah, Reaching Out: Cathy and Jeff
    • 10 have dates
      • Had meetings with all 7th grade families- waiting on 4 dates.
      • Will begin meeting with 6th grade families asap
    • Rabbi, Jan Fried and Jessica are leading a 6th/7th grade family education day Saturday, November 5th that will focus on all things Bar/Bat Mitzvah including:
      • Service
      • Roles for each family member
      • Catering options
      • Facilities usage
      • Speeches (both student and parent)
      • And much more

10:25     Gan Updates: Robyn Israel

10:30     Craft Fair

  • Flyers will be put out at the Sukkot BBQ
  • Teachers have already been informed and are beginning to think about what they would like to do for a presentation. 
    • They will rehearse on stage before the event
  • Food
    • Asking food service oriented family to be in charge of baked goods and lunch.
      • Baked goods sign up will be available beginning Sunday, October 23

11:40     Final 2016 Meeting December 9, 2017 9:30-11:00

  • Pass on Parent Co-Chair Role, Cathy pau
  • Could invite Board and give a year’s overview
  • Holiday pot luck
  • Goals for 2017 to be established including: transparency, organization, new meeting time, fundraising,


Education Committee Meeting Notes Friday, August 12

08/18/2016 04:03:35 PM


Education Committee Meeting Agenda August 10, 2016

  • Welcome 
  • Text Study
    • Jessica led us in a text study about Moses, leadership and the need for everyone to contribute in meaningful ways.
  • Enrollment and budget
    • Jessica went over the SJS goal of 50 students beginning in the fall and broke down how many anticipated returning (31) and new (15+) students we have as of August 10th
    • Registration- All students and families who participated in SJS or Kadima last year were automatically reenrolled and emailed their filled out registration information.  New families have a link they were sent from the temple website. 
    • Richard shared the JEC budget and explained the anticipated revenue is based on 40 students in SJS.  Therefore the deficit for the JEC budget will be less as more students register. 
  • Opening Day- September 11 9:30-12:30
    • Cathy Joseph and the Education Committee are hosting the SJS opening day breakfast.  A sign up sheet will be going around to Ed committee members to contribute.  
  • Parent Hui
    • Hinda Diamond has agreed to run our first parent hui meeting of the year after Boker tov on opening day.  This is essential as we are anticipating at least 5 new families to join the JEC.  
  • New projects
    • Jessica shared the new projects for the JEC this fall
      • Shabbat in a bag- each week a different SJS family will go home with a canvas bag that contains all the necessary supplies to have Shabbat at home.  They will conical their experience, sharing feelings, experiences and tricks of the trade for the next family to learn from. 
      • Bar/Bat Mitzvah- Jessica has created a Bar/Bat Mitzvah handbook for the anticipated 20 celebrations this school year.  This will streamline the process and help families be as organized as possible.  Her and Rabbi Ken will also be holding a special Saturday morning family education for the 6/7th graders and their parents that will be a way to unlock the mystery behind a Saturday morning Shabbat service. 
      • Gan and JEC-Robyn and Jessica have been working very closely the past few months to create a bridge between the Gan and the JEC.  Contact information and leads are passed to each other constantly.   

Education Committee Meeting Notes Friday, June 10

06/17/2016 03:15:37 PM


Agenda for Education Committee Meeting-Notes

Friday, June 10 9:30-11:00 A.M.

1. Welcome and text study

a. Jessica lead the group in a text study looking at why the Book of Ruth is read on Shavuot. 

2. Sub-committee updates:

a. Teacher appreciation- outcome and thoughts for next year (Monica)

i. Jessica shared that the JEC gave teacher appreciation gifts to both the SJS/Kadima teachers and madrichim as well as the Gan teachers and assistants.

b. Gan support (Sarah and Robyn)

i. Under the new Gan Director, Robyn Israel, lots of great things are happening.

1. Robyn is working very hard to put new systems and standards into place for the Gan and the Gan staff.

2. She is working on getting bulk supplies such as organic snacks and sunscreen.

3. Robyn is also working on an Amazon wishing tree list for the items the Gan needs.  This will go up once she has finished going through and cleaning out all Gan areas.

c. Parent Hui (Jackie and Jessica)

i. We determined the goal of the parent hui is a chance for parents to connect.  That being said it was important that these events are more than a meet and greet and perhaps even have some learning involved.  Jessica, Akiko and Elila will be working together to come up with program ideas for the fall.

d. Summer program

i. The summer program for the JEC is set for the week of July 25th.  We need 10 students in order to run the program.  So far, 3 have signed up.  More information including a parent packet will be sent out in the next week. 

e. Mitzvah hui

i. We are changing the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program to include a mitzvah project called “Project Chesed.”  The families will meet with Jessica Bram and work together in choosing, planning and documenting their Project Chesed (their Bar/Bat Mitzvah) project.  This project will be out in the community and relate to the student’s interests and even their Torah portion.

