The Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Hillel International and The Jewish Theological Seminary Launch Joint Masters Program




(JERUSALEM, Israel & WASHINGTON, D.C. & NEW YORK, NY– June 11, 2018) The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators (, Hillel International ( and The William Davidson School of The Jewish Theological Seminary ( announced a formal partnership to launch a joint MA program in Experiential Jewish Education.

Set to launch this fall, the three-year program, designed specifically for Hillel professionals, will begin with two years at Pardes in the Pardes Experiential Educators Program, in conjunction with online graduate study, and a third year back on campus. Students will receive an MA in Jewish Education from The William Davidson School and will be placed as Senior Jewish Educators at Hillels’ in North America upon graduation.

“With our balanced focus on rigorous study of Jewish content and personal and communal meaning, we’re uniquely positioned to train Hillel professionals as Senior Jewish Educators,” shared Aviva Golbert, Director of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators.  “We are thrilled to partner with The William Davidson School at JTS in providing the best foundation for Hillel’s strongest educators.”

The new program at Pardes will teach Hillel professionals experiential education skills in order to excel as experiential educators and professionals on campus. The program will synthesize what they learn in their text, ulpan, and community experiences with their professional skills in order to become capable, knowledgeable, and inspiring master Jewish educators.

“Hillel is focused on ensuring that we have the best Jewish educators on staff to serve students throughout the world,” said Chief Talent Officer of Hillel International, Mimi Kravetz. “In developing this program with Pardes and the William Davidson School, we are building our talent pipeline for education positions on campus.”

Hillel International’s research has shown that Senior Jewish Educators are critical in engaging students and have the greatest impact on students’ Jewish growth. On average, educators connect more than 200 students per year to Jewish life, many of whom would not be engaged without their presence. The effect of an educator is much greater on a student with little or no prior involvement with Hillel or those with less structured Jewish backgrounds.

“Education is the passport to the future,” said Dr. Ofra Backenroth, Associate Dean at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. “A collaboration between Pardes, Hillel and The William Davidson School promises to be a project that will keep the Jewish spark lit and will contribute to the development of excellent educators with strong Jewish identity, committed to excellent Jewish education and to best practices.”

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The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators, a branch of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies ( in Jerusalem, trains and empowers Jewish studies teachers and experiential Jewish educators and leaders to serve as knowledgeable, skilled, reflective and passionate professionals in diverse Jewish settings.

Hillel International ( Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for more than 90 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path. During their formative college years, students are challenged to explore, experience, and create vibrant Jewish lives.

JTS ( is a preeminent institution of Jewish higher education, training thoughtful, innovative leaders—rabbis, cantors, educators, lay leaders, and scholars—who strengthen our communities with a vision of Judaism that is deeply grounded in the Jewish past and thoroughly engaged with contemporary society.


Aviva Golbert
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies
Office: + 972-2-673-5210

Sarah Garfinkel
West End Strategy Team representing Hillel International
Office: 202-776-7700

Sarahann Goldstein
The Jewish Theological Seminary
Office: 212-678-8032