Programs and Workshops

Below are examples of specialty programs designed to engage groups of all ages, creating accessible and meaningful events that will be spiritually transformational for your school or organization.
Through extended conversations, my visit to your organization, school or synagogue would be customized to your specific needs and desires.

Professional Development

Family Education/Religious School Education


Adult Education


Storytelling


Parent Education


Dynamic Duos


Professional Development:

Being Torah Alive!

Energetic, interactive and fun, this session creates insights and exploration of beloved Torah stories for all age groups. By combining two brilliant curricula, ‘Being Torah’ (Joel Grishaver, Torah Aura) and ‘Torah Alive” (Lorraine Arcus, URJ Press), we will lift the Torah off the page and into action through drama and music.

I Am Teacher Hear My Voice: The Art of Story Reading
As technology becomes more sophisticated, children are losing their ability to listen and comprehend. Listening skills can be developed by teachers who are trained in using their voices to share stories in a way that engages the students’ imagination and builds relationships with the story characters.

Humor, Holidays and Heritage
The history of storytelling began over 5,000 years ago and continues to get our attention to this very day! This 3-part series will discuss and present different types of storytelling and how it affects our lives. We have stories that heal, stories to make us laugh, stories to teach us lessons, and the stories of our lives.

Punch and Judaism: The Power of Puppets
Puppets create a non-threatening and interactive experience for people of all ages. As a teaching tool, we can use puppets to teach about Jewish holidays and culture, literature, and Bible stories. The use of puppets gives us the opportunity to create more effective classroom experiences teaching values, ethics, and feelings.

Telling Terrific Tales
Everyone has a terrific story hiding inside themselves. Together we will learn how to prompt our memories, tickle our experiences and share the magic that makes us each unique!

Family Education/Religious School Education

“When Janie tells you a story, the words jump out of your mind and dance on the table!”, Talia, age 9

Beyond the Fringe: The Art of the Prayer Shawl
Yes, you can! Twist it, bead it, braid it, knotted, polka-dotted …. Inspirational and artistic, bold and creative, the Tallit as an art form and ritual garment enters a New Age. YOU can make a Tallit for yourself or a loved one in less than two weeks. Stories, ideas, demonstrations, creative assistance, and the opportunity to make a memory that will touch your heart forever!

Fabulous Family Stories
The stories of our people have been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. They are our mirror and our memory. Our own family stories are not often given the same honor, kavod, that they deserve. Where do we find our stories? How do we tell them? Learn how to create your very own tapestry of family tales.

In the Tent of Abraham
Join us in the desert wilderness for a drama of Biblical proportions, as we re-enact our tradition of welcoming. Based on the Biblical story of Abraham, this event focuses on the sacred obligation of our Jewish tradition of hachnasat orchim, welcoming others into in homes and our lives.

The Latke Trilogy
‘Twas the 3rd night of Hanukkah and at the Rabbi’s house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Potatoes and onions were grated with care
Hoping Bubbe and Zeide would soon be there.
The children were playing dreidel there on the floor
Thinking of Latkes and wanting some more ……………..

Listen to three Terrific Tales of Latkes, piping hot and dripping with sour cream and applesauce. Then VOTE for your favorite tale

Walking the Exodus
Create an interactive Family Program for all age groups! Join Janie Grackin on a journey of storytelling, drama, art and music creating a living experience of our people’s departure from Egypt. “Walking the Exodus” is an event that will be remembered and reenacted for years to come!

Adult Education:

Beyond the Fringe: The Art of the Prayer Shawl
Yes, you can! Twist it, bead it, braid it, knotted, polka-dotted …. Inspirational and artistic, bold and creative, the Tallit as an art form and ritual garment enters a New Age. YOU can make a Tallit for yourself or a loved one in less than two weeks. Stories, ideas, demonstrations, creative assistance, and the opportunity to make a memory that will touch your heart forever!

Journey to Golda’s Balcony
Join storyteller and Jewish educator Janie Grackin on a journey of remembrance and discovery as we explore the life and times of Israeli stateswoman and heroine, Golda Meier. Travel with us through the most harrowing and dramatic period of Israel’s history during the Yom Kippur War as Golda Meier, Prime Minister of Israel, faced extraordinary tension and worldwide pressures forcing her, as Israel’s leader, to make decisions no one wants to make! Extraordinary film interviews and group discussion.

Video documentary starring Tony nominated Tova Feldshuh and narrated by Alec Baldwin.

Judy in the Sky with Diamonds
Sex … Booze … Murder!! An adult-oriented storytelling event on the life of our Biblical heroine Judith and her connection to the Hanukkah story. Hidden stories, history and intrigue fuse together for a session of learning and laughter … and heads will roll!

King David’s Women
Power and passion. Intrigue and betrayal. The life of King David was filled with enough drama to make several movies and a Broadway musical! There were many women in King David’s story. Come meet the women who were willing to risk it all for the love of a man!

Spa for the Soul
Hillel asked “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” Restore your spirit by engaging your memory and senses. Story-weaving will enrich our souls, heal and inspire in this interactive session.

Spices of Shabbat
Welcome Shabbat as we explore the flavors, sounds and scents of Shabbat through the Art of Storytelling. International storyteller, Janie Grackin, will shepherd you into a time of joy and shalom.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Tallit
Ritual and personal story come together as we create a new Tallit, a prayer shawl to take along on our journeys. Based on the experience of a group of teachers in an Israel/USA exchange program, the Tallitot they created have hung in City Halls, Art Exhibits, schools, homes, and synagogues. Together we will explore the ties that bind and the ritual threads that hold us together. This project will bond together groups in Sisterhood, Rosh Hodesh, families, and friends.

Telling Terrific Tales
Everyone has a terrific story hiding inside themselves. Together we will learn how to prompt our memories, tickle our experiences and share the magic that makes us each unique!

Walking the Exodus
Create an interactive Family Program for all age groups! Join Janie Grackin on a journey of storytelling, drama, art and music creating a living experience of our people’s departure from Egypt. “Walking the Exodus” is an event that will be remembered and reenacted for years to come!

Storytelling:

  • Humor Holidays and Heritage
  • The Latke Trilogy
  • The Matzoh Ball Trilogy
  • Judy in the Sky with Diamonds
  • Purim with Puppets
  • The Stories of Our Lives

Parent Education:

Family Friendly Holidays
Home décor, fabulous feasts and seasonal stories are all part of the “Martha Stewart-stein” Holiday Style. Make this season exceptional for your entire family:

  • Shabbat Can Be
  • New Year University
  • Meet Me in the Sukkah
  • Hanukkah is Happening
  • Tu B’She-what?
  • Purim Central
  • Passover University
  • All About Israel

Dynamic Duos:

Dynamic Education from a Dynamic Duo: Grackin & Grishaver
Janie Grackin and Joel Grishaver are exciting storytellers, authors and versatile educators with programming experience and skills to delight your entire community.

The Rabbi and the Storyteller
Storyteller Janie Grackin is joined by the talented musician and humorist, Rabbi Steven Westman.


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