Social and emotional learning is at the heart of Jewish education.

According to educators Jeff Kress and Nancy Parkes in a recent article, there is substantial research evidence linking social and emotional competence and academic achievement.

“Educators in Jewish settings are not only concerned with what our learners know, but also in the sort of people they become. A goal of Jewish education, regardless of where or how it takes place, is for learning to inform practice and shape how one lives that learning in the world,” they write.

“Educators in every setting (day school teacher, bunk counselor, etc.) always shape the social and emotional growth of their learners (students, campers, etc.). SEL aims to do this in a more goal-directed, structured, and powerful way. In fact, many educators are already “doing” SEL as part of their everyday practice.” 

Read the full article here.

Behrman House and Apples & Honey Press have been thinking about this for a long time. Here are just a few types of materials for different ages and stages that have built-in social-emotional learning.


Let's Discover Kindness


It seems that the world needs more kindness, and now more than ever.

But what is kindness, and how do we develop it in ourselves and others?



Let's Discover the Holidays


Includes individual, partnered, and group activities; as well as mindfulness, and thought questions and prompts about how children experience holidays and traditions with their families.





Living Jewish Values

Grades 4-6

The series introduces students to sixteen of the most important—and sustaining—values of our tradition in a format that invites student reflection. Volumes include Be a Good Friend and Be Your Best Self.



Mommy, Can You Stop the Rain? 


Distraction, reassurance, and lots of love from attentive parents help a young child feel comfortable and safe during a thunderstorm.





Maybe It Happened This Way: Torah Stories Reimagined

This is a modern take on Bible stories, with relatable characters. Explore ideas of how the Bible figures might have experienced their world, through their eyes. Includes timeless themes including fairness, sibling rivalry, perseverance, forgiveness, courage. 




Salt & Honey: Jewish Teens on Feminism, Creativity, and Tradition

Jewish teens voice their celebrations and challenges, their anger and their eagerness in essays, poetry, and visual art. From the contributors to jGirls Magazine.