The Jim Joseph Foundation Awards $15 Million Grant to The Jewish Theological Seminary

Historic Investment Is Part of $45 Million Grant to JTS, HUC, and YU to Advance Jewish Education

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

May 27, 2010, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), in recognition of its leadership in Jewish education, has received an additional grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation of $11 million. This brings the Foundation’s total award to JTS during this academic year to nearly $15 million. The grant is part of $45 million that the Foundation has awarded to the three leading training institutions for Jewish educators in North America—JTS, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC), and Yeshiva University (YU)—for the purpose of significantly increasing the number and quality of trained and credentialed Jewish educators.

At JTS, the grant will benefit and be administered by the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. It will provide for academic fellowships for students in The Davidson School’s doctoral and master’s programs. Funds will also be directed toward supporting two new master’s tracks in The Davidson School, one in Jewish early childhood education and one in experiential education programs that take place at summer camps, museums, and Jewish Community Centers (JCCs). In addition, JTS will develop a new program that will allow Davidson School students the opportunity to spend a full academic semester in Israel, leading to a certificate in Israel Education. The grant will also help support new faculty and personnel hires, as well as internships for students in a variety of Jewish educational settings.

As part of this singular initiative, JTS, HUC, and YU will form a committee composed of the leadership of the three institutions and a representative from the Jim Joseph Foundation to share best practices, create collaborative educational programs, and explore the use of information technology in Jewish education.

“The unprecedented degree of partnership among JTS, HUC, and YU that the Jim Joseph Foundation has fostered is a historic development of major importance,” says Professor Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of JTS. “The future of American Jewry in large part depends on the quality and quantity of visionary Jewish educators. Finding and training a dramatically increased number of such educators is a challenge we all face. As a result of the Jim Joseph Foundation, JTS, HUC, and YU are working together as never before with a shared goal and a clear understanding of what we can, should, and must do together, and where we must proceed on parallel and separate tracks. It is truly a moment of unique promise for each of our institutions and for the entire Jewish community.”

Dr. Barry Holtz, dean of The Davidson School, adds, “This grant gives us the opportunity to launch new programs that we have long dreamed of creating. In addition, it offers the kind of financial aid that will attract new and talented young people to the field of Jewish education, and allows us to offer them intensive and innovative preparation for their future careers.”

The Shimon Ben Joseph Foundation, commonly known as the Jim Joseph Foundation, is committed to the legacy of its founder, Jim Joseph (z”l), and devoted exclusively to fostering compelling, effective learning experiences in a multitude of settings for young Jews in the United States. A dedicated Jewish philanthropist, Mr. Joseph believed that focusing on young people was the best way to preserve a strong Jewish faith and proud heritage, thereby ensuring success of the Jewish people for the future.

To learn more about The Davidson School, please contact Dr. Barry Holtz at JTS: (212) 678-8030.

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