Jewish Education Momentum

An educational journey planned by Momentum and the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge in collaboration with The Pincus Fund for Jewish Education

Pincus Fund


JULY 13-22, 2020


Ruchi Koval

Ruchi Koval mentors Jewish educators around the world and has been a Momentum Trip Leader since 2017. She has been teaching Torah and Mussar to high school students and adults since 2000. Ruchi is the author of Conversations with God: prayers for Jewish women. Her second book is scheduled to be published this year. Ruchi will serve as the Trip Leader for Jewish Education Momentum.


Lori Palatnik

Lori Palatnik is a world-renowned Jewish educator, speaker, writer, and media personality. She is the author of four books, Friday Night and Beyond, Gossip, Remember My Soul, and Turn Your Husband Into Your Soul Mate. She is the host of a popular video blog and is a frequent guest on television and radio programs. Lori is the mother of five children and one grandchild, who was born in Jerusalem. Jewish Women International named Lori as one of “Ten Women to Watch” and Hadassah called Lori, “One of the Great American Jewish Women of our Time."


Sharon Freundel

Sharon Freundel, managing director of the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge, attended Jewish Day Schools followed by studying at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University and earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland. She completed graduate courses at Teacher’s College of Columbia University and earned a Master of Arts in Jewish Education at the Baltimore Hebrew University. Following several years of working in the nursing field, Ms. Freundel became engaged in the teaching of Torah. She taught and was the department chair for TaNaKH (Bible) and Torah SheBa’al Peh (Rabbinics) and was the Mashgicha Ruchanit (Spiritual Guidance Counselor) of the Upper School at the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy. Most recently, she was the Director of Jewish Life at the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital. Sharon will join the trip and will coordinate the year-long program post-trip for Jewish Education Momentum.


Ronit Ziv-Kreger

Ronit serves as Momentum’s Director of Education and Leadership Development since 2016. Ronit is the founding designer and trainer of Hebrew College’s project-based learning (PBL) professional development program, where she led year-long PBL training for educators in over 20 schools. She served as a founding learning and design consultant for The Binah School, the first Jewish Day School with a PBL focus. Ronit has served as staff for a range of innovative adult learning initiatives, including The Mussar Kallah, Open Circle, Me’ah, Parenting from a Jewish Lens, and Adamah. She is a graduate of the Pardes Jewish Educators Program and holds a Ph.D. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Ronit is a parent of three; she and her husband live in the Boston area.
Ronit will join the trip and lead the PBL workshops in Israel for Jewish Education Momentum.


Tikvah Wiener

Tikvah Wiener is Head of School of The Idea School, the only fully project-based learning (PBL) Jewish high school in America, located at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, NJ. She is co-Founder and Director of The Idea Institute, which helps Jewish schools implement PBL and creative and innovative educational models. Since 2014, The Idea Institute has trained over 1,300 educators. Tikvah was an Upstart Fellow and, in 2016-17, was part of JEIC’s HaKaveret Design Team. Be sure to check out her ELI Talk on why we need passion-based learning in Jewish education.
Tikvah will facilitate the PBL learning and community of practice post-trip for Jewish Education Momentum.


Aryeh Ben David

Aryeh Ben David was born in the US and moved to Israel in 1978. Aryeh received Rabbinical Ordination from the Israeli Rabbinate. Author of Around the Shabbat Table – A Guide to Fulfilling and Meaningful Shabbat Table Conversations, The Godfile – 10 Approaches to Personalizing Prayer, Becoming a Soulful Educator, The Ayeka Haggadah, most recently – Prayers of the Lost & Found. After teaching at the Pardes Institute for 20 years, Aryeh founded Ayeka: Center for Soulful Jewish Education – whose mission is enable Jews to bring Jewish wisdom from our minds to our hearts, to our souls and into our lives. Ayeka has recently developed new tracks of Jewish Spiritual Wellness and Becoming a Soulful Family.
Aryeh will lead the Soulful Education workshops in Israel for Jewish Education Momentum.


Michal Smart

Michal Fox Smart is Director of Ayeka North America and a recognized leader in curriculum design and soulful pedagogy. She is a former Associate Principal of Bi-Cultural Day School and Editor of Kaddish: Women’s Voices, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. Earlier, Michal pioneered Jewish outdoor and environmental education in this country. A Fulbright scholar in Jewish Thought, Michal received her A.B. from Princeton and an M.S. from Cornell as a Wexner Graduate Fellow.
Michal will facilitate the Soulful Education learning and community of practice post-trip for Jewish Education Momentum.


