Aug 14, 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, Ephraim Ross of Marin County, California, will spend the year as a teacher in Atlanta’s Greenfield Hebrew Academy.
“When I joined the fellowship I was ready to travel,” said Ross, who graduated from Arizona State University with a major in women and gender studies in May 2009. “I wanted to find the perfect school, regardless of the location.”
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.
“This program gives emerging educators a safe opportunity to acquire practical experience that will round out their classroom learning at YU,” said Rabbi Lee Buckman, head of school at Greenfield. “It’s the best of both worlds—theory and practice.”
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.