Jeffrey Schein is a Reconstructionist Rabbi (1977) who focuses on Jewish education. Since earning his Ed.D. in Curriculum from Temple University (1980), he has guided more than one hundred students pursuing their Masters in Jewish Education at Siegal College in Cleveland. As a hands-on educator, he worked as the national education director for the Jewish Reconstructionist movement (1985 – 2005), developing the movement’s curricular and camp structures. He continues to contribute to this endeavor as the Senior Education Consultant for The Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood.
Jeffrey is also the founding Rabbi of Kol HaLev, Cleveland’s Reconstructionist Jewish Community. He was the first non-pulpit Rabbi to receive the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College’s Ira Eisenstein Award for Community Service. He and his wife, Deborah, an early childhood educator and educational development consultant, are the proud parents of Ben, Jonah, and Hana. Together, he and Deborah create educational programs for parenting, professional development, and early childhood Jewish education, including “The 100 Languages of Children Meet the 70 Faces of Torah”, designed to create frameworks for learning across the Jewish life cycle. More about Jeffrey and Deborah’s educational programming can be found at GrowingWonder.com
Jeffrey’s interest in “amphibious Jewish learning” relates to his deep commitment to empowering parents to serve as the first educators of their children. Establishing patterns of Jewish family living that are as natural as “swimming in water” accounts for much of his work as a family educator. Jeffrey greatest current passion is related to Judaism and technology; he believes that it is critical for people to pull out of the digital waters that constantly envelop us, and do the mammalian work of using Jewish values to filter and filtrate our digital lives. Jeffrey’s project, Text Me: Ancient Jewish Wisdom Meets Contemporary Technology, a joint endeavor of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland and The Covenant Foundation, helps uncover a deeper understanding of freedom in the digital age. More on Jeffrey’s work in this arena can be found on the Kaplan Center website, including at kaplancenter.org/education-corner.
Beyond the Reconstructionist community, Jeffrey has served in leadership positions for the Coalition for Alternatives in Jewish Education (CAJE) and the Association for Institutions of Higher Jewish Learning of North America. He is the author or co-author of numerous books including Growing Together: Resources, Programs and Experiences for Jewish Family Education (ARE/Behrman House), and most recently Kol Ha-No’ar: The Voice of Children, a prayer book for young children and their families (Jewish Reconstructionist Federation).