The Davidson School Launches Executive Doctoral Program for Jewish Educators

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

January 22, 2009, New York, NY

The William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary has long offered its students flexibility, giving doctoral candidates in New York City the option to study on a full- or part-time basis. The Davidson School has now taken this flexibility one step further by launching a new initiative for individuals seeking to pursue a doctorate in Jewish education within the constraints of a full work schedule—the JTS Executive Doctoral Program.

Intended for working professionals from around the country, the Executive Doctoral program offers courses via intensive two-day seminars (on Sundays and Mondays) that will meet twice during the semester at JTS. During the six weeks in between the seminars, online technology will be used to supplement the course work through assignments and readings. Students can earn 6 credits per semester toward their degree. In addition, participants may also choose to take other distance learning courses offered by JTS as part of their program.

"The new Executive Doctoral Program is modeled on similar, successful programs used elsewhere, including business and general education schools. There are many talented and serious Jewish educators who are so involved in senior positions in the field that it would be impossible for them to leave their jobs and spend a number of years in New York working on their doctorates,” said Dr. Barry Holtz, dean of The Davidson School and Theodore and Florence Baumritter Professor of Jewish Education.

Students in the Executive Doctoral Program will have a flexible schedule to work through the program on their own time, affording them the opportunity to apply what they learn in their job settings. “It’s about relating the curriculum to their community and their lives as Jewish educators,” said Dr. Ofra Backenroth, assistant dean of The Davidson School.

Courses will be offered in a sequential order and newly learned research skills will be applied toward the papers and projects that students will work on as they move through the program. Each student must complete 63 credits divided among the fields of Jewish education, research methods, and Judaic content, take a written comprehensive examination, and write a doctoral dissertation supervised by one the Davidson School’s distinguished Jewish education faculty. Eligible students may apply for a small stipend.

With the incorporation of summer school programs and the ability to take classes at Teachers College, Columbia University, a JTS consortium school, students receive access to The Davidson School’s full range of educational benefits and offerings.

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2009 program. The application deadline is Sunday, March 1, 2009. For more information, contact Dr. Backenroth at (212) 678-8812 or visit the Executive Doctoral program website.