Jewish Day School Standards and Benchmarks

Jewish Day School Standards and Benchmarks offers rigorous and engaging professional learning for Jewish studies instructional leaders and teachers in day schools. Jewish studies leaders learn practices in mentoring teachers, improving pedagogy, creating coherent curriculum aligned with the mission of the school, and fostering collaborative faculty cultures—all practices associated with improved student achievement. Our coaches also work collaboratively with Jewish studies leaders in guiding teachers to develop curriculum aligned to the school’s individual mission and improve the teaching and learning of Judaic subjects in their schools. The Tanakh and Rabbinic Standards and Benchmarks serve as a guide for schools to align their vision and goals for students with their teaching and learning of sacred texts in the classroom. This standards-based curriculum design encourages inquiry, critical thinking, and a place for students to grapple with personal meaning-making. 

Over 95 day schools across denominations have participated in Standards and Benchmarks programs over the last 20 years. Our services are applicable to all school divisions (elementary–high school) supporting Conservative, Reform, Modern Orthodox, and community day schools across North America.

“This program created the structure we so desperately needed and encouraged us to take the time to discuss how we organize our curriculum, how to always put text in the forefront of our learning, and how to make the learning accessible and engaging for all students.”
—Dina Saks, Director of Teaching and Learning, Striar Hebrew Academy of Sharon

A Standards-Based Approach

A standards-based approach aids schools in articulating and creating a coherent vision for their curriculum. This vision provides school leaders, faculty, students, and parents with a shared understanding of overarching goals, helping to set expectations and criteria for mastering Tanakh and rabbinics—ultimately greatly improving student learning.

Participating schools reflect on the standards in order to select those that best speak to their vision:

TANAKH STANDARDS ADDRESS:

  • Literary Independence
  • Chain of Interpretation
  • Multi-Vocal History
  • Formative Narrative
  • Land of Israel
  • Sacred Grappling
  • Role of Mitzvot
  • Inspiring Resource

RABBINIC STANDARDS ADDRESS:

  • God and Holiness (Kedushah)
  • Halakhic Development
  • Jewish Identity and Practice
  • Pursuing Justice and Loving Kindness
  • Rabbinic Value Commitments
  • Textual Access
  • Voices in Conversation

Coaching and Workshops

With support from an experienced consultant, the school’s instructional leaders will guide their faculty’s professional development to improve teaching and learning.  Standards and Benchmarks provides a robust program of coaching sessions and workshops with the faculty, tailored to each school’s professional development needs. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from such thoughtful teachers. The weekly calls with my coach challenged me to become a more thoughtful leader.”
—Rachel Jury, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School

For more information, please contact standardsandbenchmarks@zuitubbs.com

This project is generously supported by funders that include the Mayberg Foundation.