Covenant Foundation Awards $113,000 for Jewish Education in Pittsburgh Union for Reform Judaism and Agency for Jewish Learning Team for Joint Project
NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2007 Working together to teach the teachers always pays off. But now it seems that it is paying off even more.
In partnership with the Agency for Jewish Learning in Pittsburgh, the Union for Reform Judaism has been awarded $113,000 by the Covenant Foundation for a 30-month program. With the grant, the agencies will to provide teachers with educational seminars focusing on innovative teaching techniques, continuing education and integrated models for classroom participation. These will be held in parallel with sessions for congregational leaders so they will be more knowledgeable about and supportive of Jewish education.
Working with sixteen religious school teachers, who are also members of Rodef Shalom Congregation, Temple Sinai and Temple Emanuel of South Hills, this initiative aims to nurture teachers and leaders entrusted with educating the next generation.
This partnership created a program called M & M, which stands for Mlamdim uManhigim' which means Teachers and Leaders, said Rabbi Jan Katzew, director of the Unions Department of Lifelong Jewish Learning. The project will help create teachers who are steeped in Reform Jewish philosophy and practice as well as the newest pedagogy as well as volunteer leaders who will advocate for Jewish education.
The two-year program includes 60 two-hour sessions with faculty, 10 sessions with volunteer leaders, a Shabbaton, a visit to New York City to meet with leaders in the Reform Movement and culminates in an Israel Experience. Teachers and Leaders will be piloted in Pittsburgh with the hope and expectation that it will spread to other communities interested in strengthening their Jewish educational infrastructure.
The Unions Department of Lifelong Jewish Learning provides human and material resources to help congregational educators, teachers and administrators advance and enhance Reform Jewish education. The Departments mission includes educating Reform Jews from the youngest to the oldest.
The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.