Yom Limmud: Day of Learning for Educators

Let's get together for an afternoon of FREE learning for educators. It's the perfect time to hear from our fellow educators and get inspired as we continue with the year. Lunch and Happy Hour included.

Presented by Portland Area Jewish Educators

Please use the form below to register for Yom Limmud 2020.

Course Descriptions and Instructor Profiles can be found below the Registration Form

Questions? Contact Rachel Nelson at 503.892.7415 or rachel@jewishportland.org


Hands-On Hunger and Houselessness Education for Jewish Youth of All Ages

Instructors Elana Cohn-Rozansky, Adinah Miller, and Rabbi Eve Posen

Are you looking to incorporate more hands-on experiences for your students that teach Jewish perspectives on hunger and houselessness? Having trouble finding opportunities for elementary and middle school students? Wondering what high schoolers and high school grads can do? This session will answer those logistical, takhlis questions while also offering the text and context you want to include to make a rich, Jewish learning opportunity. Rabbi Eve Posen of Neveh Shalom will share her knowledge from her new program for families with young children, which grew out of her AJWS trip to Guatemala. Elana Cohn-Rozansky’s decade of organizing service learning at Portland Jewish Academy and beyond will especially help you with late elementary and middle school students. And Adinah Miller, program director of the Tivnu: Building Justice Gap Year program, will share Jewish texts and general resources for understanding the systemic roots and challenges of hunger and houselessness in Portland and beyond.

Elana Cohn-Rozansky currently serves as the Service Learning Coordinator at Portland Jewish Academy where she also teaches an 8th grade Holocaust Studies class.  Elana is committed to helping young people see themselves as changemakers in the community and develop a habit of volunteerism.  She has coordinated student volunteer opportunities for public middle schools and high schools in the area and as the Middle School Lead Teacher at Congregation Beth Israel for many years. Elana's background is as a high school English teacher, a sixth grade Humanities teacher, and a Jewish family educator but has found her true professional and personal passion in the Service Learning world.

Adinah Miller is the program director of Tivnu: Building Justice. Adinah has been professionally and personally engaged in creating diverse and vibrant Jewish communities for many years. Before joining Tivnu, Adinah spent six years as Dean of Jewish Life, Jewish Studies teacher, and house parent at the American Hebrew Academy, the pluralistic Jewish boarding school in Greensboro, North Carolina. Previously, Adinah did graduate studies in Italian Jewish history and co-founded GradJew@Yale, a community of Jewish grad and professional students in New Haven, Connecticut. Adinah brings her experience in formal and informal Jewish education and her passions for social justice and Jewish exploration to Tivnu. She, her husband David, and their son (PJA ’22) are excited to have made Portland their home.

Rabbi Eve Posen serves as the Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches, preaches, inspires, and engages all generations of the synagogue community. Previously, Rabbi Posen spent four years as Campus Rabbi of Ann and Nate Levine Academy in Dallas, TX. Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, Rabbi Posen attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she received a B.A. in Judaic Studies. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Experiential Education from the American Jewish University's Fingerhut School of Education. Upon her ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at AJU in 2010, she received the SREL (Schechter Residency in Educational Leadership) Fellowship. Rabbi Posen is married to Duncan Gilman, and their children Shiri and Matan are a constant source of inspiration, including for her book Pirkei Imahot: Wisdom of Mothers, Voices of Women, which was coauthored with Lois Sussman Shenker.

The Pyramid of Hate

Instructor Erica Compere

The Pyramid of Hate illustrates the prevalence of bias, hate and oppression in our society. It is organized in escalating levels of attitudes and behavior that grow in complexity from bottom to top. When we challenge those biased attitudes and behaviors in ourselves, others and institutions, we can interrupt the escalation of bias and make it more difficult for discrimination and hate to flourish. In this session, you will learn about the Pyramid of Hate and reflect on how you can interrupt bias as well as learn about the resources and materials the ADL has to support you in this effort.

Erica Compere is a mother of three and has served in the field of education for over 30 years.  She is a facilitator of learning and advocate for equity and justice for children, youth and families.  She works to strengthen the power of community through engagement and service learning through a non-profit she founded in 2018.  She has a passion for the creative arts, especially creative writing, using it as a tool to heal, grow and develop leaders to serve in their respective communities.  

What can TaNaKH teach us about neuorodiversity and inclusion?

