Exploring the Intersection of Well-Being and Education

Posted on 02/16/2024 @ 05:00 AM

Tags: Jewish Schools & Educational Services

CAJE is actively exploring the dynamic intersection of education and well-being.


Rabbi Daniel S. Brenner, Vice President of Education at Moving Traditions and Miami’s Scholar in Residence for the first weekend in February as part of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s BeWell Miami initiative, recently led an engaging program tailored for professionals in CAJE’s networks.


Entitled “Wellbeing and Jewish Identity - How Adults Can Support Teens Through Turbulent Times,” this collaborative workshop between BeWell Miami and CAJE (Center for the Advancement for Jewish Education) reflects a steadfast commitment to fostering wellbeing, particularly for our teens who are under so much stress.


CAJE actively promoted this workshop to its many networks, like our Day School Mental Health Network led by Audrey Bensoussan, Youth Professional Network guided by Carly Orshan, and Congregational Educator Network led by Yehudis Smith.


CAJE recognizes how important it is for learning environments to encourage the social and emotional well-being of learners.


Inspired by insights from Dr. Lisa Miller’s research, which highlights heightened mental health issues among affluent youth, Rabbi Brenner noted they are often in transactional relationships with parents— get good grades and we will reward you, get into a good college or you’ll be a failure.


The workshop discussion promoted a shift in terminology, moving away from the stigmatized connotations of “mental health” towards a more holistic concept – “well-being.” This reframing encourages a comprehensive approach that acknowledges the interconnectedness of mind and body.


A recurring theme throughout the program was the paramount importance of spending quality time and being present with teens.


Rabbi Brenner offered practical suggestions to parents, such as bonding over a “silly” TV show to foster a sense of connection. This seemingly straightforward, yet impactful activity, not only cultivates presence but also fortifies the bonds between parents and teens.


In addition, the program utilized movement activities, providing professionals with a practical way to ground themselves in a framework of care and love.

As the session unfolded, participants collectively addressed the challenges they observed in teens and young adults, engaging in a thought-provoking exercise centered around questions such as “I am observing…”, “I am concerned…”, and “I wonder if we need to...” in order to brainstorm effective support strategies for Jewish teens and young adults.


The conversation around well-being will continue at our Miami community’s BeWell Youth Mental Health Summit with the Wellness Institute on March 3rd from 11am-3pm.


For more information regarding the summit, including registration, please visit: BeWell Together, Uniting The South Florida Jewish Community for Our Youth’s Mental Wellbeing.

Introducing the Youth Mental Health Summit in partnership with The Wellness Institute, Be Well Together | Sunday, March 3rd, 2024 from 10:30am-3:30 pm at Jewish Leadership Academy.


We are very excited for an inspiring and educational half-day Summit filled with incredible speakers and experts in the field of mental health. We will be featuring tracks for parents/community members (with topics relevant to children of all ages, not just teens), professionals, and teens/young adults. Register at http://go.wellnessinstitute.org/miami