In 1994, William Davidson of Detroit, Michigan (z"l), established a $15 million endowment at JTS to fund the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, with the goal of adding more professionals to the field; providing development opportunities to educators already working in the many venues where Jewish education takes place; and increasing the field's knowledge base through academic and practitioner research.
The Davidson School offers both master's and doctoral degrees in its historic home at 3080 Broadway, where Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan became the dean of its predecessor, the Teachers Institute, in 1909. It also offers courses leading to a master of arts degree online.
In addition to offering degree-oriented courses with its renowned faculty, The Davidson School also implements professional-development programs for educators in the field, and develops curriculum materials that are used in Jewish schools in a variety of settings. A number of these projects are situated in the Melton Research Center for Jewish Education, which is under the auspices of The Davidson School, as is the Rebecca and Israel Ivry Prozdor High School.
The Davidson School is informed by a vision of the Jewish educator that unites five distinct strands:
JTS is proud of its long tradition of commitment to Jewish texts in their original languages. Since Hebrew is at the core of Jewish culture, we expect a mastery of reading and understanding from all of our students. The degree of mastery differs in the MA program from that of the EdD program, and within the concentrations of the MA level. For example, students hoping to enter the field of Day School Teaching will require different Hebrew preparation from that of their peers entering the Educational Leadership in Synagogues and Communal Settings concentration.