JETS Professional Development Courses

“The Jewish Studies and Hebrew faculties got together with Smadar to learn about the various tools available via the internet to further creative teaching styles in the classroom. We were introduced to a smorgasbord or webucational (my word) delights and left the session feeling informed and excited about the limitless possibilities which come with teaching in the technological age.”  


Rabbi Chaim CowenHead of Jewish Studies (Secondary)Leibler Yavneh CollegeMelbourne Australia

Smadar Goldstein and JETS were central and instrumental to our faculty’s professional development this year. Smadar worked closely with me create targeted, actionable training for our teachers that was well-prepared, authoritative and delivered with polish and professionalism. Her ability to connect with our faculty virtually -despite the thousands of miles between them- was impressive and the follow-up provided via email, telephone and video-conference, as well as her willingness to travel come to our school when she was in the States, meant that every single teacher received training “Lefi Darko.” We have already seen evidence of real and lasting change in our faculty’s capabilities which can be traced directly to the training provided by Smadar and the JETS team.” 

Seth DimbertYeshivat Noam

Over the past year the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey has had the opportunity to provide training to our principals, educators and teachers with JETS and Smadar Goldstein. These experiences have been tremendously valuable and have given participants the confidence and skills to integrate technology in the classroom. JETS has been great to work with and we look forward to continue to work together in the future.”   

Stephanie Hausner Head of the SLI, Synagogue Leadership InitiativeJewish Federations of Northern New Jersey

“My classroom is much more exciting. Children are more excited to come to school than ever before.” Devorah O’Brian, Temple Emanel of Pascack Valley 

Temple Emanuel Explores EdTech

I am using many of the wonderful ideas from the class in the school this year. Your class really changed the way I am approaching education. I am indebted to you!!

Ellen Fox, Temple Solel School Director

“The sixth graders at Temple Beth Or’s Hebrew school can’t wait for the magic words: “Please take out your devices.” Are We Using Our Tablets Today? Jewish Standard of New Jersey June 2017

Are We Using Our Tablets Today?

Thank you Smadar for teaching us so much during your time in Houston this week. The evening training was very useful (we have already had several teachers create Lino boards). And the Judaic lunch n’ Learn really helped excite our teachers to think out of the box about ways to engage their students.Thank you as well for your mentorship …. It is bringing a lot to our school.   

Rabbi Aaron LevittJudaic Studies PrincipalRobert M. Beren AcademyHouston TX

“Thank you so much for leading the session on PBL at SHA. It was both enjoyable and practical! I know teachers found it to be a great start to their collaboration.”

Liora MinkinDirector K-8Seattle Hebrew AcademySeattle WA

Students Speak

When it came time to plan my Bat Mitzvah, I wasn’t too excited at first. I felt like it was something I was doing for my parents and not for myself. But as time went on, I discovered that I really loved what I was doing. I take Judaic Studies lessons over Skype with Shulamith, a teacher in Israel, and she taught me that learning Torah is really fun. And no, my parents did not make me say that.

Bat Mitzva student

I have learned a lot in Judaics Class this year.  I have learned the importance of doing good deeds and making the world a better place. I learned why it is important to do Tikkun Olam and how we can make the world a better place. Through our projects, I learned the importance of teamwork and working in a group. I learned a lot this year about Israel, also. I hope I can use this knowledge next year in high school and in years later.

Student, Adelson JDSLas Vegas

“My favorite sessions were when we were learning about the acts of kindness during the holocaust because it showed me that even in the darkest of times, people can be amazing and make the most of a horrible situation.”

Rememberance and Rebuilding Program

“I liked the games and projects and enjoyed learning about the people of Israel. Learning about the Holocaust in such depth. I really enjoyed learning about the Holocaust because I became aware of things I had never even heard of before.My favorite sessions were when we were learning about the acts of kindness during the holocaust because it showed me that even in the darkest of times, people can be amazing and make the most of a horrible situation.”

Rememberance and Rebuilding

I just love learning about Israel’ and this is probably the best way I’ve learned about Israel… It was better than going to Hebrew School.

Remembering and RebuildingTemple Emanuel of Pascack Valley

I CANNOT WAIT TIL OUR NEXT CLASS WITH RABBI COHN! He makes me feel so smart. He shows us that Torah is so alive because in order to understand it we need to see how it was alive in the time period we are talking about. Learning it like this makes it easier to see how it’s meant to come alive for us in our own time

Student Yeshivat Noam

JETS Online Learning Programs — Jewish Day and Afternoon Schools

I was really impressed by how effectively you communicated with the kids from so far away. Our children really got a sense of what life was like thousands of years ago.  So often we read about the politics of Ancient Israel from the ancient texts of the Tanach,  but the text alone seems distant to many young children. I was impressed by the ability of the teacher to connect to our students even though she was  thousands of kilometers away.  She actually conducted activities, had kids moving around, and engaged despite the fact that she was only connected via camera and projector. The lessons were multi-sensory involving engaging videos, informative visuals and hands-on activities all of which kept our children interested.

Eric GolombekPrincipalAssociated Hebrew School of TorontoAncient Israel Program

I was concerned at first, if our students would really be able to learn over a video conference, but at this point our students look forward each week to “going to Israel”. The level of learning is very high and our students are engaged and are really able to interact with Rabbi Cohn as if he were in the classroom. We are definitely interested in expanding this distance learning program.