Zvi Hirschfield

Zvi teaches Talmud, Halakha and Jewish Thought at Pardes. In addition, Zvi is a faculty member of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators and has been training and mentoring Jewish Educators for over ten years in Tefilah in educational settings, critical issues in modern Jewish thought, and Israel education.
Zvi holds a B.A. in History from Columbia University and did graduate work at Harvard University in Medieval and Modern Jewish Thought. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel and has rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He was the director of Judaica at the JCC of Cleveland and an instructor at the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies for many years. He also serves as a curriculum writer and is involved in staff training for the Nesiya Institute.
Zvi will facilitate the Meaningful Tefilah learning and community of practice post-trip for Jewish Education Momentum.


Aviva Lauer Golbert

Aviva Lauer Golbert is the Director of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators. She majored in Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women, and earned a Masters degree in Midrash at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. Aviva is a Jewish educator with over 20 years of experience in curriculum development, classroom teaching, school administration and educational consulting. Upon making Aliyah in 1996, Aviva developed formal and informal educational materials for Melitz and at the Leo Baeck Education Center, where she also gained experience in teaching pluralistic Judaism. She then served as the head of the department of Jewish Studies at Immanuel College, London. Aviva has worked at the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators since 2009, as teaching coach, director of recruitment, director of the Summer Curriculum Workshop, and Assistant Director of PCJE before taking on her current role in 2017.
Avivah with Zvi will lead Meaningful Tefilah workshops in Israel for Jewish Education Momentum.

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– Women educators teaching in grades 3-11 with fluency in English – oral and written
– Demonstrated capacity to be a school influencer/change agent; strong and effective
communicator with colleagues and parents
– Motivated to study and adopt a new pedagogy and implement it in the classroom
– Motivated to set goals, work to meet them, and adjust course based on data-progress indicators along the way
– Motivated to actively participate in a global professional community of educators, to learn
from and teach colleagues
– Has downloaded Slack and is ready to use the platform for the professional community of educators
– Well-developed collaboration skills and an interest in undertaking a collaborative project
with educators in other regions
– Preference for educators who are parenting Jewish children with one or more children
under age 18

Commitment to take part in a total of 7 webinars and one end-of-program online celebration:

– Three webinars pre-trip to connect with the group and prepare for the journey
Thursday, April 23, 2020, 1:00 PM EST
Sunday, May 31, 2020, 9:00 AM EST
June TBD

– 1 full group webinar post-trip [TBD]
– 3 webinars post-trip on implementing the pedagogy they selected
– 1 post-one-year online celebration marking the end of the program – Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 1:00 PM EST


MARCH 1ST, 2020
Educators confirmed
MARCH 31ST, 2020
Registration Closes
Educators participate in three online pre-trip sessions, goalsetting a session with the head of school, selection of pedagogical focus, and benchmark surveys
JULY 13-20, 2020
Israel experience: Momentum Journey
JULY 21-22, 2020
Israel experience continues: Educational Workshops
Hotels: Apolonia Park and Gogia PD center
August 2020
Head of School and Educator surveys
Parent and student surveys
Head of School and Educator surveys
SEPTEMBER 2020- MAY 2021
Monthly webinars and online global professional community with pedagogical support
Host a local Momentum group or a joint community event
MAY 2021
Complete final program surveys: parents, students, Head of School, and educators


– Educators learn a new pedagogy and put it into practice in their classrooms.
They engage students with pedagogy in ways that show a measurable impact on students.
– Educators set and meet goals to serve as school change agents.
– Educators strengthen home and school connections by collaborating with parents to underscore similar Jewish values.
– Educators demonstrate personal growth in an area of Jewish spirituality of their choosing (e.g., Torah learning, acts of chesed for students and parents, spiritual practice)
– Educators take part regularly in a global learning network of professional peers – sharing student work and giving and receiving input.
– Educators help organize and host a local community gathering together with local Momentum participants if the city has a Momentum partner.


Choose your Journey

For Jewish mothers with children under the age of 18

FREE (excl. airfare)

Each woman gets a $3,300 scholarship

Partner Organization contributes $700 per woman

The Israeli Government contributes $700 per woman

To participate in the Momentum Year-Long Journey, women must live in close proximity to a Partner Organization. See our partners list here. Please notify your Community Leader with any updates to your application


Mainly for the husbands of Momentum sisters

$900 for Momentum husbands

Each man get a scholarship of $2,100-$2,400

Partner Organization contributes $700 per man

The Israeli Government does not contribute to the Men’s Trips

To participate, men must live in close proximity to a Partner Organization. See our partners list here. Please notify your Community Leader with any updates to your application