From Our Blog

Professional Preparation: A “Value Add” for Educators and their Employers

By Yael Kidron on January 23rd, 2017

Editor's Note: In October 2016, the Jim Joseph Foundation released the final evaluation from American Institutes for Research on the Education Initiative--the $45 million, six year investment in Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and Yeshiva University (YU) for Jewish educator training. The Foundation and AIR shared some of the key findings and lessons learned from the Initiative. AIR also is releasing a series of blogs that delve more deeply into important findings from the evaluation--the second of which, below, discusses the value of professional preparation programs, and key characteristics that make those programs excellent.  Whether in a classroom, at a camp, at locations in a city, or nearly any other environment, effective Jewish learning ...More

From the Seminar to the Workplace: Programs That Promote Workforce Outcomes

By Yael Kidron and Ariela Greenberg on November 11th, 2016

Editor's Note: In October, the Jim Joseph Foundation released the final evaluation from American Institutes for Research on the Education Initiative--the $45 million, six year investment in Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and Yeshiva University (YU) for Jewish educator training. The Foundation and AIR shared some of the key findings and lessons learned from the Initiative. AIR also is releasing a series of blogs that delve more deeply into important findings from the evaluation--the first of which, below, discusses programs that promote workforce outcomes. Operating successful educational programs requires continually evolving skills and knowledge. With the constant growth of educational research on effective strategies to promote student engagement, motivation, and learning ...More

Fostering Joy at the EJE Network Day of Learning

By Kara Liu, David Rosen, and Lily Lozovsky on July 7th, 2016

Editor's Note:  An inaugural retreat in October 2015 launched a new network of experiential Jewish educators, comprised of more than 200 program graduates from HUC-JIR’s Certificate in Jewish Education specializing in Adolescents and Emerging Adults; The Davidson School’s Master’s Degree in Jewish Experiential Education program and Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute (in partnership with the JCC Association); and YU’s Certificate Program in Experiential Jewish Education Earlier this summer, members of the Experiential Jewish Education (EJE)  ...More

Building a Network for Experiential Jewish Education

By Rachel Meytin on November 17th, 2015

Throughout the Gathering, I was aware of what a privilege it is, as an educator, to immerse myself in a focused space of ideas and learning, removed from the day-to-day elements of my professional role. I am very grateful for this gift. —Erica Frankel, Director of Strategy for the Jewish Learning Fellowship at Hillel International, graduate of Yeshiva University Certificate Program in Experiential Jewish Education
In late October 2015, 45 experiential Jewish educators came to the Kaplan Mitchell Retreat and Conference Center at Ramah Darom, in Clayton, Georgia, to learn, to reflect, and to form a network for experiential Jewish educators. This inaugural retreat launched a new collaborative initiative funded through the Jim Joseph Foundation’s Education Initiative—the combined $45 million grant to three ...More

Developing Dynamic Educators: Positive Results of the Education Initiative

By on October 28th, 2013

This past summer, more than 73,000 Jewish youth attended summer camp to see friends and have fun. At the same time, whether or not they were always aware, they engaged in experiential Jewish learning led by dynamic and inspiring educators. This immersive environment is indicative of our understanding that Jewish learning occurs in myriad ways in a variety of settings. However, whether at camp or school or anywhere else, effective Jewish learning is dependent on having equally as effective Jewish educators. How can teachers bring a relevant, accessible and modern Judaism to the classroom, the campus, the bunk and beyond?  How can they engage and inspire the “global citizens” who are the youth and young adults of today?  They need an ...More

Education Initiative and Our Day of Learning

By on April 11th, 2013

It has been a long time since I updated readers on the progress being made on the Jim Joseph Foundation-funded Education Initiative.  The Initiative consists of three major grants of $15 million each to support graduate programs of education at Hebrew Union College (HUC), Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and Yeshiva University (YU).  The implementation period for these grants is 2009-2016. Let me start with the numbers:

  • 528 students who have received Jewish education degrees or certification since Spring 2010
  • 419 students currently enrolled in degree and graduate programs of certification
  • 13 new degree and certification programs have been established
Before one jumps to any conclusion about supply and demand equations of Jewish educators, it is important to note that 225 (54%) students participating in these ...More

Training Experiential Jewish Educators for an Evolving and Advancing Field

By on December 10th, 2012

Last month, my colleague Renee Rubin Ross discussed the changing role of today’s Jewish Educators (Jewish Education “in a Café, Under a Tree, or in a Dorm”) and the methods that these talented individuals employ to reach young Jews outside of traditional classroom settings.  Through Hillel, BBYO, the Foundation for Jewish Camp and many other organizations, the experiential education landscape is brimming with dynamic new experiments and we are watching closely, with our grantee partners, to learn from early results in the field. With a growing recognition that the most effective educational experiences are centered around a dynamic Jewish educator, the Jim Joseph Foundation embraces the importance of investing in new program models to ...More

The Jim Joseph Foundation invests in promising Jewish education grant initiatives. We partner with effective organizations that seek to inspire young people to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives.