Our March 20th event at UJA-Federation of New York is less than 10 days away! We’d like to take a moment to announce the all-star panel we’ve assembled. These panelists and the moderator will be discussing parent leadership and engagement in Jewish day schools. Following the panel, there will be discussions on how we can create new models for parent engagement. There will also be opportunity to hear about initiatives being led by parent leaders in Jewish day schools. The entire event is free; you just need to RSVP!
Pam Edelman believes co-creation -- professionals innovating together with parents and learners -- leads to families becoming more involved and invested in shaping future outcomes for Jewish education. Pam co-founded Yerusha, a Jewish learning laboratory testing a new model of family-driven, complementary Jewish education. Pam was Senior Associate, Family Empowerment and Network for JESNA's Lippman Kanfer Institute -- where she was developing an initiative to mobilize fellow parents to become partners in the transformation of Jewish education. Her interest and initiatives in family-oriented innovation processes stem from her work in marketing at Kraft Foods, managing consumer products for parents and their children. (Read Pam’s article in Sh’ma, “Co-Creation: The New Imperative”, for more on this.) Pam is Co-Founder of Zamru, an independent minyan in Princeton. A graduate of Washington University, she lives in the Princeton area with her husband and their four children.
Rabbi Edward Harwitz is the director of Leadership and Innovation for Day Schools at the Jewish Education Project in New York, NY. For nearly 25 years, Rabbi Harwitz has served in different positions of Jewish educational leadership. He was the founding Head of School for two Jewish high schools (the Jewish Community High School of the Bay in San Francisco, CA and the Jewish High School of Connecticut in Fairfield, CT) and the Director of Student Affairs and Director of Israel Programs at the Milken Community High School in Los Angeles. Prior to working in Jewish day schools, Rabbi Harwitz was the Assistant Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles and the Director of Camp Alonim at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley, CA. Rabbi Harwitz earned a Masters of Arts Degree and Rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1997. He also earned a Masters Degree in Hebrew Letters from the University of Judaism and studied extensively at the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem. Rabbi Harwitz has taught students of all ages on in Jewish text, philosophy and theology. He currently lives in Englewood, NJ.
Veronica Bisek Lurvey was until recently Counsel in the Energy and Infrastructure Projects group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP. Veronica currently splits her time between her family and volunteer work. Veronica serves as parent liaison on the Schechter School of Long Island’s Meitiv (Green) Team, where she also serves as class parent. Veronica is active at Temple Israel of Great Neck, where she recently celebrated her adult Bat Mitzvah and currently participates in the Sulam for Emerging Leaders program. She is also active in her community, including as part of QuietSkies.net, a community organization fighting to decrease aircraft noise and pollution. Last school year, Veronica served as Co-President of the PTA of the Solomon Schechter School of Queens (SSSQ), as well as the founding member of the SSSQ Green Team, and a member of the SSSQ Board of Trustees. Veronica’s husband, Jon Lurvey, is Managing Director at The Blackstone Group, L.P. Her two boys attend Schechter School of Long Island. Veronica received her A.B. from the University of Chicago, and her J.D., with honors, from The Georgetown School of Law. Veronica speaks Czech and is a member of various Czech organizations, including the Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews and the Bohemian Citizens’ Benevolent Society of Astoria, to whom she has provided pro bono legal help. Veronica is an avid organic gardener and grows many of her own herbs and vegetables. She loves to ski, travel and study.
Elisheva Urbas is the Director of Makom Hadash, Hazon’s residency program for second-stage Jewish non-profit organizations. Elisheva has spent the more than twenty-five years working as an editor, writer, and writing teacher. Her particular interests include Judaica of all kinds, nature writing, history, food writing, and education. She received her A.B. from Harvard College in 1986. A grateful daughter and granddaughter of Jewish educators, she joined the Board of Trustees of the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan in September, 2000. She chaired the school’s Education Committee from January, 2001, to June, 2003; became a Vice President of the school in January of 2003; and was elected President in June, 2003, serving five consecutive one-year terms. She continues to serve as a trustee and a member of the Board’s Executive Committee. She has also served on the advisory boards of the Ivry Prozdor High School at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and of Limmud NY, and helped develop an early version of Hazon’s food education program for elementary school students. Elisheva is married to David Morris, a litigation partner at the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson and adjuct professor of law at Fordham University Law School. Their three lovely daughters Mimi, Ronit, and Avital are student at, respectively, the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, the SAR High School, and the University of Chicago.
Sara Shapiro-Plevan is a doctoral candidate at the Davidson School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her research focuses the social and professional networks of Jewish educators, and communities of practice in support of professional learning and growth. She is the founder of Rimonim Consulting, where she works to facilitate change, both small and large scale, in congregations, organizations, foundations and schools. Her work is primarily based on the notion that relationships, collaboration and conversation are the keys to long term, radical change. Sara's professional experience is drawn from the world of congregational education, and she has served as a congregational educator in a variety of capacities for over 15 years. Sara is the mother of Ariel, who is, as they say in Lake Wobegon, both above average and good looking, and who is a current third grader at a local Jewish day school.