The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland hosted Yom Limmud, Annual Day of Jewish Educators on Jan. 19, 2020. In 2019, Portland hosted the NewCAJE professional development conference for Jewish educators at Reed College on July 28-31. That event drew 394 Jewish Educators from 254 schools for four days of learning, laughter, singing, networking, praying and more.
“We subsidized over 70 educators to attend NewCAJE,” says Director of Educational Initiatives & Intergroup Outreach, Rachel Nelson. “This (2019) was the third year, and we will be subsidizing a cohort to go to NewCAJE again.”
The Federation offers other professional development opportunities throughout the year, and continuously look for different cohort models for ongoing learning opportunities for educators.
“We have a group of educators that’s been meeting consistently for about five years called Portland Area Jewish Educators,” says Rachel. “That’s a director-level group from our synagogues, day schools, preschools, youth groups, or day camps in the community.” The group focuses on professional development and was instrumental in the creation of Yom Limmud.
Similar to the format of other Limmud learning events, there will be two sessions offered with eight classes in each session. The topics covered are not only for classroom-based teachers but also for experiential educators, including day camp staff. All Jewish educators are welcome to attend.
“We try to find opportunities that are of interest to those in our community,” says Rachel. “We offer topics that are not necessarily Jewish topics but have Jewish importance.” Topics covered include The Pyramid of Hate, Hands-On Hunger and Houselessness Education for Jewish Youth of All Ages, Emergency Preparedness Refresher-Active Threat, Introduction to Positive Discipline, and Lesson Planning with Social Media.
Yom Limmud is offered to educators at no cost due to partial funding from Federation and supplementary grants from other organizations. The afternoon also includes lunch and a happy hour.
In addition to all the above opportunities, this event also offers licensure hours. “I’m licensed through the state of Oregon to offer Oregon licensure,” says Rachel. “You have to be licensed to teach preschool in Oregon, and you have to renew your license every year, so we offer preschool licensure hours, and if you do happen to be a public school educator, we can give you licensure hours for that as well.”
Yom Limmud provides an excellent peer-to-peer professional development opportunity for educators who work for Jewish organizations as part of small teaching teams with limited budgets. “By coming together as a large community, we’re able to put more resources in and get more expertise out of our educators,” says Rachel.
Yom Limmud, Annual Day of Jewish
When: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020
Where: Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland, OR
Information: Contact Rachel Nelson at Rachel@jewishportland.org or visit
Prior registration is preferred, but walk-ups are welcome.