Investing in the Future of Jewish Education

YU Receives $11 Million Grant from Jim Joseph Foundation to Advance Jewish Life through Jewish Education
May 24, 2010 — On the heels of a $4 million grant to Yeshiva University last September, the San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation announced today that it is making a new $11 million grant to bring its overall investment in YU’s training and credentialing of Jewish educators to a historic $15 million over the next four years. With new grants in the same amount to The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC), the Foundation has now committed a total of $45 million to increase the number of credentialed future Jewish educators and improve the quality of professional preparation and Jewish education they receive.

The initial grant last fall marked the beginning of what the Foundation envisioned would be a multi-year investment and a partnership with the three institutions. “The investment in these training institutions directly addresses the future of Jewish education and is a partnership that will greatly advance this cause,” says Foundation President Al Levitt. “We care deeply about the future of Jewish life in this country. This partnership should have a significant impact on the number of future Jewish educators and the skills they will bring to their professions. With the help of these grants, we know the institutions can reach their full potential and produce teachers who continue to positively shape the lives of Jewish youth.”

At Yeshiva University, the funding provides both financial aid for students pursuing education degrees or certification in programs that prepare them to work with Jewish youth and young adults, as well as support for enhanced programs designed to attract more educators to the field. These programs include a new full-time master’s degree in Jewish education, a certificate in experiential Jewish education, advanced training and certification for classroom teachers in technology and differentiated instruction, and a robust investment in the induction and support of new teachers. Additionally, the grant supports recruitment efforts that include experiential learning missions for undergraduate students and a new, full-time Jewish Education and Recruitment Manager to attract and guide future Jewish educators toward training opportunities at YU in formal and experiential education.

“We are humbled by both the challenge and the profound sense of purpose that this historic investment represents,” noted President Richard M. Joel.

In addition to the grant’s impact on YU’s ability to deliver the best training to an increased number of students, the announcement of a $45 million grant makes a bold statement to the community in support of Jewish education. “We are humbled by both the challenge and the profound sense of purpose that this historic investment represents,” noted Richard M. Joel, president of Yeshiva University. “The Jim Joseph Foundation’s continued investment and partnership ensures that the community’s focus remains laser-like on the centrality of Jewish education.”

The grants also present a unique opportunity for collaboration and partnership between and among the Foundation and the three institutions. As part of the grants to all three institutions, funding has been carved out for the exploration and implementation of new technologies for distance learning that will make training and credentialing possible for students unable to take coursework on campus. The three institutions will work to foster best practices in the field, and they have committed, where possible, to collaborate on projects to ensure creative new directions to the education of future Jewish educators.

Since its establishment in 2006, the Jim Joseph Foundation has made grants totaling nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to an array of institutions and organizations that support Jewish learning.

“The Jim Joseph Foundation is confident that partnering with these institutions is an effective way to impact the next generation of Jews,” adds Executive Director Chip Edelsberg. “The foundation’s first four years of grant making represent significant investments in both established institutions and newer organizations – indicative of JJF’s commitment to support Jewish youth and young adults in myriad educational settings. JJF Directors deeply value preparing, credentialing and developing professional educators. The Board also generously supports organizations that enable individuals to have immersive Jewish learning experiences. The Foundation believes this approach to its philanthropy will help to create multiple pathways to a vibrant Jewish future.”

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