Diane Tickton Schuster Honored as Keynote Speaker - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Diane Tickton Schuster Honored as Keynote Speaker

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Monday, June 2, 2003


Dr. Diane Tickton Schuster, Director of the Institute for Teaching Jewish Adults (ITJA) at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), served as the keynote speaker at the conference “People of the Book: Jewish Literacy and Beyond,” that was held by the Alliance for Jewish Learning in Philadelphia, PA on June 8-10.

In her talks, Dr. Schuster examined adult Jewish learning through theoretical and practical lenses explored what being Jewishly literate means today. She also discussed the ITJA’s goal of developing programs and resources to enhance the professional development of rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal professionals.

Some of the ideas being explored by the ITJA include:

  • Offering opportunities for rabbis, cantors, educators, and communal professionals to explore how they respond to the needs of adults within their communities.
  • Developing a cadre of Jewish professionals specially trained to offer top quality adult centered Jewish learning programs.
  • Helping Jewish Professionals to become aware of the rich body of research on adult learning that can help them design programs to reach the widest range of learners.
  • Providing a laboratory to try out innovative teaching strategies, including approaches to mentoring colleagues and advanced learners.
  • Offering “learning community” experiences for professionals who themselves aspire to create such communities for others.

Dr. Schuster is a member of the Visiting Faculty at HUC-JIR; she also teaches at the Institute for Informal Jewish Education at Brandeis University and in the Counseling Department at California State University at Fullerton. Her book, Jewish Lives, Jewish Learning, will be published by the UAHC press in the summer of 2003. She recently co-authored Meaning, Connection and Practice: Contemporary Issues in Adult Jewish Learning with Lisa Grant, Meredith Woocher, and Steven M. Cohen.

In addition to her teaching and research, since 1995, Dr. Schuster has addressed audiences at numerous conferences for Jewish professionals including the Alliance for Adult Jewish Learning, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Conference on Rabbinic Education, the National Association of Temple Educators, the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and the University of Judaism, and at events hosted by synagogues, Federations, and bureaus of Jewish education.

Dr. Schuster received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in education from Claremont Graduate University. Her previous scholarship focused on the lives of educated women, and with Kathleen Hubert she edited the book Women’s Lives Through Time: Educated American Women of the Twentieth Century (Jossey-Bass, 1993).

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu