July 2020 -- Tammuz-Av 5780,  Volume 26, Issue 7

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Non Profit Learning Platform Available for Fall Classes

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the world’s students and teachers into online virtual classrooms, many Hebrew schools were left unprepared to make the transition. Education technology non-profit, ShalomLearning has been stepping up to the challenge by providing nearly all of its popular and well-regarded learning resources for free, ensuring that all children are able to maintain their connection to Jewish values at this trying time. Some synagogues are using the learning platform for summer programs.  Locally, The Hebrew Congregation of Somers and Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester in Rye, have been using the program. Congregation Emanu El has signed up again for fall classes.

 

 As Jewish day schools, congregational religious schools and synagogues grapple with school closures, many have been looking for turnkey Jewish education resources specifically designed for virtual classrooms. ShalomLearning’s platform fits that need. Launched in 2011 with the goal of supporting and improving upon an often-overlooked but critically-important corner of the Jewish world, its curricula has been used successfully to both replace and augment the physical classroom.  Interest in ShalomLearning has been rising at a steady pace over the past five years, but it has skyrocketed in the past months.

 

Since March 9th, an additional 210 teachers began using the platform, while the number of students enrolled grew by 2,000 to 7,800 at 154 congregations across North America.  The non-profit provided free access to its values-based lessons designed for the virtual classroom through June.

 

“Our number one priority is assuring that Jewish children have the opportunity to learn Jewish values, which are critical to leading a meaningful life,” said Josh Troderman, ShalomLearning’s CEO. “Like many small non-profits, we struggle with limited funds, but so do many synagogues. We decided that giving our products away for free right now is the right thing to do as we all work through this situation together.”

 

ShalomLearning also trains educators to ensure they feel equipped to teach the curriculum. It has given several free webinars over the past weeks, with hundreds of Jewish educators in attendance. “Whatever we can do to help people who are new to educational technology like ours, we will do,” Troderman added. “The Jewish people become stronger when we all support one another. I learned that in Hebrew school.”

 

ShalomLearning was founded in 2011 to fill the need for an innovative, relevant and accessible religious school program that keeps children engaged. ShalomLearning offers online, in-person and blended learning programs for supplementary Jewish education for pre-K through 7th grades and provides professional development opportunities for educators. Curriculum offerings include values-based Judaics classes, Hebrew programs, and more. For more information, visit

https://www.shalomlearning.org