The Seventh Annual CIJE Innovation Day took place on May 19, at the historical Bell Works, Holmdel, New Jersey.  This event was the culmination of a year of diligence and perseverance on the part of close to 1500 young innovators and visionaries, representing 44 schools from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Texas.  The annual CIJE Innovation Day provides an exciting time for students to present the capstone projects which they created, designed and engineered in the areas of innovation in: SCIENTIFIC ENGINEERING, ELDERCARE, ARTS, ECO-INNOVATION, HEALTHCARE AND ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, and CONSUMER PRODUCTS.

There was an exciting and palpable energy in the vast atrium of Bell Works.  Students proudly exhibited their projects and enthusiastically discussed the value of their “inventions”.  Students came to Innovation Day prepared with comprehensive business plans and pitches.

CLEAR WATER HARVESTING, designed by a group of HAFTR students, addressed the lack of access of potable water.  This invention preserves and purifies rainwater, utilizing Arduino sensors to a condensation system that is connected to a water filter.  A group of MAAYANOT HS students addressed the fundamental need to create an accessible Hebrew language program for the blind through their POKEACH IVRIT project.  This Arduino based system uses Braille and servo motors that move in real time for expression of a tactile word or letter, which is connected to a sound shield that plays the audio version of the word or letter.

Bracha Erblich, a veteran CIJE-Tech Instructor at Bruriah High School commented, “As always, CIJE Innovation Day was an outstanding experience for my students and, along with the capstone projects, was the highlight of their year.  The teacher training, supplies, ideas and mentors provided by CIJE have fueled creativity that drive not only the individual students in our CIJE-tech classes, but also the school at large.”

At Innovation Day, one very excited student commented, “It is such an amazing experience to work together with my team and invent something new that can be produced and used in the real world to help people who are have disablilities.”

For over a decade, CIJE, the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education, has fostered innovation in Jewish schools throughout the United States.  CIJE HS students create understandings that turn into prototypes that portray and help our world in new and beneficial ways.  At Innovation Day, students show their passion for learning about the world and turning their knowledge into breakthroughs which will make the world a better place and introducing innovations and changes to things that already exist.  It is a way of observing what is and, then, imagining and designing a new and improved way of doing it.

The Center for Initiatives for Initiatives in Jewish Education is a non-profit 501C3 organization that, amongst other programs, provides STEM resources to schools that implement CIJE courses and expose students to multiple STEM problem solving perspectives and hands on technical skills.  The classroom teacher, with the ongoing partnership and collaboration of the CIJE mentor, helps the students to gain the intellectual skills needed to develop autonomous decision-making abilities.  The CIJE-Tech students focus on process, research, and development and gains the skills needed for future success. 


The following awards were presented at the event:

 The CIJE Award for Excellence in Eco-Innovation

1st The Clear Rainwater harvesting - HAFTR

2nd Boiler Bot - Ilan HS

3rd   Automeal - YUHSG (MTA)

The DentServ Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Assistive Technology

1st       Fee Bot - Rae Kushner Yeshiva HS

2nd   AS (text) L – YUHSG (Central)

3rd    E Band - Solomon Schechter Westchester

RoboKiller Award for Innovation in Consumer Products  

1st Flour Power - Bais Yaakov of Waterbury

2nd JDawg - Rae Kushner Yeshiva HS

3rd    Self-Parking Car - DRS

East Brooklyn Labs Award for Technology Innovation in the Arts   

1st    Pokeach Ivrit - Maayanot

2nd Automatic Guitar Tuner - Golda Och Academy

3rd    Grogger - YUHSG (Central)

 Sephardic Home for the Aged Foundation Award for Advancement in Elder Care

1st       Flex It! - Ma’ayanot

2nd     STS Sound to Sight System - Yeshiva Darche Eres

3rd     Track and Kick Back - The Frisch School

Dr Lynne B Harrison Award for Innovation in Scientific Engineering

1st The Subway Sorter – Bruriah

2nd   A.L.E.R.T. – Advanced Location-Evacuation-Response-Technology - Bruriah

3rd   Urine in Good Hands - The Frisch School

Award for Innovation in Engineering Technion – Israel Institute of Technology 

1st Breakable Drip Skates – JEC

2nd   Zoom – The Frisch School

3rd    Time is Up - Mesivta Zichron Baruch of Clifton

The Yeshiva University Student Choice Award

1st The Chicken Feeder - Bi-Cultural High School

2nd Blind Dog Collar - HAFTR

3rd    Parker Pointer - Shevach