Social Entrepreneurship in Jewish Education at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

By Jonathan Mirvis

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Melton Centre for Jewish education will launch the Melton Fellows Program in the forthcoming academic year. This program will comprise two tracks:

  • Jewish thought and its application to education;
  • Social entrepreneurship in Jewish education.

In this post we will focus on the social entrepreneurship track.

The field of Jewish education is facing a number of existential challenges. Among them is the need to establish new educational models that will attract the growing numbers of non-customers. A second important challenge is the need to develop educational models, which are financially sustainable.

Over a period of two years, the Melton Fellows will grapple with these challenges and others. They will study Jewish education and its eco-system in depth and, in addition, will acquire an in-depth knowledge of social entrepreneurship. All fellows will be required to develop an innovative operative model under the mentorship of seasoned entrepreneurs from the field of Jewish education and beyond. Upon graduation, the fellows will receive an MA degree in Education (specializing in Jewish Education) from The Seymour Fox School of Education, and a certificate in social entrepreneurship from the Melton Centre.

A major catalyst for the establishment of this exciting new program has been the Hebrew University’s prioritization of entrepreneurship and innovation in general and social entrepreneurship in particular.

In November 2018, the Hebrew University together with Bezalel Academic Design and Azrieli College received a $5.4 grant from Israel’s Council of Higher Education to establish an entrepreneurship and innovation center. We envisaged that this new program will work closely with the center and benefit from its expertise.

According to Dr Michael Gillis, the director of the Melton Centre for Jewish education, “The Hebrew University, with its world-class departments in the relevant fields, is the perfect place to launch this cross-disciplinary program. As such, we have high expectations from our graduates.”

Registration for the Melton Fellows has begun and will close on May 15.

This ambitious program comes in the wake of the Melton Centre’s launch of Hebrew University’s first Blended-learning MA program three years ago. The program that combines two semesters of on-line courses with a face- to -face intensive Summer semester in Jerusalem, has 40 enrolled students and anticipates increased enrolment next academic year

Dr Jonathan Mirvis is a Senior Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship at The Hebrew University’s Seymour Fox School of Education and is the Academic Director of the Social Entrepreneurship track.