Miriam Heller Stern , Ph.D.

National Director of the HUC-JIR School of Education

HUC-JIR/Los Angeles

Schools of Education
Academic Field: 
Research Interests: 
History of Education; Teaching and learning through creativity and the arts; Practitioner Research

Dr. Miriam Heller Stern joined HUC-JIR in July 2016 as the National Director of the School of Education. Previously, she 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.  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, the Jewish Montessori Society, the Jewish Lens, the Beacon School for Boys, 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 Awards Committee. 

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. Together with her husband Jonathan, she proudly channels her interest in creativity into parenting their three elementary and middle-school aged children.

Selected Publications and Edited Works

“When Creativity Nourishes the Mind, Soul and Heart,” HaYidion, Summer 2016

“Embracing the Practical,” HaYidion, Spring 2016

“Having Faith in Sports,” HaYidion, Winter 2016

“A Very Good Listener,” HaYidion, Fall 2015

“The Year of the Creative in Jewish Education,” The Jewish Journal, September 2015

“Your Kids are Ready to Talk about Israel; Are You?” with Sivan Zakai Kveller.com Summer 2014

Inquiry as a Path to Professional Learning, The Journal of Jewish Education, Volume 80Issue 1, 2014

  “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)

Public Lecture Topics
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.
Cultivating Creativity in Leadership, Teaching and Learning
“And it Was Good:” The Role of Reflection and Assessment in Creative Practice
Revelation and the Holy Act of Listening: The Sacred Work of Being a Mentor (a workshop for mentors)
Realizing Your Potential in 4D (A goal-setting, self-assessment workshop using appreciative inquiry techniques)
The Prophet Facing Backwards: What Can the History of Jewish Education Tell Us about the Future of Jewish Life?
Talking to Kids About____ (the holidays, Jewish values, Israel)
The Art of Parenting as a Professional