Pardes-Kevah Teaching Fellowship

Program Description

Same great Kevah program, now powered by Pardes!

Where: Berkeley, CA
When: June 17-30, 2019

While many fine institutions exist to teach Torah to the next generation of Jewish leaders, rarely are these scholars taught how to teach the Torah that they have learned. Despite the lack of teacher training, Jewish professionals are simply expected to be able to teach Torah well.

Both Pardes and Kevah believe that a significant increase in the number of highly trained Torah teachers has the capacity to radically change the Jewish community’s relationship to their spiritual and intellectual heritage. Through this teacher training fellowship, we aim to significantly improve the quality of adult Jewish education in the North American Jewish community.

Kevah has years of experience running adult learning groups nationally and has developed a unique model for adult education that harnesses the power of a decentralized, interactive, conversational approach. Kevah’s model allows the educator to act as both a content expert and – equally important – a skilled facilitator in the creation of a “group havruta.”

The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators has years of experience training both classroom teachers and experiential educators. PCJE’s singular teacher training brand fuses the acquisition of Jewish text content with the cultivation of excellent and progressive teaching techniques. Approximately 200 PCJE graduates work in Jewish education in a variety of settings and roles such as day school teachers, facilitators, professional leaders in synagogues, community organizations, start-ups, federations, camps, and Hillels.

Kevah and Pardes are excited to join forces to bring our combined expertise to the Jewish community.

Participate in the Pardes-Kevah Teaching Fellowship this summer and transform the way you teach Jewish texts!

  • Join a diverse cohort of gifted Jewish educators
  • Learn from experts in adult Jewish education
  • Practice and Master text-teaching techniques for adult learners
  • Actualize skills by teaching a public lesson at Limmud Bay Area Festival 2019

The program, led by Rabbi David Kasher and Dr. Julie Lieber, formerly of Kevah, will guide participants through the process of learning how to teach adults from beginning to end. We will do rigorous work on skills such as: text selection; creating a narrative arc; preparing opening and closing moments; asking good questions; and dealing with group dynamics.

Participants will spend one week learning from expert educators and practicing new skills. They will then apply their newly cultivated skills during the second week of the program as they prepare their own lessons. Every piece of the lesson-building process is workshopped with the cohort, and participants are given careful feedback and time for refinement. By the end of the program, participants will have a fully polished shiur that they have practiced with their cohort and are ready to bring to a wider audience. The program culminates with an opportunity for all participants to teach in a community setting at the Limmud Bay Area Festival 2019.

Sample Daily Schedule: Weekdays from 9-5pm and Friday 9-3pm

*Please note that weekend #1 has no scheduled programming and weekend #2 is at Limmud Bay Area

9:00 – 10:30am  Pedagogy Each day begins with a presentation on a particular aspect of the pedagogy of adult education. This is where the theory and technique will be carefully explained.
10:45am – 12:00pm   Model Teaching & Group Processing An opportunity to see the theory in action, with a model lesson from either a faculty educator or one of the cohort, and then a chance to reflect on the experience as a group.
12:00 – 1:15pm Lunch A kosher lunch will be provided every day of the program.
1:30 – 2:30pm Beit Midrash Prep The afternoon will be devoted to student teaching, with the first hour allotted for preparation of materials and lesson planning. Each day’s activity will pick up on the lessons of the morning.
2:30 – 4:30pm Teaching Workshop with Feedback The most critical component of the program will be the opportunity to practice teaching with peers, and to be able to receive supportive feedback. This is where the growth truly happens.
4:30 – 5:15pm Debrief & Closing Reflections We will end every day by processing the teaching experience and reviewing key takeaways.

We are seeking to create a diverse cohort of dynamic emerging Jewish educators who want to develop their skills in adult Jewish education. Rabbinical students, graduate students, and Jewish educators with strong backgrounds in Jewish learning are encouraged to apply.
The application deadline is March 1. You can expect to hear from us within 10 days of submitting your application.

Apply today!

pardes kevah teaching fellowshipDr. Julie Lieber
Julie is a Jewish educator with many years of experience in both academic and community-based settings. Julie is the Director of the Pardes-Kevah Teaching Fellowship, where along with Rabbi David Kasher, she trains Rabbis and educators in the pedagogy of conversational adult education. She most recently served as the Interim Executive Director and Director of Education at Kevah. After receiving her PhD in European history with a focus on Jewish women, gender and sexuality, Julie moved to Colorado, where she was a professor of Jewish Studies for many years. In addition to her work with Kevah, Julie has taught for the Wexner Heritage Program, the Melton program, the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education and is a frequent guest lecturer throughout the Denver Jewish community. Previously, Julie lived on the East Coast where she was a founding board member of the partnership minyan Darkhei Noam and studied and taught classes at the Drisha Institute for Women.


pardes kevah teaching fellowshipRabbi David Kasher
David Kasher serves as an Associate Rabbi at IKAR, a non-denominational, progressive spiritual community in Los Angeles. He received his BA in Political Science at Wesleyan University, holds a J.S.D. from Berkeley Law, and received Rabbinic Ordination at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Kasher grew up bouncing back and forth between the Bay Area and Brooklyn, hippies and hassidim – and has been trying to synthesize these two worlds ever since. He was part of the founding team at Kevah, where he worked from 2012 to 2018 and developed the Kevah Teaching Fellowship. He has served on the faculty of Berkeley Law, the Wexner Heritage Program, Reboot, and BINA, and has also taught at Pardes, SVARA, The Hartman Institute, Dorot and various Limmuds. Rabbi Kasher is a teacher of nearly all forms of classical Jewish literature, but his greatest passion is Torah commentary, and he spent the last five years producing the weekly ParshaNut blog and podcast, exploring the riches of the genre.

Participation in the Pardes-Kevah Teaching Fellowship is highly subsidized.
Cost per participant: $500; includes all program fees, daily kosher lunch, and participation in Limmud Bay Area Festival 2019.

Fellows may choose to find their own housing in the Bay Area or they can request that the Pardes-Kevah Teaching Fellowship provide housing for the duration of the program at an additional cost of $350. There is limited Pardes-Kevah Teaching Fellowship housing available on a first come first served basis.

For more information, contact Dr. Julie Lieber and Sefi Kraut at