Alisha Pedowitz graduated from American Jewish University in 2008 with an MAEd, with a Concentration in Experiential Education from the Graduate Center for Education, and an MBA from the Graduate School of Nonprofit Management, where she developed a thorough understanding of the theories and practice of business management.
Today she is utilizing her full spectrum of skills as the Director of Operations of Brawerman Elementary School East - Wilshire Boulevard Temple, which opened this school year. In addition, Alisha is striving to launch her brainchild Embracing Wholiness
, a curriculum which explores issues of body, self image, and identity formation in the context of community.
At Brawerman East, an academic school built on a foundation of Jewish values, Alisha serves in two vital, but completely different capacities. In her administrative position, she works with the principal to create efficient operational procedures.
As an educator, she is part of a team of educators creating and implementing experiential programming for both students and family events. She and the other faculty are developing a unique approach to Tikkun Olam through an experiential, student-led program held each Friday, where students have the opportunity to select a team charged with solving a problem. One team of Kindergartners is concerned with food justice while another is working on environmental issues. Alisha utilizes her background in experiential education to help guide the students through this process while allowing them to take ownership of their learning. Embracing Wholiness
, the subject matter of Alisha's thesis, is unique in that it fuses Jewish values and concepts with a communal education approach, utilizing the power of the community, and the relationship of the individual to community, to address issues of positive identity and relationships. At a time of life when body image issues, insecurity, bullying, and struggles with identity are becoming increasingly prevalent, this program is designed to help teens develop a stronger sense of self, supportive relationships with their community of peers, and powerful community- building skills that will serve them throughout their lives. This curriculum will be of particular importance to camp personnel, youth group advisors, teachers, and others who educate about positive identity, self-image, bullying, and relationships.
"Alisha's work reflects the cutting edge of Jewish education," says Dr. Miriam Heller Stern, Dean of AJU's Graduate Center for Education. "She is breaking down the boundaries between formal school learning and learning through real-life experiences, all while giving her students and their families a Jewish compass to navigate the real world."