As a student in the Certificate Program in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults, you will be paired with an HUC-JIR graduate who will serve as your mentor. All of our mentors are drawn from leading youth and young adult professionals in Jewish communities in North America. You will meet with your mentor each month of the program. Your discussions will center around the curriculum of the Certificate Program, challenges and accomplishments in the work place, and general professional issues.

The goals of the clinical mentoring component of the Certificate Program in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults are to:

  • Guide you in the process of application – integration – implementation of your learning;
  • Support you as you rethink your role in your organization and develop your capacity to lead institutions through a transformational change process;
  • Help you engage in both personal and professional transformation as you grow and change;
  • Provide continuity and coherence between and among different elements of the experience as you pull the various program components together into a cohesive whole; and
  • Guide you as you complete your Final Action Projects.

Our current mentors are:

Hope Chernak, MARE, serves Shaaray Tefila in New York City as Director of Youth and Informal Education. Hope brings years of experience in the Reform youth movement, most recently as managing director of NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth). She also has served as the director of NFTY regions, as a regional advisor for NFTY, as regional director of youth and informal education for the URJ Southeast Council, as a synagogue youth group advisor. Hope holds a certificate in Youth, Adult and Family Learning and the MARE degree from HUC-JIR’s New York School of Education.

Rabbi Ari Margolis, MAJE, serves Temple Beth Or in Raleigh, NC both as the Assistant Rabbi and also as a Jewish Educator, overseeing the curricular development of the religious school and opportunities for adult education. Ordained in 2010, Margolis was a Mandel Fellow and received his MAJE from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education. Earlier he worked at Rutgers University Hillel as an engagement specialist - reaching out to Jewish students to provide Jewish resources for those who were not as connected to the greater Jewish community.

Rabbi Michael Mellen is a sought after speaker, trainer, facilitator and consultant. Ordained in 1998 at HUC-JIR’s Cincinnati campus, he has served as Director of NFTY, as a congregational rabbi and educator at Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax Station, Virginia, and as a consultant, educator and advisor with a company he founded, Jewish Youth Works.

Rabbi Beth Nichols, MAJE, serves Temple Israel of New Rochelle in both a rabbinic role and directing programs of education for all ages. Ordained at the Los Angeles campus of HUC-JIR in May 2007, Rabbi Nichols completed two Master of Arts degrees: one in Hebrew Letters and the other in Jewish Education at the Rhea Hirsch School of Education