It’s Not Goodbye, It’s L’Hitra’ot!

Posted on 06/09/2023 @ 05:00 AM

Tags: Jewish Schools & Educational Services

Celebrating Joy together! L-R: Rabbi Efrat Zarren-Zohar, CAJE's Executive Director, Joy Schandler, Director of Early Childhood & Congregational Education, Claudine Ackerman, IsraelNow Coordinator, and Ashley Schulman, Diller Teen Fellows Coordinator.

This week we held a retirement -- from full-time work -- party for our beloved colleague, Joy Schandler, CAJE’s Director of Early Childhood and Congregational Education for the past 8 years.
Joy received her Master’s degree in Jewish Education from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
After working for several years as a Jewish educator in New York City, she received a fellowship from JESNA, the Jewish Education Service of North America, to work here at CAJE.
After a few years, Joy yearned to work more closely with children, families and teachers, so she left CAJE to become the first professional director of the religious school at Temple Beth Am in Margate and later became the Director of Congregational Education at Bet Shira Congregation for 11 years and Temple Beth Am for 13 years.
Joy’s work has impacted over 10,000 students, if not more, and at least 200 teachers throughout the years—an incredible legacy!
If you know Joy, you know that Joy isn’t just an educator by profession; she’s an educator in her kishkes. She thinks it, acts it, breathes it! It’s the way she views the world.
And thank G!D for that because our community has been blessed with her dedication, passion and creativity as a result.
Which is why I have good news...
First, Joy is just retiring from full-time work. We asked Joy to stay on this upcoming year at CAJE as a part-time consultant to accomplish two important missions.
First, we want to ensure that the strides made by the Jewish Resource Specialists (JRS) and their schools—Beth Torah Benny Rok CampusBeth Sholom’s Innovative SchoolTemple Judea and the Alper JCC— will continue.
So Joy will be meeting with the JRS’s monthly in the upcoming school year and helping our ECE’s become experts at parent and family engagement.
The second important mission that Joy will have next year is to onboard her successor, Yehudis Smith, who we will tell you more about in a future article.
As the Executive Director of CAJE, I have to admit that I created this idea of part-time consulting for Joy, not just because it’s the right thing to do educationally, but also because I’m not ready to say goodbye to Joy professionally.
She’s a precious, beautiful soul. And for those blessed to get to know her well, she teaches you a lot just by being the person she is.
I know that I have become a much better educator and leader at CAJE because of Joy, and I have enormous respect for her abilities and her very being.
We wish Joy well on a life with a little bit less “full-time” stress and look forward to seeing her as she consults in the community…

L’Hitra’ot / See you soon, Joy, and thank you for all you’ve done for Jewish education!