CIJE’s Technology: In Plain English – Blog by Yossie Frankel, The Techno Rebbe

Flash is finally retiring!

Picture this… A big newspaper news room circa 1950’s or so. A copy boy runs in and yells to everyone present. The sound of typewriters stop, the hum of the printing press winds down and the whole room comes to a hush…
Copy boy: “News Flash!!!  It’s finally retiring!!”
Reporter:  “What’s retiring?”
Copy boy: “Flash!”
News Editor:  “What? As in Flash Gordon?” (Yossie’s note: I guess I am showing my age! 🙂
Copy boy:  “Nope… Adobe Flash!”

That’s right, after years of leadership and having been responsible for creating gaming, education and video industries, Adobe has finally announced that Flash will be discontinued by 2020. That means that web based developers have less then three years to convert their Flash based websites over to HTML5, WebGL or Webassembly.

So, why should this concern us Ed-Tech types?

Well, there are a HUGE number of educational websites that are based on Flash technology and the cost of moving them and their data over to the newer technologies would be hugely expensive. My fear is that they will just be shutting down rather than retooling.  What makes this even more shocking is that we could lose a very large number of Jewish Educational websites especially since many of the Hebrew sites are created with Flash.  Even now, since Google Chrome does not run Flash without bypassing default settings, I can’t begin to tell you how many calls a week I get about workarounds! Imagine what it will be like by 2020!!

So, be prepared for some of your favorite sites to “retire” off into the sunset, just like my old hero Flash Gordon.

As always, I solicit your comments on the blogsite.

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Twitter @yossiefrankel
YouTube Channel: YossieFrankelChannel

CIJE Hosts over 40 schools for Summer Ed-Tech Training

This summer teachers from NY/NJ area CIJE schools participated in Edtech training provided by CIJE. From Introduction to SMART Board to more advanced activities such as Lab games and assessments. Many teachers also joined training for the new ji Tap app. This app can be used as a resource for blended learning classrooms as well as PBL. The training was given by Director of Innovative Technologies, Faigy Ravitz.

Participating schools were:

  1. Bais Yaakov Queens
  2. Bnos Malka
  3. Bruriah
  4. Bais Yaakov D’Rav Meir
  5. Darchei
  6. Golda Och Academy
  7. Golda Och Academy High School
  8. HAFTR
  9. HALB
  10. HANC
  11. HANC Plainview
  12. Hebrew Academy New City
  13. Jewish Educational Center
  14. Kushner
  15. Lev Chana
  16. Manhattan Day School
  17. Mazel Day School
  18. Moriah School
  19. North Shore Hebrew Academy
  20. Park East Day School
  21. Prospect Park
  22. Ptach
  23. Rosenbaum Yeshiva North Jersey
  24. RSRH
  25. S/A/R
  26. Shaarei Torah
  27. Shalom Torah Academy
  28. Shulamith School LI
  29. SKA
  30. Solomon Schechter Bergen County
  31. Solomon Schechter of Queens
  32. Solomon Schechter Queens
  33. Westchester Day School
  34. Yavneh Academy
  35. Yeshiva Ahavath Torah
  36. Yeshiva Har Torah
  37. Yeshiva Ketana Passaic
  38. Yeshiva of Flatbush
  39. Yeshiva of Flatbush HS
  40. Yeshivat Noam
  41. David Posnack Lower school (FL)
  42. Ramaz
  43. Yeshiva Spring Valley





Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida Wins Technion Rube Goldberg Challenge


(below article was written on the American techinion website at this link )

April 25, 2017
Jennifer Frey

Some Earth Day events involve volunteer clean-ups, planting flower beds or unplugging your gadgets for a day. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, however, challenged high school students worldwide to build an Earth Day-themed Rube Goldberg Machine—and three schools came through with flying colors (all shades of green, of course).

Katz Yeshiva H.S. Team 1, winners of the 2017 Technion Rube Goldberg Earth Day Challenge: (l to r) Mrs. Ellen Chait (Science Department Chair), Michal Amar, Ty Kay, Tani Loskove, Noah Bernten, Max Davis, Josh Bernten and Dr. Yosef Wolf

For the uninitiated, a Rube Goldberg Machine is a wacky contraption that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task by setting off a comical chain reaction. Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida (whose team of students ranged from 9th through 11th grades), placed first in this fun but difficult challenge, winning a one-year full scholarship to the Technion.

