Today, more than ever, we need to think about our students’ emotional well being. And our own, as well.

According to Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), “Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” Jewish educators integrate SEL in various ways including teaching Jewish values and the use of Middot, or character building.

In this supportive and engaging four part series, Nancy Parkes will take us deeper into the process of  developing our own social and emotional skills and those of our learners. We will leave with essential skills that can be integrated into any curricula, without compromising the teaching of Jewish content knowledge.

In this series we will:

  • Engage with the language, tools, and practices of Social Emotional Learning.
  • Explore how Social Emotional Learning is a Jewish concept and can enhance the experience of learners, whether in a virtual or physical space.
  • Make connections between our own Social Emotional Learning skillset and the process of developing it in our students.
  • Reflect on the value and importance of including Social Emotional Learning as a framework for our work with students and families.

Using relevant, evidence based research, Nancy Parkes will provide an overview of SEL in Jewish Education and provide us with tools that can be utilized both by the educator and the students to deepen the educational process. Sessions will also include a focus on “Transformative SEL,” or SEL that addresses issues such as racism, social justice, and gender equality.

The four sessions will be modular – come for one or all.

This series is designed for educators in all settings, including those doing family engagement work, those who teach in Early Childhood Education, B’nai Mitzvah programs, JCCs, camps, day schools, and other teaching and learning environments.

Speaker Bio

Nancy Parkes is an educational consultant and founder of JTeachNOW. Her current focus is in helping Jewish educators and directors bring social emotional and spiritual learning to their settings. Several of her articles on the topic have appeared in eJewishphilanthry and she is currently working on an SESL toolkit for Jewish educators. For the past two years, Nancy has worked with educators enrolled in a certification program in Social Emotional Learning at Rutgers University as they translate their learning into their Jewish educational settings. Nancy also continues to work with schools, organizations, and educators as they embark on, or are in the process of, change as they redefine Jewish education for the 21st century. Nancy gave an ELI talk on this topic in 2015. For the past two years, Nancy has worked with the Matan organization helping leaders of schools and organizations bring inclusion into their settings, and taught Jewish Leadership at JTS. Nancy served as the Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Israel Center in White Plains for ten years, creating a new model of education that included full time community educators. She has become an outspoken advocate for synagogue schools and for the partnership between Rabbis and educators in bringing about innovation and change in this setting. Nancy received her M.A. degree in Jewish Studies and Education in the William Davidson School of Education at JTS and is currently earning her Ed.D there.

Date and Location

The series will be held on Zoom. The four sessions will be taught over two days. Each day will have a morning session (10-11:30am) and afternoon session (1-2:30pm). You are welcome to register for one or more of the four sessions. We are offering a package for the entire series. Please direct questions to

Monday, October 19, 10:00 – 11:30am Pacific: What and Why of SEL in Jewish Education
Monday, October 19, 1:00 – 2:30pm Pacific: SEL Strategies for YOU (getting through the day!)
Tuesday, October 20, 10:00 – 11:30am Pacific: SEL in Action/Building a Toolkit part 1
Tuesday, October 20, 1:00 – 2:30pm Pacific: SEL in Action/Building a Toolkit part 2

Cost and Registration Close Date

Full Session Pass: $100
Monday AM: What and Why of SEL in Jewish Education $27
Monday PM: SEL Strategies for YOU (getting through the day!) $27
Tuesday AM: SEL in Action-Building a Toolkit part 1 $27
Tuesday PM: SEL in Action-Building a Toolkit part 2 $27

Registration will close when sessions are full or October 12, 2020.

Click here to register.

All trainings at Jewish LearningWorks are subsidized by our generous donors. To arrange a further cost adjustment, please email