For inquiries, please contact Chevi Rubin at chevi@lookstein.org

Our Not-So-Secret, Secret Recipe

By Chevi Rubin

Bringing meaning to online Jewish learning

In our last post we argued that flashy uses of technology alone will not get students to learn material in a deep and meaningful way. This sentiment begs the question, what does? How can online Jewish studies elicit real thought, reflection, and excitement in students?

As Jewish educators we have all taught students who simply love learning. We have been the lucky teachers of classes that eagerly read the Torah portion, anticipate the commentators’ questions, and relish in the centuries old and ongoing conversations that ensue. But we also know and love the students who struggle to connect with the material and want so badly to find personal relevance in their learning. Read More

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Chocolate Covered Broccoli

By Chevi Rubin

Why bells and whistles don’t work and how Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy uses multimedia to enhance learning

A chocolate coating will not get kids to eat broccoli! And in the world of online Jewish education, all the bells and whistles imaginable won’t motivate kids to learn.

As creators of online courses in Jewish studies, Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy is driven by one goal:

To create engaging courses that inspire students to learn the subject matter in a deep and meaningful way.

Read More

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Core Values

By Chevi Rubin

In June, Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy staff, a staff that has grown exponentially this year, came together as a group. Like our school, our workspace is virtual.

We meet our teams regularly online and occasionally face-to-face, but an in-gathering of all us is rare. In fact, some of us had only worked for Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy for a few weeks or months, so we had never met other members of the team. Read More

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Student-Teacher Interactions in Online Classrooms

What about student-teacher relationships? It’s one of the central concerns that we hear from educators who are considering implementing online learning in their schools. The question is sometimes phrased differently: How do you engage and inspire students when you connect to them virtually? How are you a positive role model if you’re miles and miles away?

This question is front and center at Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy both when we design and teach online courses. In fact, Akiva Berger will be focusing in on this topic at the upcoming NRJE conference, in his session  “Evaluating Student-Teacher Interactions in Online Classroom Environments”.  Akiva’s research uses Pianta’s “Classroom Assessment Scoring System” (CLASS) to evaluate the quality of interactions between teachers and students in their learning environments, both in the virtual classrooms of Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy and in conventional classroom settings.

The 29th annual conference of Network for Research in Jewish Education is taking place Tuesday, June 9-Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. See you there!

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21st Century Skills at NAJDSC

At the recent North American Jewish Day School Conference this past March, Chana German, Director of Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy, and Liz Pape, online learning consultant, gave a session on how online learning can support 21st century teaching and learning in day schools. After discussing iNACOL’s teaching and program quality indicators, they demonstrated these in online modules, activities and discussions, using examples from Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy courses. Check out the slides below.

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What Jewish Educational Leaders Need to Know About Online Education

By Chana German Jewish Educational Leadership, Volume 12:2 Spring 2014

Although there has recently been considerable focus on online learning, it should be noted that it has actually been around for over twenty years. By the early 1990s, educational pioneers were experimenting with first generation Learning Management Systems Read More

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Online to Recovery

May 23, 2014, Jerusalem Post, Metro Section

By Shulamit Wasserstrom

US Jewish schools, like many private educational institutions, are still reeling from the economic crisis in the United States that peaked in 2008. As a result of the challenging financial market, many Jewish parents struggle to pay for private school tuition, and enrollment in private schools is declining. Read More

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About us
Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy is an online school of Jewish studies for students in grades 6-12.
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