“When I saw our school’s name appear on the screen, I was overcome with emotions of comradery and school spirit. Tens of hours of hard work had finally paid off,” said student Tani Loskove. Teammate Ty Kay added: “As a high schooler pursuing dreams of becoming an engineer, Technion’s Rube Goldberg Earth Day Challenge was a great stepping stone for me. It was my first real engineering project.”

“It taught me values like teamwork, collaboration and communication, and as the only girl on the team,” said Michal Amar, “it showed me the importance, and sometime difficulties, of making your voice heard.” Other students on the team include: Noah and Joshua Bernten and Max Davis.

Working out of a student’s garage, the winning team concocted a nearly one-minute chain reaction in which Coca Cola bottles activated a toy car, sent a ball down a winding slide worthy of a Water Park, releasing liquid gallium to complete a circuit, which eventually set off a stream of water that spun a home-built Ferris wheel, knocked down popcorn boxes that activated a fan—illustrating recycling (plastic, metal and paper) and alternative energy sources (hydro, solar and wind power).

Some 24 high school teams around the world participated in the challenge. A team of judges led by Prof. Alon Wolf, Director of the Biorobotics and Biomechanics Lab at the Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, selected the winners based both on their creative renditions of Earth Day themes and the complexity of the energy transfers from one action to the next. Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam placed second, while the International Bilingual School at Hsinchu-Science-Park in Taiwan came in third.

“It’s very exciting for us,” says Dr. Yosef Wolf, who heads up Katz Yeshiva’s STEM courses and started a robotics club at the school (no relation to Prof. Wolf). “It’s the first engineering contest that we have ever entered, and we came in first place! We’ve been growing our engineering opportunities recently and we have plans to further expand our STEM offerings next year. This result has further helped to increase our students’ excitement for the upcoming initiatives.”

Note: the contest is not over yet! May 1st is the deadline for the Most Popular Clip Contest. Winners will be announced May 3rd.

Click here to watch a video of the winning Earth Day entry. And don’t forget to “like” your favorite video by viewing them all here.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is a major source of the innovation and brainpower that drives the Israeli economy, and a key to Israel’s renown as the world’s “Start-Up Nation.” Its three Nobel Prize winners exemplify academic excellence. Technion people, ideas and inventions make immeasurable contributions to the world including life-saving medicine, sustainable energy, computer science, water conservation and nanotechnology. The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute is a vital component of Cornell NYC Tech, and a model for graduate applied science education that is expected to transform New York City’s economy.

American Technion Society (ATS) donors provide critical support for the Technion —more than $2 billion since its inception in 1940. Based in New York City, the ATS and its supporters across the U.S. provide funds for scholarships, fellowships, faculty recruitment and chairs, research, buildings, laboratories, classrooms and dormitories, and more.

The CIJE Innovation Day

The CIJE Innovation Day, brought over 2,000 people together for the biggest Jewish STEM event in the country. The day combined the annual CIJE Young Engineers Conference, the I.D.E.A Maker Xpo and the first Jewish Robotics Competition.

Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley  said “The work done by these students is truly extraordinary. Science and Technology are the fields of the future and it is heartening to see so many young people participating in programs and conferences like this one. If these are the people we are leaving our world to, I am confident that our future will be a bright one.”

See these links for great articles about some of the schools.


CIJE Represented at First International I-STEAM Conference


CIJE Vice President and Director of STEM Education, Judy Lebovits was invited to speak in Jerusalem recently as part of the ORT Israel ISTEAM Conference.


She addressed more than 800 educators, entrepreneurs and donors from around the world on November 29th during a panel “Energizing ISTEAM Capital.” They focused on the role that outside capital can play in jumpstarting the education system particularly as it pertains to ISTEAM (Innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education.


Lebovits spoke about the challenges and opportunities of teaching STEM in Jewish Day Schools across the U.S. She also discussed the growth of CIJE and how it now provides STEM and language arts programs to 185 schools with some 40,000 students. CIJE and ORT Israel SciTech have collaborated in the past on STEM programs developed in Israel and modified for a U.S. curriculum.


Among the Israeli government officials who attended the conference were Naftali Bennett the Minister of Education in Israel and the Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat.

