The Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in Beachwood and the Gross Schechter Day School in Pepper Pike are implementing courses offered by Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy – an online Jewish school for middle and high school students – to connect middle school students to Jewish learning beyond the classroom walls.

The Lippman School in Akron is piloting the program.

With the Jewish academy, these schools are differentiating and individualizing instruction and offering an expanded Judaic studies course catalog.

The Jewish academy, a project of the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, was named one of North America’s top 50 innovative Jewish organizations in the 11th annual Slingshot Guide.

“One of our students has recently been enrolled in a Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy online Tanach course, and I have been very impressed,” said Rabbi Ben Shlimovitz, coordinator of Jewish living at Gross Schechter, in a press release. “They have put together a very engaging and interactive curriculum.”

Leah Spector, principal and Judaics and Hebrew department head at Mandel JDS, said the school chose to work with the Jewish academy because of “the quality of Bible education and the flexibility to work with individual students.”

“The idea of working with teachers from Israel fits perfectly with the Zionist mission of our school,” Spector said in the release.

The online curriculum is designed to support both community and Orthodox schools, as well as the multiple academic levels of students.

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