Jim Joseph Foundation Announces $12 Million in Grants to HUC, YU and JTS to Advance Jewish Education

Historic investment intended to increase the number and quality of Jewish educators

Jim_Joseph_Foundation_logoIn a bold effort to increase the number of future educators and to improve the quality of professional preparation and Jewish education they receive, nearly $12 million in grants are going to the three leading training institutions for Jewish educators.

The Jim Joseph Foundation (JJF) today announced that it has awarded nearly $12 million in grants to The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC), and Yeshiva University (YU). The initial grants, to be administered over a five-year period, will be used as financial aid for students pursuing education degrees or certification in programs that prepare them to work with Jewish youth and young adults, and to assist each institution in planning new and enhanced programs that will attract more educators to the field.

The grants represent the launch of a long-term investment the foundation plans to make in these three grand institutions.

“The quality of future heads of school, teachers and educational leaders in Jewish education will improve directly because of this funding,” says JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen. “They will contribute greatly to the future of North American Jewry. And with this incredibly generous grant, the Jim Joseph Foundation is strengthening our institutions and giving a huge vote of confidence as we work to enhance Jewish education in the coming decades.”

The grants will provide $700,000 to each institution for each of the next five academic years for scholarships for future educators. The remaining grant funds will be divided among the institutions – $563,000 for YU, $221,900 for JTS, and $212,110 for HUC – to be used in the 2009/2010 academic year for planning purposes and innovative programs that will both seed and sustain the field. The three institutions will work to foster best practices and collaborate on projects when possible to ensure creative new directions and a renewed commitment to the education of future Jewish educators.

In addition, the foundation has agreed to explore support for inter-institutional collaborations that evidence promise for directly augmenting the educational enterprise across institutions. Two potential areas for such development are new technologies for distance learning and marketing of Jewish education as a desirable professional career.

Unique to the grants is also the unprecedented collaboration this partnership represents. To facilitate this cooperation, JJF will convene a steering committee comprised of the leadership of the three institutions. This group will monitor progress of the grant implementation and plan for additional initiatives that will be pursued with JJF’s support. They also will explore together how to expand distance learning, marketing, and recruitment.

About: The Shimon Ben Joseph Foundation, commonly known as the Jim Joseph Foundation, is committed to the legacy of its founder, Jim Joseph, z”l, devoted exclusively to supporting education of Jewish youth in the United States. Jim Joseph was a dedicated Jewish philanthropist who cared passionately about the education of Jewish children, youth, and young adults. He believed that focusing on young people was the best way to preserve a strong Jewish faith and proud heritage, thereby ensuring success of the Jewish people for the future.