CIJE Partners With SAMIS Foundation in Seattle


We are thrilled to be able to share news of our partnership with the SAMIS Foundation, a private foundation based in Seattle, whose mission includes K-12 intensive and immersive Jewish education. SAMIS is providing support and funding for the programs, which include CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Program at the Northwest Yeshiva High School and the CIJE-Tech Middle School Program at the Seattle Hebrew Academy, The Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle, Torah Day School of Seattle, and the Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder.

Other programs funded by SAMIS for lower grades at the Seattle Jewish Community Day School, and the Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder, include the individualized computer assisted instruction programs Waterford and SuccessMaker. Additionally the interactive Hebrew language and Jewish heritage program ‘iTaLAM’ has been implemented at the Seattle Hebrew Academy, The Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle, and the Seattle Jewish Community Day School.

“A partnership with CIJE is a natural outgrowth of our recent investment,” says Amy Amiel, SAMIS Foundation senior program director. “CIJE provides valuable expertise in supporting and mentoring our faculties and connecting our students’ lives to rigorous technology education and to other Jewish students nationwide and in Israel.”

CIJE Launches STEM Program for NJ Jewish Day Schools

Two Northern New Jersey Jewish day schools are introducing the groundbreaking CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Program, provided by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education (CIJE), to engage and ignite high-school students’ interests in STEM education and careers.

Bais Yaakov Machon Ora in Passaic and Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School in Teaneck are two of  55 schools nationwide offering the CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Program, which has students applying their innovation skills in teams to develop all types of devices and machines. This ranges from advanced circuitry and bridge-building to developing prosthetic limbs. Self-directed classroom study and hands-on interactive curricula culminate in a year-end capstone project directed at applying the STEM principles to engineering a solution to a problem that might improve some facet of society.

CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Program was designed to enhance interest and skills in STEM and to provide a greater exposure to engineering. It continues introducing students to the fundamentals of engineering and the design process needed to gain STEM skills, coupled with experiential learning in teamwork, innovative thinking and problem solving.

Jewish Link NJ Article

CIJE-Tech students present Capstone Projects

Students from various South Florida Jewish day schools who participate in the CIJE-Tech High School Engineering STEM Program presented their year-end Capstone Projects at the second CIJE (Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education) Young Engineers Conference recently.

The conference took place at the David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie.

Participating schools included the Posnack School, Donna Klein Jewish Academy and Yeshiva High School from Boca Raton and Scheck Hillel Community School from North Miami Beach.

Teams from all four schools presented innovative electronic and biomedical products that they had worked on throughout the year.

“All teams showcased their working prototypes with a poster presentation detailing their creative working projects,” said Justin Petersen, South Florida CIJE mentor, in a recent CIJE press release. “The students demonstrated broad creativity and innovation in their nearly two dozen projects featuring biomedical and electronic engineering applications that serve the community.”

The event featured projects that foster teamwork, problem-solving and electronic engineering skills taught as part of the CIJE-Tech High School Engineering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)-based curriculum.


Read the Rest of the Article Here…

LI’s biggest STEM event to have 600 students competing

More than 600 students from 26 schools will compete in Long Island’s largest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) engineering event on May 18.

The New York City-based Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education-Tech (CIJE-Tech) Young Engineers Conference enables students to demonstrate their working robotic, electronic, biomedical products and prototypes as well as compete against area teams and schools.

Read the Rest of the Article Here…

Long Island’s Portable Technology Solutions (PTS) Helps Florida Students Address School Shootings

With the help of a Long Island company, three Florida high school freshmen are using technology and ingenuity to try to end school shootings. Faced with the challenge of designing a group capstone project for their STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] class at Scheck Hillel Community Day School in Miami, Florida, Esther Benasayag, Albert Wolak, and Abraham Woldenberg looked to recent headlines and tried to find a way, as they put it, “to save lives.”

The team thought that RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) technology could be used to alert schools to guns coming through their doors, an idea inspired by a ski trip where Woldenberg encountered RFID chips embedded in lift tickets. “Every time you go on a lift, the RFID knows that you went through and it tells you through an app how many feet you skied by knowing exactly which lifts you went on and how many times. I was like, ‘Hey, you can do a lot of cool things with RFID’-I think that’s one of the factors that brought the idea into my head.”

Read the Rest of the Article Here…