Rabbi Chaim HaglerPrincipalYeshivat NoamParamus, NJ

I liked the games and the way ancient life was always brought back to how things are different today. One 4th grader was shocked to learn that ‘Hadas’ wasn’t really thousands of years old! Thank you for your knowledge, mannerism and enthusiasm. It was a great experience for the children to have met you.

Ruchie HechtJudaic Studies CoordinatorNorth Miami Beach, FL

I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed your class yesterday. The kids were listening to a voice in a computer for 45 minutes thanks to your enthusiasm and engaging lesson.You brought shmitah to life

Shoshi RadinskySARNY

How else could these students be exposed to outstanding educators such as Semadar Goldstein, a veteran of the Hillel Torah Day School in Chicago and the Yeshiva of Flatbush in New York, and Rabbi Joel Cohn, the former principal of the SAR Academy in Riverdale, New York?  They bring with them a wealth of experience in Jewish education, and a passion for Judaism and Israel.

Rabbi Dr. Gil PerlDeanMargolin Hebrew AcademyMemphis, TN

“We want to continue the program indefinitely. It is so valuable. We don’t need a parent demo anymore — some of our students are youner siblings of previous online students and all of the parents and students know about it now and look forward to it “  Rabbi Shelley Knaiz, Temple Emanuel of Pascack Valley

Rememberance and Rebuilding with Temple Emanuel of Pascack Valley

Shutafut Partnership

I really appreciate the opportunity to talk to kids in Rosh Haayin. It is so much fun and I’m having a great time posting and messaging on it.  Thank you again.

Alex P.6th grade studentNE Miles Jewish Day SchoolBirmingham, AL

I am thrilled with the work of JETS and happy to provide references as needed.

Joyce SpielbergerExecutive DirectorBirmingham Jewish FederationBirmingham, AL

7-grade pupils from GVANIM School, Rosh Ha​’ayin, had the opportunity to interact with students from a different country and culture in the Shutafut School Partnership Program.  To my great joy, despite the distance and the language barrier we discovered that the Internet is a wonderful tool which allows easy communication and contacts were made between boys and girls who have never seen each other.

Lior LechnerEnglish teacherGVANIM SchoolRosh Ha​’ayin, Israel

Parents Speak

I think this way of learning speaks to our youth who are constantly connected. It is interactive and requires that they continuously stay connected, work, and think about the subject at hand. It also improves their ability to express themselves in writing and it improves their ability to use the technology and multitask. These are all skills that are increasingly important in today’s world and job market.

Parent of Yeshivat Kadima student

My son really enjoyed the program and learned a great deal. It was stimulating, and engaged him both academically and enriched his Jewish identity.

Parent of Temple Emanuel Bar/Bat Mitzva student

Since this class is elective, and not a requirement, all who attended had an interest in being there. There is definitely a cool factor with all the technology you use to bring this classroom to life. I think the online class creates a relaxed atmosphere while inspiring learning and interaction. There is something warm about being in your own home, and still being able to attend a class and see the teacher and other students

Parent of Religious School Student

School Classes

The consistent high point was the knowledge of our presenters and their ability to related this to my students. I had a non-academic group, so they don’t say a lot but generally remained engaged and often had lots of questions afterwards (they were improving on asking questions during sessions). We really appreciated Rabbi Cohn’s enthusiasm (the students really enjoyed him) and they hadn’t hear a New York accent before:) And, there was a good mix of discussion, lecture and power point/video clips.

Daryl CardiffGrande Yellowhead Public School Division

It was an amazing session. My students were so impressed that they could communicate with someone halfway around the world. I don’t know if there was one specific moment. It was all wonderful. The level of detail and pace is excellent for an intro into this conflict.

Byron SemenchukSturgeon School Division

Westlake School participated in a 5-part video conferencing series on the Arab-Israeli conflict offered by Jerusalem EdTech Solutions. We could not be more pleased with our experience.

Because of the strong structure and organization of the series, our students had the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the conflict that has engulfed the Middle East for centuries. During the first two sessions, background knowledge was cultivated by a plethora of discussion and audio/visual aids. The ensuing sessions exposed students to various perspectives regarding the conflict and possible solution, and allowed encouraged them to develop an independent viewpoint.

Perhaps the most vital aspect of these conferences was the presenters. Not only were they vastly erudite, but were steadfast in their encouragement of discussion; this was, therefore, not simply a lecture series, but rather a true dialogue between experts and students who may soon inherit a stake in the conflict and, hopefully, the resolution.

The opportunity provided to Westlake by JETS is invaluable and has certainly touched our students in a way that a textbook simply could not do. In fact, after attending these conferences, student participants sought out a peer who had recently moved from Palestine to Waldorf, Maryland. They persuaded him to present his experiences and assessment with them. With that in mind then it is possible to see how the initial video conferences have ignited further interest.

Please consider this a strong recommendation of the Arab-Israeli video conferences presented by Jerusalem EdTech Solutions.

Chrystal P. Benson & Holly DolanPrincipal & High School Resource TeacherWestlake High SchoolWaldorf, MD

It was fantastic. It is very difficult to get middle school students interested in topics, and I was amazed that they wanted to stay later and had so many questions.

I appreciated your dynamic presenation and your obvious knowledge about the area. I thought the theme was right on as we are trying to educate young adults who think for themselves. I also appreciated your comments about Mexico. It is very improtant for them to hear that as well.

Overall, it was a big success among both the students and the teachers. Thanks so much for everything.


Marissa RiceMedia and the Middle East courseColegio Carol Baur Mexico

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