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RE-IMAGINING JEWISH EDUCATION

PARTICIPANTS ON YESHIVA UNIVERSITY EXPERIENTIAL JEWISH EDUCATION CERTIFICATE PROGRAM PROFESSIONALIZE THEIR PASSION 

(NEW YORK, New York – January 14, 2013) Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future recently completed the second seminar of its groundbreaking Certificate Program in Experiential Jewish Education (EJE) at the Shalom Institute in Malibu, CA.

From January 2-9, the 21 participants – educators ranging in age, affiliation, work experience and areas of field interest – explored how experiential Jewish educators can facilitate and engineer meaningful and identity-focused experiences for their students.

“Using Experiential Jewish Education methodologies, the participants created multi-sensory experiences designed to appeal to diverse audiences and students on multiple levels of intelligence. They focused primarily on creating social experiences that incorporate text, values and the Experiential Jewish Education Content Development Model,” said Shuki Taylor, CJF’s director of Jewish Service Learning and Experiential Education Programs.

The seminar – the second of four seminars for which each cohort convenes over the course of the year – encouraged participants to re‐imagine Jewish education through infinite possibilities while focusing on adaptability and immediate applications.

Building on the content from the program’s first seminar, “Cohort II” guided participants through the recurring stages of creation, reflection, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation as they created fun, content-rich experiences meant to affect and enrich the Jewish identities of their students.  The seminar incorporated lectures, Bet Midrash learning, participant-led programming, hikes, group exercises, and a communal Shabbat experience, and took full advantage of the Shalom Institute’s state-of-the-art facilities and innovative approach to Experiential Education.

“Our mission is to give intentionality to the field of Jewish Education,” said Los Angeles resident Rhoda Weisman, a senior consultant and mentor in the EJE program who previously served as the Chief Creative Officer at Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. “At present, Experiential Jewish Education impacts Jewish identity in numerous ways, but it lacks theory, deliberate outcomes, and accepted measures and metrics.

“We want to develop theory, goals and measurements so that educators can align their personal and organizational goals with field-wide goals, have true measurements for success and understand the direct correlations between a variety of settings in experiential education, so that a lengthy career path is visible and can be carefully orchestrated and developed.”

Highlights of the seminar included workshops and in-depth discussions with some of the Jewish World’s most dynamic educators, including Los Angeles-based actress and neuroscientist Dr. Mayim Bialik, and non-profit coach and consultant Rhoda Weisman.

The Certificate Program’s ties to the Los Angles Jewish community run even deeper, as five Angelenos have joined the ranks since the program’s inception – three in “Cohort I” and two more this year.

“With the help of the YU’s Certificate Program, I have been able to further identify my current strengths as a Jewish educator – where I have to be clearer in my intent, vocalizing my thoughts and views, and where I can create meaningful programming that will inspire the teens and volunteers with whom I work on a daily basis,” said Melissa Hertwig, Program Associate for Pacific Western Region of BBYO and a current resident of Los Angeles.

The YU Certificate Program in Experiential Jewish Education  is made possible by the generous support of and partnership with the Jim Joseph Foundation. The Los Angeles seminar is partially supported through a unique local partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, the largest manager of charitable assets and the leader in planned giving solutions for Greater Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists. This pioneering grant is the first time that a local body has partnered to support and recognize the impact that Experiential Jewish Education can have on the broader Jewish community.

Yeshiva University is now accepting applications and nominations for Cohort III of the Certificate Program in Experiential Jewish Education.

Over the past two years, the YU Certificate Program has selected and trained 40 excelling Jewish educators, including:

  • Teachers and student life directors working in Supplementary, Community and Day Schools
  • Directors, Rabbis and associates from Chabad and Hillel Campus Centers
  • Regional directors and associates from BBYO and NCSY
  • Federation, Agency and JCC professionals.
  • Executive directors and Rabbis working at Synagogues and Kehila Centers
  • Service Learning specialists

For the Cohort III, YU seeks reflective, creative and motivated in-service educators looking to further their careers and broaden their impact in the field of Experiential Jewish Education.

The Certificate Program boasts cutting edge seminars scheduled for June 2013, January 2014 and June 2014. The seminars are held in New York City and in Malibu, CA. In addition, the program offers mentorship and networking opportunities.

Preference is given nominated applicants. Additionally, institutions are encouraged to contact YU to learn about unique partnership opportunities.

The deadline for application is February 25, 2013.

To learn more about the Certificate Program, to nominate a candidate or to apply, please visit www.eJewisheducation.com