Aug 25, 2009 — Throughout North America, schools in smaller Jewish communities often struggle to find qualified teachers that will develop the next generation. A new grant from Legacy Heritage Fund Limited will address this problem by providing support to attract, train and retain more high-quality teachers for placement at Jewish day schools.
The Legacy Heritage Teacher Training Fellowship is funding five qualified recent college graduates this year—and will fund 20 in total over the next three years—to teach at schools across North America while studying towards master’s degrees at Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.
“This fellowship will improve the quality of Jewish education by providing training for young talented people interested in making a difference,” said Scott J. Goldberg, PhD, director of YU’s Institute for University-School Partnership, which piloted the program last year.
One of the fellows, Rabbi Arye Sufrin of Miami, Florida, will spend the year as a teacher in Los Angeles’ YULA Boys High School.
“Working with different informal education programs over the years has inspired me to go into Jewish education,” said Sufrin, who graduated with honors in accounting from YU’s Sy Syms School of Business.
Sufrin and his wife spent their first year of marriage as Av and Aim Bayit (dormitory father and mother) in Yeshivat Reishit Yerushalayim. He has volunteered as director of YUSSR’s Pesach program, Yachad’s ruach [spiritual] coordinator, and had spent three summers in Camp HASC as counselor and division head.
Legacy Heritage Teacher Fellows will receive a full-tuition scholarship for three summers of coursework culminating in a master of science in education from Azrieli with two years of teaching in the intervening months.
Veteran teachers at the host school will mentor the fellows through classroom observation and weekly meetings. Azrieli faculty will train both the fellows and their mentors during the summer at Yeshiva University, and will provide ongoing support and guidance to the mentors and the fellows throughout the school year.
“I hope to infuse my students with a passion for Judaism while they can still feel comfortable pursuing professional careers,” adds Sufrin, who will be mentored by Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom, YULA’s director of curriculum.
“I will work with Arye to help him develop his own teaching style and offer him guidance throughout his first year as a teacher,” explained Rabbi Etshalom. “I am confident that he will learn a lot about himself, about education and about the challenges and delights of shaping young minds and hearts.”
In addition to the on-site mentoring, the fellows will engage in professional development via conferences and online seminars.
“This grant demonstrates the importance of the work we are doing,” said Joey Small, the Institute’s fellowship coordinator. “By recruiting and supporting these fellows in their initial years of teaching, the grant helps YU nurture the future leaders and practitioners in the field of Jewish education.”
The Legacy Heritage Teacher Training Fellowship is open to students from all colleges. Visit the Institute’s Web site at www.yu.edu/azrieli/schoolpartnership for more information or to apply.