NYU Steinhardt News

NYU Awarded $4.96 Million Grant from Jim Joseph Foundation for Graduate Scholarships in Jewish Education

New York University will receive a grant of $4.96 million over six years for scholarships to support masters and doctoral students in Jewish education. The grant was awarded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, addressing a need to invest in training the next generation of Jewish educational leaders. NYU's program in education and Jewish studies prepares researchers and practitioners for leadership positions in a wide range of Jewish educational settings, from Jewish day schools and yeshivas, foundations and universities, to cultural organizations. The first scholarships will be awarded in 2009.

"We're deeply grateful to the Jim Joseph Foundation for this exceptional grant," said Mary Brabeck, dean of NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. "The Foundation's generosity will allow us to recruit and train even more students, to further strengthen our programs, and to inspire a new generation of men and women to devote their lives to teaching and learning."

"We are proud to be associated with NYU in supporting these programs," said Alvin Levitt, the Foundation's board president. "The Jim Joseph Foundation believes that NYU's outstanding Education and Jewish Studies faculty and graduate student community provide an ideal setting in which this kind of training for future Jewish educational leaders can take place."

Graduate students benefiting from the Foundation's grant support will be named Jim Joseph Foundation Fellows. The graduate students will be selected from the following programs:

  • The current doctoral program in Education and Jewish Studies: Established in 2001, the Ph.D. program in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU is the first of its kind to be offered at a major research university in the United States. Students benefit from the rich resources and course offerings of NYU Steinhardt and the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS). Eight Jim Joseph Foundation Fellows will receive full scholarships to complete their doctoral degrees over the course of the six year grant.
  • A new double masters program in Education and Jewish Studies and Hebrew and Judaic Studies: Beginning fall 2009, a new masters program will enable students to simultaneously earn an M.A. in Education from NYU Steinhardt and an M.A. in Judaic Studies from GSAS. The program is designed to serve administrators and teachers in the field who would like to enhance their professional qualifications without undertaking the long-term commitment of doctoral studies. Sixteen Jim Joseph Foundation Fellows will receive full scholarships to complete their double masters degrees over the course of the six year grant.

Additionally, the Foundation's grant will include funding for program administration and will allow for the hiring of adjunct faculty members in both NYU Steinhart and Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies.

"The Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) is deeply grateful to the Jim Joseph Foundation for enabling this historic development in Jewish education," said Catharine Stimpson, dean of NYU's GSAS.

"Our graduate students in education and Jewish studies are geographically diverse and come from every sector of the highly diversified Jewish world: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Zionist, cultural, and secular," said Robert Chazan, co-director, with Professor Harold Wechsler, of the Education and Jewish Studies programs. "What's common among them is the desire to assume leadership positions in Jewish educational enterprises. The excellent programs in education and Jewish studies and Hebrew and Judaic studies represent a real breakthrough in the training of the next generation of Jewish leaders."

"The Jim Joseph Foundation believes ardently in the importance of Jewish educators and their critical role in ensuring a vibrant Jewish future," said Chip Edelsberg, executive director of the Foundation. "We are confident this significant investment in NYU supporting these degree programs will produce future Jewish educational leaders."

Students interested in learning more about the programs should consult http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/humsocsci/jewish. Reporters wishing to speak with faculty or deans related to NYU's programs in education and Jewish studies should contact Tim Farrell, NYU Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6797.

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