UJA-Federation of New York Awards $1.9 million to the The Leadership Institute for Congregational School Educators (LICSE)

Monday, June 4, 2007

The LICSE is accepting applications for its 2nd interdenominational cohort of educational leaders, to begin in January 2008. 

New York, NY, June 12, 2007 - The Leadership Institute for Congregational School Educators (LICSE) is accepting applications for its second interdenominational cohort of educational leaders, to begin in January 2008. Jointly sponsored by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, the Leadership Institute offers congregational school educators the opportunity to expand their professional and Judaic knowledge and strengthen their vision for school leadership. 

For the second cohort, UJA-Federation of New York is awarding 1.9 million dollars to the Leadership Institute, which translates to $50,000 per educator. 

The Leadership Institute is guided by the vision of the New York School of Education at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at JTS, The and is fully funded by the UJA-Federation of New York. 

Leadership, Judaic knowledge, and pedagogy, the "three pillars" of the program, serve as the organizing principles for each of the Leadership Institute's professional development experiences. The leadership component is designed to strengthen each participant's leadership skills and identity as a leader as well as introduce participants to research on best practices and effective educational practice. The pedagogic track will help the educators strengthen their skills and communicate about Jewish learning effectively, using Jewish values, skills, and practices. The Judaic knowledge component enables participants to study text on a regular basis and to incorporate these texts into their practice. 

Over a two-year period, educators will participate in two 10-day intensive Summer Seminars, eleven one-two day symposia and a ten-day Israel Seminar. A personal mentor will be assigned to guide and supervise each principal, culminating in the design of an Action Research Project. Grants of $2,000 will be provided to facilitate the implementation of these projects in the congregational schools. Small grants will also be available for participants to create an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) with their mentors. All seminars and symposia will take place on the New York campuses of JTS and HUC-JIR. 

The inaugural cohort of 52 congregational school principals of Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Orthodox synagogue schools completed its two-year program in April. An evaluation report by the Jewish Educational Services of North America (JESNA Report, November 2006, 3) revealed substantive growth in the participants' professional skills, knowledge, and leadership abilities, enhanced personal and professional connection to Israel, and the development of new strategies for professional development for staff including text study, curriculum design, and denominational learning. The value of mentorship for both the mentor and mentee, was pronounced. 

To qualify, educators must have at least two full years of experience leading a congregational school. Candidates must also demonstrate support from their congregation's Rabbi, Board President, and Education Chair to establish the terms of the financial and time commitments. 

Applications can be found on the Leadership Institute website, www.leader-institute.org. Further information is available by contacting Dr. Evie Rotstein, Project Director, at (212)824-2248 or erotstein@huc.edu


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 men and women for service to 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, 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