Instructor Amy Katz

Was Joseph on the autism spectrum? Exactly why was Moshe on Mt. Sinai for so long? Did Esau suffer from impulse control issues due to ADHD? What exactly did it mean that Leah was "weak of eye?" In this session we will examine several texts from TaNaKH through the lens of neourodiversity. We will also consider how reading our sacred texts through this lens might allow us to better serve the needs of all of the learners in our classrooms.What can TaNaKH teach us about neuorodiversity and inclusion?

Amy Katz has been working with students in Jewish settings for over 20 years.

Universal Design for Learning in Jewish Education

Instructor Matthew Cuda

In this session we will focus on the "why" and especially the "how" of inclusion through the lens of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The class will give an overview of some best practices for working with students with special needs in an inclusive classroom and cover the three principles of UDL: Multiple Means of Expression, Multiple Means of Representation, and Multiple Means of Engagement. Through the use of case studies, we will explore what the UDL principles might look like in a classroom. You will leave with an understanding of how you, the teacher, can include students with disabilities in your classroom without providing "special education."

Matthew Cuda is a Para Educator Supervisor/Inclusion Specialist at Congregation Neveh Shalom and has been working as a special education para educator in Portland Public Schools. He is passionate about creating access to the Jewish community through education for students with special needs.

Emergency Preparedness Refresher - Active Threat

Instructor Gene Moss

Refresher training on Active Threat protocols within an education-school setting.

Gene Moss is the Secure Community Network, Regional Security Director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland. He serves as an expert security advisor, liaison and training coordinator. Gene provides direction and oversight for the development, organization, implementation and monitoring of JFGP’s security operations and program, to include providing guidance and strategic direction to ensure the safety and security of all member institutions of the community. Additionally, he serves as a liaison during crisis response and mitigation efforts, assisting local incident commanders and/or serving as an incident commander if requested and/or required. Gene is a retired Enforcement Commander and Police Chief with 28 years of law enforcement experience. He also served in leadership roles on various special operations teams and numerous training capacities.

Purposeful Play & The Art of Deeply Noticing

Instructor Jillian Suzanne

I propose an interactive process that initiates purposeful play and deeply noticing with creative collaboration and meaningful exchanges help guide youth toward self-empowerment. The notion of empowerment is compelling and much employed across many fields and professional practices. My empowerment process builds on fundamentals of creativity along with prior coaching work and is guided by the following principles: articulating empowerment as a connected and recurring progression of exchange, identifying core elements of that process, and defining the process in a way that is useful to both participants and practitioners.

Jillian Suzanne is a Creative Professional and Educator. She holds a Master of Arts from The Rhode Island School of Design (Art + Design Education) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Art Center College of Design. Prior to study at RISD, Jillian has worked in Children’s Book Illustration, Fine Art, Photography, and Creative Project Management within the commercial and film industry.

Incorporating Jewish Values and Learning into Every Part of Your Early Childhood Classroom

Instructor Mimi Wilhelm

In this session I will share ideas on how to incorporate Jewish values and traditions into every area of your classroom. I will give ideas on how to infuse Jewish concepts into your daily activities and curricular goals. Tips, goals and tools will incorporate various learning techniques and theories with an emphasis on activities that encourage higher level thinking and experiential learning.

Mimi Wilhelm is passionate about Jewish Early Childhood Education and giving children the absolute best, which they deserve! She has her Master's Degree in Education and has been teaching preschool and Directing The Gan Preschool for the last 15 years.


Introduction to Positive Discipline

Instructor Steven Foster

In this highly experiential session participants will learn some of the foundational concepts of Positive Discipline, an Adlerian approach to parenting and teaching. By the end of the session, they will learn at least one tool that they will be able to utilize immediately.

Steven Foster is a Certified Positive Discipline Lead Trainer and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He is co-author of both the new Early Childhood Educators manual and Positive Discipline for Children with Special Needs. He has spent over thirty years working in a variety of early childhood settings. Much of this time was on the floor with small children.

Outside-the-box Thinking About the Prayer by Making the Box

Instructor Benjamin Foote

This hands-on session will explore ways to help students (or anyone, really!) develop and articulate their personal theology around the concept of prayer. We will peruse a collection of thought-provoking resources to suggest and challenge ideas about prayer. Finally, we will use the practice of metaphorical making to try our hands at the culminating project: constructing an outside-the-box container to hold our own prayers.

