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HALB and Tiferet merge to benefit Jewish education
By Malka Eisenberg

An esteemed and influential force in Jewish education will be uniting with a new and different idea of learning this coming school year.

The goal of modernizing Jewish education to increase learning and decrease costs galvanized a group of Five Towns parents to form Tiferet Academy. It was to start with grades K and 1 under a plan known as blended learning. Beginning in the fall of 2013, the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB) will be absorbing Tiferet Academy into its student body, incorporating its principles of blended learning into the curriculum of HALB’s 1700-student campuses.

Tiferet Academy’s founding was heralded in early Fall 2012 as a lower tuition school that would provide a typical class with varied learning opportunities, dividing the class into three groups, rotating through three different modes of instruction. One group would be led by a teacher, another group would work on activities supervised by an assistant and a third group would be involved in online instruction. This method was found to increase the students’ abilities and growth in learning.

“Tiferet decided that instead of opening as an independent school they would change or improve HALB instead,” explained Jeff Kiderman, the Executive Director of the Affordable Jewish Education Project (AJE). “When HALB and Tiferet decided to merge we supported them and we are now supporting the integrated program in HALB, to try to adopt blended learning techniques as an affordability tool.”

AJE was founded at the end of 2011, noted Kiderman. The organization started with Mark Nordlicht, AJE’s lay leader. “The goal of AJE is high quality affordable Jewish education available to every Jewish child,” Kiderman said. They are attempting to customize the curriculum for each child, targeting each child’s individual needs and yet save on costs with this method.

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