Hebrew College Receives $500K in Professional-Development Grants

Hebrew College (Newton Centre, Mass.) has received three grants totaling more than $500,000 to fund professional-development programs and initiatives at the Rabbinical School and the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education.

The largest of these grants – for $290,000 over three years – was awarded by Bloomberg Philanthropies to the Rabbinical School to expand, enhance and integrate the school’s curriculum in chaplaincy, counseling and pastoral-care training.

The Shoolman School received the two other grants – a $200,000, three-year award from the Legacy Heritage Fund to establish the Legacy Heritage Midcareer Fellowship Program at Hebrew College, and a $20,000 award from The Covenant Foundation to create a play-based curriculum that introduces young children to the notion of God and spiritual wonder.

The Bloomberg grant, given in honor of Rabbi Suzanne Offit, a 2009 Rabbinical School graduate, will support the Rabbinical School in significantly enhancing the three core elements of its clinical-training program: Clinical Pastoral Education, an intensive 12-week summer program that gives students hands-on experience in caregiving; Ikvotecha, a monthly program that allows students to explore and nurture their spiritual lives by working closely with rabbis and therapists; and course work in pastoral counseling, life-cycle counseling and mourning and loss.

The Legacy Heritage award will subsidize tuition for 15 students in the college’s Master of Jewish Education program. The initial cohort will matriculate in fall 2013 and spring 2014. In addition to their course work and professional-development placements, students in the program will have the opportunity to attend an annual conference with other Legacy fellows from around the country.

The Covenant grant will support efforts to introduce Godly Play curricula into several area supplementary schools, day schools and early-childhood centers over the next year. The curricula will be developed by a group of educators and practitioners – a community of practice – who come together with the common goal of promoting sacred teaching and spiritual learning in Jewish educational settings.