05/03/2016 03:04:36 PM


Education Committee Meeting Notes from Friday, April 8

04/05/2016 01:06:31 PM


Notes taken at previous

Temple Education Committee Meeting

Friday, April 8 9:30-11:00 A.M.

  1. Welcome, lunch and text study

Jessica and Cathy welcomed everyone to our committee meeting and Jessica guided the committee through a text study focusing on the importance to look at everything (even the Torah portions we read each year) with a fresh set of eyes.

  1.  Subcommittee Update:   
         A. Purim-A GREAT SUCCESS!
    1. Networking
      1. 11 potential new member families interested in JEC and preschool captured.
      2. 20 new temple eblast recipients.
    2. Outreach
      1. Full article: TGIF, Midweek and religious section mention
      2. Hawaii Public Radio Community Calendar
      3. Honolulu Family
      4. Facebook
      5. Honolulu Magazine
      6. Best Places Hawaii
      7. Yelp

   B. Teacher Appreciation-
           1.SJS teachers (May 15th)
                      a. Gift card
                      b. Book
                      c. Letters from students

           2. Gan teachers (Teacher breakfast May 6)
                      a. Gift Card
     C.  Parent Hui
           1. Over 20 parent participants
           2. Great opportunity for parents to meet and greet
           3. Goal
                    1.Creating a SJS community for parents to gather and kids to see parents get together
           4. Although there is not time this year for another meeting, we would like parents to come and
                        celebrate teachers on May 15th!
            5. Look for parent hui meeting dates in early fall!
     D. Gan
           1. Robyn Israel accepted job offer and will be officially starting May 15thClick here to see the full Gan report.

     E. Summer Program
          1. 1-week day camp will be July 25th-29th culminating in a Shul-in (Temple overnight)
          2. Monday-Thursday will be from 9:00-3:00.  Friday from 9:00-Saturday 9:00.
          3. Flyers and more information will be available soon!

     F. Mitzvah
          1. Rolled out the project Chesed plan for the following year for all Bar/Bat Mitzvah students.
          2. Jeff and Cathy are in the process of recruiting subcommittee members with the goal of putting together a resource
              packet for families with upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah students.
          3. Looking at how Temple can benefit from this celebration by having resources available

3. It’s Rabbi Time
     A. Rabbi Ken asked the committee to consider the following question:
          1. What is the goal of the education committee?
                 1.Some answers included:
                          a.Supports the education directors
                          b. Gets work done.
                          c. Helps to create Temple’s signature event: Purim, Passover, other
      B. Rabbi Ken complimented the volunteers for their work and commitment to Temple education

4. Other
      A. Safety concerns and a need for ongoing oversight brought to the table.
      B. Subcommittee potential to be added as a 7th committee?

5. NEXT MEETING: June, 10, 2016 9:30-11:00 AM
       A. Open Forum, all welcome for part or whole meeting

Education Committee Meeting February 12

02/25/2016 10:12:40 AM



In attendance: Hinda Diamond, Julie Levitt-Guren, Todd Devere, Jackie Foil, Jessica Bram, Madeleine Hill, Malori Anthony, Diane and Gerald Umeda.

Goals for 2017 - each subcommittee to bring goals, need
Last year, working to encourage transparencies
This year, encouraging subcommittees to meet on their own, create goals and figure out what we can do to help.
Do members have their own goals to include?

Should we change time to 11:30-12:30 on Sundays to encourage more parent participation
Should we do a survey to see what would encourage parents to attend?

* Curriculum

Is there a forum for teachers to get together with Ed Committee Co-chairs? When would that be? Maybe during the week or maybe at the very end of the day.
Jessica to approach teachers and find out if they would like to meet with co-chairs
Should Jessica come to parents Hui and brief parents on curriculum?

Are public schools talking about it? Should there be discussion about openness about Jewish identity? If they raise questions, how do the SJS/Kadima teachers answer?
Jessica - goal for JEC is Jewish identify building.
Should something about anti-semitism/pride of heritage be woven into curriculum?
Call around to public/private schools and discuss WWII and how anti-semitism began??

* JEC update
Update - 53 students in Sunday - 23 in Wednesday program
Attendance has been OK - Jessica wants to celebrate when students show up, not penalize them when they don’t.

