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 Jewish studies teachers in day schools across the country who have the passion for Jewish texts and thrive in the classroom, but have not had the opportunity to formally study the content specific pedagogies which are essential for maximizing student learning. And so, 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 fourteen-month teacher training program designed for Jewish studies teachers who, while already in the classroom, have never had the opportunity for formal pedagogy training.

Capitalizing on teachers’ already existing classroom experience, 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 July pedagogy workshop (which also includes beit midrash text study and educational trips in Jerusalem) at Pardes in Jerusalem
  • 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

Jewish studies teachers at a day school who have subject knowledge background and at least one year classroom experience, but who have not had the opportunity to formally learn concrete and effective pedagogy practices and techniques.

The program runs for fourteen months. Beginning in July at Pardes and running through the academic year through the following August.

  • Pardes in Jerusalem – for the July pedagogy workshop
  • Online – via bi-weekly webinars
  • At participants’ schools – via two in-person visits to the school by PCJE faculty during the school year
  • The JSITT program costs $8,000, which includes the summers at Pardes, pedagogy classes, webinars, coaching and school visits.
  • PCJE will provide $1,600 (USD) living and travel subsidies for each July at Pardes (for a total of $3,200).
  • We strongly encourage both participants and schools to contribute towards the cost of the program.

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

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