School Partnership’s YUTeach Fellowships Provide Mentoring and Support for Young Educators in Jewish Day Schools Across the Country
As part of its mission to bolster the Jewish day school movement, the Institute for University-School Partnership at Yeshiva University once again placed recent college graduates in communities across North America to begin their careers as educators.
With support from the Legacy Heritage Fund Limited, 17 young teachers will participate in the Legacy Heritage Teacher Training Fellowship, a two-year program that provides fellows with support and mentorship within their host school, in addition to conferences, webinars and check-ins with staff at the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration throughout the academic year. Over three summers, teaching fellows will also earn a master of science in education at Azrieli through a full-tuition scholarship.
Three additional teachers will be sponsored through the GiveBack Fellowship, a program that identifies dynamic graduates to assist with student activities, observe classroom teachers and provide support in other aspects of school programming. These fellows will also participate in a summer training session at Azrieli, receive close mentoring at their host school and attend conferences and monthly webinars relating to Jewish education.
The YUTeach Fellowships—comprised of the Legacy Heritage Teacher Training and GiveBack programs—provide “much more than a placement in a school for an aspiring teacher,” said Scott J. Goldberg, PhD, director of the YU School Partnership. “They offer a supportive structure in which to grow as a new teacher and a transformative experience for the students who are inspired by these young energetic educators. Schools asked us to get them teachers, and we’ve sent them much more.”
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“The fellowship seemed like an ideal entry into teaching because of the structure and the guidance it provided, in addition to the network and the courses at Azrieli,” said Raffi Rosenzweig, a Legacy Heritage Fellow who taught chumash and Jewish History at Dallas’s Yavneh Academy for the past two years. “As someone who had always enjoyed informal education but had no experience in a formal setting, I was hesitant at first to make the switch. That first summer before I started teaching I was in class at Azrieli and got that kind of professional training before I started, which helped me learn about the best practices in the field and how to implement them.”
Aryeh Wasserman, a first-year Legacy Heritage teacher fellow who will lead gemara classes at Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Philadelphia, appreciated the program’s support in placing young teachers in their first positions. “When an institution like YU recommends you, it gives these teachers who want to make a difference and have the desire to grow into great teachers the chance to do so while we’re still young,” said Wasserman. “The fellowship really supports a culture of young, innovative teachers who want to bring their excitement to Jewish youth.”
That excitement is shared by the schools. “Having a fellow means everything to us because we are constantly looking for new talent,” said Raizy Wilk, a teacher and administrator at Maimonides Academy in Los Angeles who will be mentoring Rabbi Ouriel Hazan and Malka Nutkiewicz, two fellows at her school this year. “We want teachers who understand where our students are coming from emotionally, psychologically and religiously and who are dedicated to becoming the best professionals they can be and that’s what YU looks for in a fellowship candidate. By partnering with YU, we provide the most exciting and innovative experience for our students.”
The Legacy Heritage Teacher Training and GiveBack Fellowships are open to students from all colleges. Visit the YU School Partnership’s Web site at www.yu.edu/azrieli/schoolpartnership for more information or to apply.