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November 07, 2003 - Image 35

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-11-07

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When •

From the pages of the Jewish News
from this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 years ago.

Jewish Adrenalin

Fran Pearlman leads North America's largest association
of:Jewish religious school educators.



this all alone."

ran Pearlman, education
director at Temple Israel,
went to her first CAJE
(Conference for
Alternatives in Jewish Education)
conference in 1981.
In 1982, she was elected to the
board of the sponsoring organiza-
tion, the Coalition for the
Advancement of Jewish Education,
the premier membership organiza-
tion of Jewish educators in North
America. This year, she begins a
three-year term as president of the
organization, whose membership
numbers more than 4,000.
A CAJE vice president last year,
she organized the group's 2000 con-
ference, held at Hofstra University
in Hempstead, N.Y. The 2003 con-
ference brought CAJE members
from 42 states and nine countries to
Ohio State University in Columbus
for four days of education, method-
ology and networking.
"CAJE [the conference] is the
ultimate teaching and learning
opportunity for educators from all
walks of Jewish life," Pearlman says.
"It is like a shot of Jewish adrenalin
for Jewish teachers, parents or youth
workers, coming just before the
start of a new year."
In addition to the annual confer-
ence, CAJE (the organization)
makes a wide range of educational
materials readily accessible through-
out the year, both on-line and in
"Our goal is, in the broadest pos-
sible sense, advancing Jewish educa-
tion, acting as an advocate for
Jewish education," she says.
"We study everything from con-
tent to strategies. We look at what's
new in secular education and work
on how we can apply it."

"I always wanted to be a teacher,"
says Pearlman, whose job at Temple
Israel in West Bloomfield gives her
plenty of opportunity to indulge
this passion.
In addition to running the 1,600-
student school — the largest in the
Detroit metropolitan area — she
also runs a book club, leads sister-
hood Torah study and teaches the .
Temple's adult bar-bat mitzvah
Last year, she led a workshop at
the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit's Women's
Day of Learning on "Making a
Plan: My Jewish Life in 2010," and,
in February, she taught a weekly
class titled "Lashon: The Art of
Jewish Communication," for metro
Detroit's 2003 SAJE (Seminars for
Adult Jewish Enrichment) series.
Pearlman grew up in Chicago,
earned a B.S. and teaching certifica-
tion in Hebrew from University of
Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. in
Jewish Education-Administration
from Spertus College of Judaica in
Before moving to Michigan 11
years ago, she taught Hebrew at a
public high school for six years as
well as teaching at supplementary
She has a daughter and two sons,
and is "proud savta (grandmother)
of Shoshana Ellie Bidner."
"Fran is a mentor to all the Jewish
educators here in town," said Karen
Knoppow, educational director at
Troy's Congregation Shir Tikvah. "I
value her opinion, and I know we
all do."
Despite her years of experience,
Pearlman never stops learning. "I
study Hebrew with Nira Lev every
Wednesday morning," she says. ❑

Teacher and Student

CAJE's Fran Pearlman

The organization is surveying its
members to find information on
benefits, salaries, who the Jewish
educators are and "where the holes
are" in CAJE services.
"We're also trying to determine
what kinds of institutions exist and
questions like 'how many communi-
ty schools are there that serve more
than one religious institution and
how well are they working,"'
Pearlman says.
In June, CAJE will sponsor its
second conference for teachers in
Jewish preschools.
The organization also works with
Histadrut HaMorim, which provides
similar services to Israeli teachers,
hosting a contingent of Israeli
teachers at the annual CAJE confer-
ence. The New York-based CAJE
recently applied for a grant to fund
joint projects with Israeli schools, to
combat the isolation caused by the
reduction in school trips to Israel.
Pearlman says her passion for
CAJE stems both from the group's
practical aspects and from the sense
it gives its members that "I'm not in

The Richard C. Hertz Institute on
Reform Judaism at Temple Beth El
in Bloomfield Township presents
Dr. Alfred Gottschalk speaking on
"Reform Judaism — Our Past,
Present and Future."

A. Alfred Taubman, who owns the
Michigan Panthers football team,
was named sports "Man of the
Year" by the United Foundation
Torch Drive.

Israeli officials announce 1,854
Israeli soldiers have died thus far in
the Yom Kippur War.
Israel is urgently appealing to
synagogues in the United States
and Canada for Torahs and tefillin,
mainly for army use.


Rabbi Moses Lehrman of
Congregation B'nai Moshe in
Detroit is elected president of the
Michigan Region, Zionist
Organization of America.
President John F. Kennedy will
speak at the 18th annual dinner of
Israel's Weismann Institute of
Science in New York City.

Two youth groups are formed at
Ahavas Achim Synagogue in
Detroit, under the leadership of
Mrs. Sam Terman and Rabbi and
Mrs. Jacob Chinitz.

Detroit architect Louis G. Redstone
is elected president of the Detroit
chapter of the American Society for
the Advancement of the Hebrew
Institute of Technology of Haifa.
The Neugarten Medical Aid
Society will sponsor its 10th annual
donor event at Detroit's Book
Cadillac Hotel.
Congregation B'nai Israel of
Pontiac celebrates its 10th anniver-

-- Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth. El

11/ 7


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