You are here

Creating Transformative Learning Experiences

Creating Transformative Learning Experiences

2019 Adult Jewish Learning Resource Conference

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm


Are you a program planner or educator who designs, implements, or presents Jewish educational programs for adults? This educational opportunity is for you.

Learn program design and educational strategy from today’s leading voices. Network with colleagues from across the region. Walk away with inspirational new tools to advance lifelong Jewish learning.

No charge to participate. Reservations are required. Reserve your spot below. 

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. John M. Dirkx, author of a forthcoming book on the transformative dimensions of learning.

A lunchtime talk on informal and experiential education will be presented by Dr. Barry Chazan, Founding Director of Spertus Institute’s MA in Jewish Professional Studies Program and Founding International Director of Education of Birthright Israel. DePaul University School of New Learning Professor Dr. Catherine Marienau will speak about transformative learning and the adult brain.

Breakout sessions and hands-on workshops will share methods for applying theory to practice.

Presented by the Chicago Adult Jewish Learning Initiative, spearheaded by Spertus Institute with funding from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.


Seminar Schedule

9:00-9:45 am — Registration and Networking

9:45-10:45 am — Opening Keynote | Presented by Dr. John Dirkx

Romancing the Shadow: The Role of Emotion-Laden
Experiences in Transformational Learning

John Dirkx is Professor and Mildred B. Erickson Distinguished Chair (Emeritus) in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University, and Director of the College of Education’s online Masters of Arts in Education program. He studies the transformative dimensions of adult learning and work-related learning.

10:45-11:00 am — Schmooze Break

11:00-11:45 am — Program Session | Dr. Catherine Marienau

A Neuroscience View on Emotion and Transformative Learning

Catherine Marienau is Professor and Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Educating Adults at DePaul University's School of New Learning. She writes, teaches and consults in areas concerning higher education for adults and in women's development.


12:00-1:00 pm — Lunch and Presentation | Dr. Barry Chazan

All in the Family: Experiential Education and Adult Learning

Barry Chazan is the Founding Director of Spertus Institute’s Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies Program. An internationally acclaimed Jewish educator, he has held academic appointments at Harvard, Brandeis, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He was the Founding International Director of Education of Birthright Israel and has worked with the Melton Center for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University and the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. 


Breakout Sessions
Gain hands-on, practical resources and strategies.

1:15-2:00 pm — Breakout Session 1 (choice of sessions)

  • Why Study Torah as an Adult
    Rabbi Ethan Tucker
    , President and Rosh Yeshiva, Hadar

  • Adding Ethical & Spiritual Depth to Adult Learning Spaces
    Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
    , acclaimed author 

2:15-3:00 pm — Breakout Session 2 (choice of sessions)

  • Play to the Crowd or Pushing Boundaries?
    Julie Lieber, Director of Education, Kevah

  • Democratizing Adult Education:
    Designing Co-Created Communities of Learning
    Eli Ovits
    , Chief Executive, Limmud

3:00-3:45 — Networking and Conference Wrap-Up

Share