Kevah, a Bay Area-based organization that engages Jewish identity and builds Jewish community through study of classical Jewish texts, has received a $250,000 grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation for the Kevah Teaching Fellowship. The Fellowship will provide participating educators with a fully funded professional development opportunity in facilitating Jewish small group learning for young adults.
The Fellowship includes three in-person workshops over the course of the year, a supervising mentor, personalized guidance in curriculum development, participation in ongoing Jewish learning with other Kevah Fellows, and access to carefully selected curricular resources. Ideal candidates for the program will have at least a BA, basic to advanced Hebrew literacy, experience learning Jewish texts, and a strong desire to become a great educator.
Participants in the Kevah Teaching Fellowship will also be charged with teaching one or more Kevah groups of young adults. With support from this grant, Kevah plans to build a young adult network of at least 25 Kevah groups around the United States.
In the Bay Area, Kevah has already built a network of over 35 groups. The majority of groups are located in the East Bay, with additional groups in Marin, San Francisco and the Peninsula.
In Colorado, Kevah supports a network of almost 15 groups in the Denver/Boulder area.
A crucial component to the success of each group is the personal and particular connection between educator and participants. Kevah’s Program Coordinator works with educators and group organizers in a personal way to ensure that the match between teachers and their groups is amiable, dynamic, and has room for mutual growth. Each semester groups are offered the opportunity to change their educator or topic and to bring in new members, so that the group feels renewed while the core components stay the same.
With literally dozens of groups launching every few months (Kevah projects doubling to over 100 groups in the next year), Kevah is constantly searching for educators of the highest caliber. “What we’ve realized,” says Kevah’s Executive Director Sara Heitler Bamberger, “is that Kevah needs to be in the business of training Torah teachers who understand how to make the text come alive to people of all different ages and backgrounds, with varying Jewish practices and interests.”