The AVI CHAI Foundation has been pleased to partner with the Kohelet and Mayberg Foundations during the last year to fund the Ayeka Soulful Education Program in Jewish Day Schools.
Ayeka asks: How can the learning of Jewish knowledge become more than the acquisition of content and information but also affect students’ hearts, souls, and lives? In other words, how can Jewish learning be made not only intellectually challenging and profound, but also personally relevant, meaningful, and even transformative?
Ayeka’s Soulful Education approach teaches faculty a system, replete with educational language and techniques, which will enable teachers to bring the subject matter they are presently teaching into the hearts and lives of their students. Ayeka wants to imbue the content of Jewish learning with ‘heartfelt’ and personalizing elements, to connect students with the power and wisdom of Jewish learning.
As one head of school wrote: “ Ayeka gave us the tools for better learning in class. Faculty and students see the humanity in one another much more frequently.”
Perhaps Ayeka’s greatest impact is in giving staff members a shared term with which to refer to the emotional/spiritual elements of education. As one leader put it, the training “opened up a way of thinking that the teachers knew but didn’t have the language to express. Ayeka has become a shorthand for going beyond content learning alone.”
We are thrilled that Ayeka is now embarking on an approach to creating soulful communities. To learn more about this approach, read this recent post in eJewishPhilanthropy by David Kahn, Chairman of the Board of Ayeka, “Creating Soulful Communities.”