Jim Joseph Funds New Stanford Doctoral Program

    Stanford University Receives $12 million to Establish New Concentration and Professorship

Committed to the creation of a new generation of scholars in Jewish education, the Jim Joseph Foundation has announced a $12 million grant, awarded to Stanford University’s School of Education (SUSE) to create a doctoral Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies. A key component of the new concentration is the establishment of an endowed Jim Joseph Professorship in Education and Jewish Studies. The gift is the largest in the history of Stanford’s School of Education.

Stanford previously offered a concentration in Jewish education from 1992 – 2002, establishing a track record for preparing scholars of Jewish education at the doctoral level. By using the JJF grant to renew its concentration, Stanford now joins NYU as one of only two research universities in the country offering this type of doctoral degree. It will admit two students per year for the first three years of the program and then will ramp up by one additional student per year afterwards to reach a total of seven.

Faculty in Stanford’s School of Education will collaborate with scholars in Stanford’s Taube Center of Jewish Studies to create the curriculum for this new concentration.

“We truly are embarking on a new era of research and understanding about how religion and education intersect,” said Professor Vered Karti Shemtov, co-director of the Taube Center for Jewish Studies. “Our center is looking forward to contributing to this new concentration and working with its scholars and students. We have long participated in educating the next generations of leaders in the study of Jewish history, religion and literatures. Thanks to the Jim Joseph Foundation, the new concentration will allow us to train scholars who will influence not only the academic world, but also K-12 education.”

“What makes this renewed concentration unique is its broad, all-encompassing approach to education,” said Dr. Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. “SUSE and the Jim Joseph Foundation understand that Jewish education encompasses issues of nationality, peoplehood and culture, as well as religion; that Judaism is a broad civilization embracing both secular and Jewish elements.”

This understanding, along with the idea that the meeting of religion and education can contribute to a broad array of fields, will establish Stanford as a national and international center for research in this new field.

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.

The Jim Joseph Foundation also funds dual degree NYU masters and doctoral students in Jewish Studies and Education, part of the Foundation’s deliberate approach to fund Jewish education scholars at premier universities – one on each coast – who will populate the field as a next generation of educational leaders.