Graduation Milestone for Pardes Center for Jewish Educators Amidst Challenging Year

Graduation Milestone for Pardes Center for Jewish Educators Amidst Challenging Year

Jerusalem, May 29, 2024 – This week, the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators (PCJE) proudly celebrated the graduation of its latest cohorts from the Pardes Day School Educators Program (PEP) and the Pardes Experiential Educators Program (PEEP). Despite the challenges faced this year due to the conflict in Gaza, the graduates have emerged as strong, knowledgeable, and passionate Jewish educators ready to make a significant impact in their communities.

Their perseverance and commitment to their education and their future roles as Jewish leaders and educators have been nothing short of inspiring.

“The resilience and dedication demonstrated by our students this year is truly remarkable,” said Aviva Lauer, Gottesman Family Director of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators. “Despite the adversities they faced, they remained focused on their mission to become effective and inspiring Jewish educators. We are incredibly proud of each graduate and confident that they will have a profound, long-term effect on their respective communities.”

The Pardes Day School Educators Program is a comprehensive two-year program that equips participants with the skills necessary to teach Jewish Studies in North American Jewish day schools. This program includes intensive classical Jewish text study, pedagogical training, and mentorship. Similarly, the Pardes Experiential Educators Program is a 10-month initiative designed to prepare educators to inspire a love for Judaism in various settings, including camps, schools, campuses, and communities across North America and Europe.

Additionally, Pardes’ Senior Educator Learning Fellowship also concluded this week with a two-day convening on the East Coast. SELF is a 10-month professional development program for congregational school directors and senior educational leaders. Fellows engage in both online and in-person learning while developing community projects focused on constructive disagreement. The program begins with a two-week, fully-subsidized intensive beit midrash experience in Jerusalem, focusing on how Jewish text can improve civil discourse, and continues with monthly webinars and mentorship. Each fellow receives seed funding of up to $2,000 for their community projects.

One of the PEP graduates, Alec Burroughs, reflected on his experience, stating, “This year has been challenging in ways I never expected. Living in Jerusalem during the conflict was difficult, but it also deepened my connection to the city and to my Jewish identity. The support from PCJE and my peers has been invaluable. I am leaving this program not only as a better educator but as a stronger person.”

Since its inception, PCJE has trained over 300 Jewish educators, with 78% currently working in the field and 38 graduates in leadership roles. The programs have had a lasting impact on more than 200 educational institutions worldwide, fostering a vibrant and knowledgeable Jewish future.

About Pardes Center for Jewish Educators:

The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators (PCJE) is a division of Pardes dedicated to creating, mentoring, and supporting Jewish educators. Through innovative programs and a commitment to excellence, PCJE aims to enhance Jewish learning and teaching worldwide.