Jewish Studies In-Service Teacher Training Program

Program Description

PCJE’s new Jewish Studies In-Service Teacher Training Program (JSITT) is designed to help complement a novice day school teacher’s classroom experience with systematic and forward-thinking pedagogy training. There are many teachers in North America, those who are already teaching Jewish studies in a day school and those who would like to be, who have a passion for Jewish texts and an ability to engage with students meaningfully, but have not had the opportunity to formally study the content-specific pedagogies which are essential for maximizing student learning. As such, the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators has designed a program to enable them to do just that, while staying in their schools!

JSITT is a 14-month teacher training program designed for both Jewish studies teachers already in the classroom and those about to begin teaching, who have never had the opportunity for formal pedagogy training.

This program provides participants:

  • a more systematic approach to curriculum development and lesson planning
  • greater alignment between learning goals and teaching practices
  • a wider variety of tools and strategies for maximizing student engagement
  • Jewish studies content-specific pedagogy
  • opportunities to self-reflect on their practice
  • Participation in online pedagogy webinars to be run in July, 2020.
  • Study of a pedagogy syllabus designed especially for in-service Jewish studies teachers via twice monthly video conferencing
  • Once a month 1-on-1 video mentoring to reflect on the participants’ personal teaching practice and to get feedback and/or support
  • Two in-person two-day school visits by a PCJE faculty member (in November and March) who observe classes and assist with hands on implementation of new pedagogy practices
  • The final August of the program includes a last round of 1-on-1 video mentoring sessions to ensure maximum implementation for the school year(s) ahead
  • Participants earn a Certificate of Pedagogy in Jewish Studies from PCJE

JSITT is designed both for Jewish studies teachers already working at a day school and for those who plan to begin teaching at the start of the upcoming school year. Participants should already have subject knowledge background but little-to-no formal pedagogy training.

The program begins July 6th, 2020 with online webinars and runs through the Summer of 2021.

  • Online – via bi-weekly webinars
  • At participants’ schools – via two in-person visits to the school by PCJE faculty during the school year
  • At Pardes in Jerusalem in July 2021 [subject to international travel regulations]

JSITT costs $8,000 for the 14-month program. However, for participants who are new to teaching Jewish studies, a $5,000 subsidy towards the cost of the program will be provided by TalentEd.

There are two participants currently in the pilot year of the program. Here is what they had to say after only three weeks in the JSITT program.

I believe my participation in JSITT program will transform the way I conduct my classroom because it encourages me to think more creatively and reflectively about my teaching practices. – Amir Zinkow, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester

I cannot emphasize enough how much I learned and grew as an educator. Like – wow… not only was I re-energized and reinvigorated in my role as both student and teacher engaged in rigorous text study, and “inaugurated” into a community and network of North American Jewish Day School educators, but for the first time I received invaluable formal pedagogy training through hours of pedagogy classes and one-on-one mentorship. In the ~15 hours of pedagogy classes, I learned so much and got so many resources related to everything from lesson planning to teaching modalities to classroom management. We also spent a good amount of time covering things specific to JS – for example, how to help kids work with Hebrew text and translation, and what hevrutah protocols to establish. I am walking away with an ability to manage my classroom and plan and conduct thoughtful lessons in ways that I could not have dreamed of before this summer. I now know how to set my classroom and students up for success, how to create systems and routines in the class that facilitate learning, and how to plan and map curriculum so that everything I do in class is purposeful and meets a goal.

I got 10+ hours of one on one mentorship from an amazing and experienced educator. Instead of objectively learning about pedagogy, I got to completely revamp my 6th grade curriculum using a curriculum map and UBD lesson plans, converted other units into the curriculum map template, and developed a Hevrutah unit and system with a protocol and rubric… I am so excited to continue reimagining and systematically converting my unit and lesson plans into the UBD framework, which will allow me to make more focused, purposeful, and organized lesson plans as well as units. – Adi Alouf, Rodeph Shalom School

Email Rachel Friedrichs at Please note that this initial application will be followed up with a request for references and a scheduled interview.