Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome to our New Website!


Step inside and see the changes
There are  many new features to see, so take some time to look around!  Our homepage offers you news from the field, notice of upcoming events, opportunities to learn more about  this innovative approach to Jewish Education and the work educators engaged in this network are doing.  A map of the USA shows where people are using this approach across the country.

For members of the network, we have new features in the members area – logging in will continue to give you access to all our curricular resources, but now there is more. Members can
join existing working groups,  initiate new groups around common interests, and access  our member directory.

Members connecting with Members

  • The membership directory allows members to find one another and connect . Members can update their information by updating their personal page.
  • Member profile page allows you to share who you are and your interests with other members – and offers you a way to find others who might collaborate around our work.
  • Who is on line? Once you log in, your picture shows that you are online to others who are also logged in. An easy way to enable communication. See someone you have been meaning to say “hi” to? Click on their picture and send them a note..

Discussion Groups:
Any member can create an interest group to collaborate with other members.
No permissions, no mediation – you can start it by opening a group yourself.

Groups can share documents, create forums, (and more).
Groups can be created in different ways:

  • open (for all members to join),
  • closed (where interested members contact the group facilitator) or
  • private (good for groups working on a project with a fixed group of people).
  • For a group to be maintained on the site, it needs to have 5 members.

Your Personalized calendar and the Engaging Texts Calendar
When visitors come to the site, they will see all the public events on the Engaging Texts calendar – this includes workshops, and special events.

When members log on their calendar becomes personalized, gathering all the dates on the calendars of groups they are part of and putting them in one location. A larger version of this with color coding possiblities can be accessed from the members area. Not sure when an event is happening, or when your community of practice or working group is next meeting? Look it up on your calendar!

Engaging Texts


Professional Development seminar at Siegal Lifelong Learning Summer Institute, Cleveland 2014

The Engaging Texts network provides a space where people engaged in the innovative practice of Philosophical Inquiry in Jewish education can learn from one another and develop strategic partnerships across communities throughout North America.  Activities of the network include: advancing training opportunities for the beginner through to the advanced practitioner;  facilitating the growth of cross-communal, and national collaborations and providing an online library of curriculum materials to network members.
 “One of the things I appreciate the most is learning with other educators I would normally never meet.” Yehudit Kanfer: Columbus Jewish Day School,

* Engaging Texts is made possible through a generous Covenant Foundation Signature Grant.

Using this curriculum data-base

Here are some tips on how to use this database.
  • Because Parshipt are large, and the quantities of text we deal with in any one inquiry will be small, we are identifying units of text under ‘Parshiot’ by the actual text reference. As the databank of resources grows you will find multiple units of text developed for any one parashah. Clicking on a particular reference will lead you to the resources for that piece of text. Within that selection, you will often find that the name of the parashah is used as a reference point.  For example, if you go to the text Vayikra 12:1-15, the resources listed often refer to the name of the parashah (Parshat Tazria-Metzora). Within the biblical text, and onadditonal pages, you will occassionally find words hyperlinked to other websites or resources that offer a deeper explanation of a concept in the text.
  • Each text selection listed under Parshiot opens a page that contains the Biblical text, with an individualized right hand side bar that lists resources just for that text (leading ideas, inter-textual references, discussion plans, exercises, secondary sources, and activities.). However you can search the whole site from this page by typing in a search word or selecting a tag. This initiates a search across all material on the site.
  • In some cases, different resources are offered in multiple versions for early childhood, primary school,  middle school and high school. This is in order to make the texts and discussion plans accessible to the world of the child at that age level. You are the best guide to which set of texts are suitable for your students. There may be times when a high school class is best using materials listed as primary school, and primary school students are best met by materials labelled here for middle school.  Knowing students are sensitive to these differences, the coding we have used is minimal. In the sidebar we use the following marks to identify appropriate ages. Resources are only identified with a code if multiple versions of the same material (secondary source, discussion plan, etc) are available.
  1. Early childhood:  ec
  2. Primary: p
  3. Middle School: ms
  4. High School: hs

The level at which each booklet is aimed is identified next to the page number at the bottom of each page. For example “5 p” or “5 ms/hs”

  • While each page  on the website can be downloaded in a print-friendly version, Each text selection comes with a compilation of all resources available as a single download in the form of a booklet. these are available in word and pdf formatting. The pdf version guarantees that the page layout will remain stable, the Word version may shift according to your own Word document settings (eg, different page width on your template, or using a different page size may shift the formatting around). However the advantage of the Word document is that it allows you to download and then edit material to meet the needs of your own students.  The value of having each page on the site downloadable is that you can search across the site and may find one particular resource from a different parashah that best serves your purpose, and you can find and download that  one piece without dowloading the whole booklet.
  • Each page has a space for comments – if you notice something about a resource, or want to let other teachers know about something you found helpful about the content on that page, please send a comment. General teaching questions and comments should be directed to the Community of Practice website.

If you have any questions or comments about the materials, you may ask them in the comments section on each page or send me an email to: glaserjen’at’ (nb. please replace ‘at’ with ‘@’ when writing – writing my address this way reduces the chance I will get spam from listing my email address)


Jen Glaser