Benjamin Foote is the Middle School Jewish Studies Teacher at Portland Jewish Academy. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in Religious Studies and has been a classroom teacher for over ten years.

Lesson Planning with Social Media

Instructor Duncan Gilman

We all know the "social" part of social media, but you don't have to post daily selfies with your ficus to get a lot out of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. These apps and others are also helpful research and technology tools for developing lesson plans, and they can add a new dimension to classroom and family participation. Come learn how to scour social media for educational gems and how to put them to use.

Duncan Gilman has taught hundreds of social media marketing classes and has consulted for businesses and organizations such as Rotary International and the American Heart Association. In his current role as Digital Media Associate for PJ Library, Duncan focuses on social media customer service, content development, and training community professionals to use online marketing tools.

Learning Hebrew through games 

Instructors Maya Varon, Etti Segal, and Mor Yelvington
After last year's successful session we are back with new games and ideas! Using a combination of games, songs and crafts, you will learn ways to make learning Hebrew fun! You will get lots of tools and ideas as well as examples of games and crafts to transform Hebrew teaching into an exciting experience your elementary students will enjoy and remember!

Maya Varon was born and raised in Hadera, Israel. She earned a B.A. with High Honors in Land of Israel Studies from Haifa University and a Diploma Cum Laude in Jewish Studies from Paideia - The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. Maya has decades of experience in various roles teaching students of all ages, developing and presenting learning material, as well as management in education institutions.

Etti Segal has years of experience in teaching language, from her teaching role in the IDF through numerous organizations where she worked with children of all ages, to her current role teaching Hebrew at Aliyah. When Etti isn't busy helping new Israeli families get acquainted with the Portland area she loves to read, work out and spend time with her family.

Mor Yelvington grew up in Israel in a moshav in the Golan Heights. She was involved in the local youth movement and rose to the position of leader and director of the program. Mor honed her teaching skills as a commander in the IDF and has been teaching Hebrew to children at Aliyah for the past 5 years.

How to help recognize and teach towards different learning styles.

Instructor Sandy Nemer

Teaching towards how students actually learn is critical in the success of achievement. This course will define different learning challenges such as auditory processing, visual memory and dyslexia and address different ways to teach towards them.


Sandy Nemer is a full time reading specialist at Park Academy. She is a parent and student mentor and advocator. Teaching about Dyslexia and other language processing challenges is just one of her passions. Sandy is also passionate about helping teach about the Holocaust. This December she was invited to attend an educator seminar at Yad Vashem in Israel.

Responding to Incidents of Hate: Microaggressions 

Instructor Amanda Solomon

In this session, we'll review the different types of microaggressions, the damage they cause, and discuss different types of frameworks and approaches to respond to them.​

Amanda Solomon in the Manager of Museum and Holocaust Education at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. She leads the Education Department in developing dynamic programs for diverse audiences. She trains docents to engage visitors in conversation style tours and facilitates professional development opportunities for educators that encourage them to draw connections between histories. Amanda helped draft the content for Oregon’s Holocaust and Genocide bill (SB664), and since it’s unanimous passing, works closely with the State Department of Education to prepare educators for its implementation.

The Art of the Coffee Date: Taking Ego Out of the Conversation 

Instructors Hannah Sherman and Chelsea Ferguson

What does your community really want? This session explores the importance of deeply getting to know your community and how to pinpoint the true wants and needs of your unique Jewish population through one-on-one conversations. We will go over how to have a productive interaction, how to know what information you want to glean, and how to make your conversation partner feel heard and valued. Each participant will walk away with a unique set of questions or inquiries to address their specific community in a personal and meaningful way. Every Jewish professional can benefit from knowing their community better, in turn allowing us to better serve our constituents. ​

Hannah Sherman and Chelsea Ferguson are both California transplants loving life in the Pacific Northwest. They are passionate about community building and innovating the way Jewish organizations interact with their communities.

Jews, non-Jews, and our evolving Jewish families & communities
Instructor Rabbi David Kosak

Our communities today are informed by historical events and traditional texts about the place of non-Jews within Jewish communities.  In this session, we will explore the history and texts which shaped earlier understandings, as well as their limitations in understanding today’s Jewish community.  Finally, we will investigate potential paradigm shifts that let us see new ways to respond in our educational and congregational settings.

Rabbi David Kosak is the senior Rabbi at Congregation Neveh Shalom.