Port Jewish Center Has New School Director



Port Jewish Center’s new religious school director, Lauren Chizner, comes to PJC with a wealth of experience in Jewish education.

She is the Director of Education at the Union for Reform Judaism Camp Crane Lake, a position she has held for three years. From September 2003 to June 2012, Lauren was an educational consultant with SAJES, now known as the Jewish Education Project, where she consulted with congregations on curriculum development and led professional learning sessions for religious school teachers.

She also has served as a religious school teacher and a director of education at Reform congregations on the North Shore of Long Island. Lauren is 1993 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, and received a joint master’s degree in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from the Hebrew Union College –- Jewish Institute of Religion in 1997.

She is a board member of the National Association of Temple Educators and has co-chaired the annual Teachers Conference for the Long Island chapter twice.

Lauren’s husband, Todd Chizner, is the head Rabbi at Temple Judea in Manhasset.

Under Lauren’s direction, Port Jewish Center has completely redesigned its Religious School curriculum to offer a mix of learning in the classroom, through technology, at home and in the community.

According to Lauren, “PJC’s religious school will focus on building community, Jewish identity, Jewish values and Hebrew language skills in a new, innovative format that promises to engage our children in a variety of learning experiences. I look forward to leading this transformation.”

The new religious school curriculum features three main components. Children will attend class one day per week, where they will learn Judaica and Hebrew with others in their age group and will gather as a school-wide community to learn Jewish prayer and values. In school learning will be supplemented with an online component, the Behrman House Online Learning Center, that will serve as a fun and highly motivating way to reinforce Hebrew and prayer skills via animated exercises and computer games.

Additionally, on the theory that, in order to fully understand and appreciate all aspects of Jewish life, one must experience it, PJC will encourage its Religious School students to experience and live Jewishly.

Rabbi Reimer notes “PJC’s religious school has always prided itself on its ability to be nurturing and flexible. Under Lauren’s leadership, it will now add innovative to its list of strengths.”

Port Jewish Center will host a religious school open house on September 30, 2013 from 4:15–6:15 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

For more information, check its website at www.portjewishcenter.org, email at info@portjewishcenter.org or call 516-944-7202. Port Jewish Center is located at 20 Manorhaven Blvd, Port Washington.