Search

Slide Show as Shaliach Tzibbur

♦ by Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle, Bellevue, Washington

The Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle wanted to create a flowing, seemless minyan that still allowed for real time, kavannah-building moments. From past experiences, we knew that our most powerful minyan moments occurred when the professional staff consciously stepped back and students were able to create a minyan experience that felt autonomous. At the same time, our staff saw the value in helping to craft and direct the minyan narrative.

Our initial experimentation with PowerPoint technology has provided some interesting solutions. During Monday minyan, our students are guided via slide show from prayer to prayer. This slide show also introduces each prayer with a short kavannah and designates a specific student reader to share this brief thought with fellow students. The kavannot themselves are either prayer-specific or they connect with the other kavannot of the day in order to explore or promote a particular message, theme or tefillah-related idea.

Although we are still in the early stages of experimentation, JDS staff have found that the PowerPoint sprinkles thoughtful student voices throughout the service without sacrificing smooth tefillah transitions and creates a “kavannah-to-tefillah dialogue” that simultaneously drives the service forward and deeper. By assigning various kavannot readers, there is the added benefit of increased student participation without requiring minyan staff to vocally “break the tefillah bubble.” Our goal is for students to sign up for future minyanim in which their own personally developed kavannot are displayed and used to direct the flow and open the minds of our Monday morning daveners. ♦

Marc Leventhal
RAVSAK has  been instrumental in raising the profile, awareness and academic level of Talmud study at our school.”
Marc Leventhal, Judaic Teacher/Moot Beit Din Advisor
TheWeber School

News

Dr. Marc Kramer and fellow leaders have been awarded an alumni collaboration grant from The Wexner Foundation to research the learning needs of special needs students in North American Jewish day schools.[More]
Articles and resources for helping students understand and contextualize the recent Israeli conflict.[More]
RAVSAK Executive Director Dr. Marc N. Kramer is quoted in this piece from the Baltimore Jewish Times on the varied responses by Jewish day schools to the Common Core standards.[More]
Students from seventeen Jewish day schools across North America used their creativity, knowledge of Hebrew and passion for Judaism to create original works of poetry for RAVSAK’s annual Hebrew Poetry Contest.[More]

Membership

Members of RAVSAK enjoy many benefits which support the overall work of the school and the professionals who lead them. Find out more about membership benefits and how your school can become a member.

Use our interactive map of member schools to find a Jewish Day School near you.

In addition to serving Jewish community day schools across North America, RAVSAK has a special category of membership for Jewish and educational organizations, consultants and companies which share our vision of excellence in Jewish day school education.