Dr. Miriam Heller Stern joined HUC-JIR in July 2016 as the National Director of the School of Education. She is passionate about empowering Jewish educational leaders to engage in their work intentionally, skillfully and creatively. Her graduate courses at HUC include Social Foundations of Jewish Education and Teaching for the New Millennium. She has published widely in various academic and professional journals and popular media outlets and is a frequent presenter at academic and professional conferences for educators.
Dedicated to elevating the quality of educational options across the Jewish community, Dr. Stern serves as a coach, mentor and advisor to Jewish educational leaders, institutions and initiatives across the United States. She serves on the advisory boards of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation’s Community Teen Initiative, theatre dybbuk, Bimbam, and education committees of the Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Jewish Education and the Network for Research in Jewish Education Research Awards Committee.
Previously, Dr. Stern served as Dean of American Jewish University’s (AJU) Graduate Center for Jewish Education in Los Angeles, where she trained and mentored Jewish educators for a decade. She has taught courses on educational vision/philosophy of education, curriculum development, practitioner research, social foundations of education, and the arts in Jewish education.
A historian by training and an expert in a variety of sub-fields in education, Dr. Stern’s current research and writing focuses on teaching, learning and leadership that engages the arts and creativity. She founded Dream Lab, a strategic initiative aimed to infuse the field of Jewish education with creativity through professional development, thought leadership and talent cultivation. She continues to advise artists around the country on their educational practice. Together with her husband Jonathan, she proudly channels her interest in creativity into parenting their three elementary and middle-school aged children.
Sample Presentation and Workshop Titles
Note: Dr. Stern specializes in practical, engaged and interactive presentations which engage in the audience in thinking about authentic applications to their own lives and work. She combines leading theory and tools from the field of education with sources from Jewish tradition and history.
“When Creativity Nourishes the Mind, Soul and Heart,” HaYidion, Summer 2016
“Redefining Jewish Womanhood through Informal Education," in Women Who Reconstructed American Jewish Education, edited by Carol Ingall, (University of New England Press: 2010)
“Method is Education: Making Informal Education Social and Substantive,” Journal of Jewish Education 72:3 (Spring 2007)
“A Dream Not Quite Come True:” Reassessing the Benderly Era in Jewish Education,” Journal of Jewish Education 70:3 (Fall 2004)