NYU Awarded $4.96 Million Grant from Jim Joseph Foundation

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.

# # #

About The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

NYU’s Steinhardt School is a multifaceted institution with 258 full-time faculty in 11 academic departments. Steinhardt offers nearly 20 undergraduate programs and more than 40 graduate programs in fields that include education, applied psychology, health professions, communication, the arts, and music. Nearly all programs, whether undergraduate or graduate, place practical training in locations throughout New York City at the center of our students’ learning—through internships, fieldwork, student teaching, or clinical practica. The School’s mission is to advance knowledge, creativity, and innovation at the critical crossroads of human learning, culture, development, and well-being. Through rigorous research and education, both within and across disciplines, our faculty and students evaluate and redefine processes, practices, and policies in their respective fields, and, from a global as well as a community perspective, lead in an ever-changing world.

About The Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies

The Skirball Department’s primary purpose is to train scholars in the areas of Jewish literature, religion, history, and thought who have mastered both a body of knowledge relating specifically to Jewish Studies and the canons and practices of a general academic discipline. Courses are offered in Biblical studies; post-Biblical and Talmudic literature; medieval and modern Hebrew literature; history of the Jews in the ancient, medieval, and modern periods; Jewish philosophy, religious expression, and mysticism; and related fields. Many courses involve the reading of Hebrew texts, and some are conducted in Hebrew. The Department sponsors lectures and colloquia on current research in Jewish civilization, often in collaboration with the Departments of History, English, and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies; the Programs in Religious Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Near Eastern Studies; and the Center for Ancient Studies. The Taub Center for Israel Studies and the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History are also housed in the Skirball Department. Course offerings are frequently augmented by outstanding visiting scholars from Israel, and the Department collaborates with resources at NYU such as the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life as well as the many institutions, libraries, museums, and relevant Jewish organizations in the New York City area.

About The Jim Joseph Foundation

The Jim Joseph Foundation, established in 2006, is committed to a sustained program of grant-making in pursuit of a vision that leads to ever-increasing numbers of young Jews engaged in ongoing Jewish learning and choosing to live vibrant Jewish lives. The Foundation manages close to $1 billion, using all of its resources to foster compelling, effective Jewish learning for young Jews in the United States.