The educational institutions that are the backbone of our community are only as strong as their leaders and educators. This is why we at the Foundation for Jewish Camp are particularly excited by the Jim Joseph Foundation’s (JJF) new investment in three of the Jewish community’s educational training grounds: The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC), and Yeshiva University (YU). Read more about JJF’s gift on the Fundermentalist blog here.
According to the Jim Joseph Foundation, “The funding provides financial aid for students pursuing education degrees or certification in programs that prepare them to work with Jewish youth and young adults. The grants will also assist each institution in planning, staffing and implementing new and enhanced programs designed to attract more educators to the field… It is projected that more than 1,000 new educators will graduate from the institutions during the grant period in a variety of doctoral, master’s, and certificate programs.”
Wow. More than 1,000 new educators.
FJC is delighted that Jewish summer camp is part of this virtuous cycle. A JESNA survey of Jewish day school educators and complementary school educators found that the most frequently cited educational experience which influenced them to enter the field of Jewish education was Jewish camp!
And now, thanks to the Jim Joseph Foundation, these dedicated Jewish professionals will be—in the words of Jewish camp alum Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion—provided with “the necessary depth of knowledge, and nurture their creativity and aspirations so that they may serve the growing educational needs of the Jewish community.”
Even more exciting is the fact that each of the three beneficiary institutions is developing a track for experiential Jewish educators, raising the bar of excellence at Jewish overnight camps even higher, creating….you guessed it, more Jewish educators! Not to mention the tens of thousands of Jewish camp alumni living full and engaged adult Jewish lives.
We couldn’t be happier. Read here about some of the thinking behind this pioneering gift.
-Jeremy J. Fingerman, CEO, Foundation for Jewish Camp