The Davidson School of JTS Receives Major Grant from AVI CHAI Foundation

Press Contact: Beatrice Mora
Office: (212) 678-8950

August 19, 2013, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is honored to announce that its William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education has received landmark new funding from the AVI CHAI Foundation. The $2.67 million grant will strengthen The Davidson School over the next five years, bolstering the school's structure and sustainability as a thought leader in the field of Jewish education.

"AVI CHAI has worked closely with JTS for a number of years, and we greatly appreciate the vote of confidence that this latest major grant represents. It will enable JTS and The Davidson School to make an even greater contribution to the transformation and vibrancy of Jewish education in North America," said Arnold M. Eisen, chancellor of JTS.

The Davidson School improves the quality of Jewish life through the power of Jewish education. In 18 years, the school has prepared more than 500 leaders through degree-granting programs and opportunities in professional development focused on administrative leadership and instruction, such as the Day School Leadership Training Institute and the Etgar curriculum for congregational schools.

"A comprehensive strategic planning process has empowered us to write a new chapter for The Davidson School, and we have set exciting goals for the leadership we will provide the field," explained JTS's Dr. Zachary Lasker, director of Education Projects for the Melton Research Center for Jewish Education and The Davidson School. "The funding from AVI CHAI will enable us to optimize our reach through our core programs and to address emerging trends in Jewish education through new initiatives and research."

The new funding provided by AVI CHAI will complete the foundation's support of The Davidson School's strategic plan implementation. It will enable The Davidson School to provide cutting-edge skills and resources to Jewish day schools, educators, and leaders throughout the United States by investing in significant research in experiential education and educational technology; increasing organizational capacity, including new personnel and new outreach and marketing resources; and intensifying the Judaic learning of its students.

Yossi Prager, executive director of AVI CHAI North America, said, "AVI CHAI is delighted by the opportunity to support the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education as it implements its plan to continue to provide quality programs to support Jewish education and Jewish education professionals, innovate, and secure its financial future."

AVI CHAI and JTS are enthusiastic about augmenting The Davidson School's strategic effectiveness in fostering stronger Jewish education across North America. AVI CHAI is providing half of the support needed, in order to spur philanthropic leadership and encourage new donors to champion The Davidson School's pioneering programs-support for The Davidson School's training, curriculum development, and higher education is essential to the vibrancy of Jewish education at the local community level.

Along with the main grant, AVI CHAI has also affirmed its commitment to ongoing support of The Davidson School's field programs-which have become standard bearers for the professional development of Jewish educational professionals-until the foundation's sunset in 2020.