Hyim Brandes

Online Jewish Academy | onlinejewishacademy.org

2012-2014

Bio

Hyim Brandes, co-founder and executive director of Online Jewish Academy, is an innovator, educator, and social entrepreneur working at the intersection of Jewish education, community, and technology. Hyim began working as a Jewish educator at Camp Alonim and the Brandeis-Bardin Institute. While studying history at UC Berkeley, he taught at Hebrew schools throughout the Bay Area. Upon his graduation from Berkeley, Hyim studied in Israel for two years at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies and then returned home to join the founding faculty at the New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) in Los Angeles. In 2003, he moved to New York and began working as a Jewish Educational Technology consultant and founded JewishGeography.net, a Jewish social network. In 2008, he and his wife Sara returned to L.A., where they are the proud parents of two wonderful children.

Online Jewish Academy

Online Jewish Academy (OJA) strives to broaden the scope of Jewish education through innovative online, personalized, and collaborative educational programs. OJA meets the diverse, ever-evolving learning needs of Jewish students by connecting the promise of new educational technologies to values rooted in text, tradition, and humanity. OJA combines emerging technology, cutting-edge brain science, and the latest education theory to design and deliver curricula to students with an emphasis on 21st Century skills. OJA’s online courses and materials are built to be flexible, adjusting themselves to each student’s pace, learning style, strengths and weaknesses. Differentiated instruction, formative assessment, and project and inquiry-based learning are all integrated into the online and hybrid course materials and programs. These tools and techniques allow OJA to reach students who have never been capable of inclusion in Jewish day schools before, and serve students for whom a Jewish education has, until now, been out of reach for reasons including medical and learning needs, affordability, and distance from traditional Jewish educational institutions.