Home News and Media M² Blog Inside the 2024 18×18 Summit: Unpacking the Possibilities for Jewish Education

Inside the 2024 18×18 Summit: Unpacking the Possibilities for Jewish Education

Over three immersive days, Jewish educators clarified their professional goals and reimagined the future of Jewish education

“These three days are a sacred time for Jewish educators – time for you to stop, think, and remind yourself why you joined this field in the first place,” M² Founder and CEO Shuki Taylor shared with attendees during the second annual 18×18 Summit in Pearl River, New York. “It is time for you to ask yourself, ‘What am I teaching towards, and why? What do I want to deepen, expand, and explore in my career and in myself?’”

From June 24-26, 2024, M²: The Institute for Experiential Education brought together 100 influential Jewish educators from around the world for this immersive three-day experience.

Shuki addressed attendees during the opening session: “The 18×18 Summit is creative, deep, meaningful – and most of all, fun,” said Shuki. “I hope that over the next three days, you will have not only recommitted yourself to your profession as a Jewish educator, but you will have fallen in love with Jewish education again.”

During this challenging time, the summit invited attendees into an immersive learning laboratory to re-examine their educational visions, reaffirm their commitment to engaging Jewish experiences, and bring relevant new strategies to their organizations and communities.

The design of the space featured interactive and multisensory elements, enhancing attendees’ learning journey. A particular favorite was the floral archway in the entrance to the summit, where a daily question prompted attendees to write their answers on a piece of wood. They then slid these blocks into the arch’s scaffolding – collaboratively completing the structure and imbuing the space with intention and meaning. Across the hall, members of M²’s seventh Senior Educators Cohort simultaneously gathered for their second seminar, which presented opportunities for connection and networking.

The 18×18 Educational Dimensions for Jewish Life served as map and compass during the summit. Originally developed by Dr. Benjamin M. Jacobs and Dr. Barry Chazan, the framework offers 18 distinct categories for experiencing, celebrating, observing, expressing, and participating in Jewish life. At the 18×18 Summit, these 18 categories became a framework through which participants could set new professional goals and orient their organizations’ programming.

To determine which dimensions most interested them, participants were encouraged to ask themselves three questions:

What are you already doing that you are interested in doing better or deeper?

What is something you are not currently doing, which you’re interested in expanding towards?

Which dimensions are you interested in exploring that you may not otherwise have considered?


Each of the 30+ vibrant, varied sessions – grouped into invigorating morning sessions, deep dives, and collaborative workshops – fit into one or more of the 18 categories, offering participants an intuitive way to design their own “track” through the experience.

Led by M² faculty members and subject matter experts, each session offered creative, relevant ways for Jewish education to meet this moment. They included new approaches to traditional text study, opportunities for social justice and community building, embodied prayer and meditation, meaningful artistic and creative outlets, explorations of identity through food, and more.

Session highlights included an exploration of Mizrahi assimilation and discrimination through music and media with anthropologist, musician, and culture creator Dr. Galeet Dardashti; the creation of new Havdalah and Yizkor rituals for a post-October 7th world with Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz, the co-founder and Executive Director of Kol HaOt; and a refresh on the Shema prayer from Rabba Yaffa Epstein, Senior Scholar and Educator in Residence at The Jewish Education Project and winner of the 2024 Covenant Award. Chef and educator Nissimmi Naim Naor used foods from the Jewish past and present to clarify our own stories and the stories of others.

M² is grateful to the Maimonides Fund, our committed and generous partner in the development of the 18×18 Summit in 2023 and 2024.

Explore the 18×18 Summit landing page for more details.


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