Gan is about capacity - btw 23 and 26 - getting ready to start wait list

            * Robyn gutted and redid blue room

Purim Carnival

            * save the date cards coming in the mail

            * Pony rides will be available for preschool kids

            * games in breezeway going into parking lot

            * Courtyard will be “Gan central”

            * Food truck, burgers, bounce house, shaved ice, dunk tank, bungee racer

            * raffle baskets put together by parents to raise more $

            * Maemae parking lot will be available

            * Last year goal was to break even, this year goal is to make $1,000

            * Jessica will ask families to sponsor bounce house

            * Sign up for Gan parents to volunteer to run Gan activities

            * SJS families will be asked to donate their time

            * B’nai Mitzvah students will be able to volunteer for their service hours

            * 6th/7th grade students will need to have a parent with them if they are working.

            * Jessica is publicizing on numerous community calendars and sending 400 postcards

            * Malori Anthony offered to co-chair the Purim Carnival

Board report

            * Jewish Film festival coming up - all films shown at Doris Duke theatre - material coming            out by next week - March 4-26

            * Starts 3/4 - Film for opening night is “Denial” - Pupus at 6, film at 7:30

            * 3/11 - Broadway musical

            * 3/18 - “Remember”

            * 3/26 “March of the Living” - (documentary)

            * “Fannie’s Journey”

Parent Hui

            * Has met twice this school year

            * Jessica’s goal is for parents just to get together

            * Last time they discussed homeless/volunteerism - as a result, this was the first time                   that the temple filled all the Family Promise volunteer slots

            * Unsure of next meeting date

            * Discuss jewish identity/anti-semitism at SJS at next Parent Hui??


            * Next Sunday - there is a performance: “Money Talks - What does it Say?”

            * Sisterhood helps families obtain flowers for the Bima and Oneg table for B’Nai Mitzvah  contact Jackie (Jessica is going to have a designated place for         donated/used B’Nai  Mitzvah items)

            * Can we sell Mazel Tov cards at Shabbat - Hinda offered to be point person

            * B’Nai Mitzvah parents helped polish the floor, paint walls, donated torah dressing.

            * Malori and mom and Hinda working on Bima beautification

Next meeting scheduled for 11:30 to 12:30 on Apr. 2. Pastries at 11.

Education Committee

02/17/2016 11:55:05 AM


Shaloha Temple Emanu-El,

Greetings from the Jewish Experience Center Education Committee 2016!

We are your new co-chairs, Cathy Joseph and Jessica Bram.  With a new year, comes new and exciting opportunities.  Join us for one meeting, several meetings, all our meetings, anything is OK with us.  We would love to see your face and have your input.  Currently, we have six active subcommittees that have more flexibility with their meeting times.  Feel free to reach out to any of our chairs and get involved!


To keep you informed, we will be posting our agenda notes following each Education Committee meeting.  This level of transparency and collaboration is meant to keep everyone informed throughout the year.  Additionally, we will have subcommittee reports posted in brief to share what these groups are doing.  We have had two active groups since the onset of the year.  Please refer to the notes below.

Purim Carnival:

Our Purim committee is hard at work creating a fun, well organized, quality event that is open to the public.  Our carnival is Sunday, March 13 from 10:00-2:30.  We will be using the parking lot to showcase our big attractions (castle bounce house, dunk tank, Sumo suits, inflatable obstacle course, petting zoo, Kona shave ice truck, balloon twisting and much more), the courtyard will be used for the midway games and the social hall for food. Parking will be offsite at Maemae elementary school just down the road and shuttles will be provided.  We could use your help during the carnival!  Please contact me if you are interested in volunteering the day of.  Also, bring your friends and family and your friend’s families!

We will be making from scratch and selling hamentashen this year.  Pre-order forms will be going out Monday.  I need help baking.  Please contact me if you are interested.

Gan Search Committee

  • Search Committee Members: Sarah Knox, Cathy Joseph, Jessica Bram, Momi Martinez, Perry Howell, Richard Field, Justin Levinson
  • Objective is to hire a highly qualified Director for The Gan Yerushalayim with a projected start date in May 2016.
  • What we have done:
    • Richard, the Temple’s Executive Director, advertised the position on a number of job sites and screened all resumes.
    • The search committee met to create interview groups and clarify the job description (see attached).
    • Qualified applicants were offered a first interview on February 19th with the lay personal on the search committee.
      • Three candidates who met qualifications were offered an interview.
      • Of those three, two have withdrawn for various reasons.
  • What we are currently doing:
    • Those applicants who pass the first interview will be offered a second interview with Richard, Jessica, Momi and a teacher from the Gan.
    • Those applicants who pass the second interview will be observed teacher a class at the Gan.  References will also be checked by Richard.
Tue, June 25 2019 22 Sivan 5779