ISJL Education Conference goes virtual this year

Every June, representatives from congregations in 13 states convene in Jackson for the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life’s annual education conference.

Due to coronavirus, not this year.

Instead, the conference, which is a requirement for the synagogues that use the ISJL’s standardized curriculum, will be on Zoom for one day, not the usual three, and is open to anyone in the region.

There is no limit to the number of people from a community who can attend the June 28 event. While the conferences have been open to teachers, clergy, parents, board members and others, only rarely has one congregation sent more than a couple of representatives. This year is an opportunity for everyone to attend.

There is no fee for the conference, but there is a suggested donation of at least $50 to help cover costs. Registered participants will be sent Zoom links for the day, along with a packet of reference materials and a request to select a minyan and breakout session.

Sessions begin with a keynote at 9:30 a.m. The Study Hall at 11:30 a.m. includes three options on fitting the ISJL curriculum to local needs, learning what ISJL offers outside the curriculum, and best practices for engaging online learners. At 2 p.m. there is a program on safety, respect and equity in the Jewish community.

The experimental minyanim will be at 3:30 p.m., with Yogaleilu, prayer through joyful movement; Tea and Torah, finding comfort in Torah; and Birchot HaSecular, finding sacred meaning in secular texts. There will be an entertainment session at 6 p.m.

Registration is available here.