Lesley Litman Named Director of Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lesley Litman, Coordinator of the Executive MA Program in Jewish Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) since it was launched four years ago, has been named Director of the Program, effective July 1, 2015.

Dr. Michael Zeldin, Senior National Director, Schools of Education, stated “Lesley’s exemplary leadership of this groundbreaking program makes her worthy of taking on the title and responsibilities of ‘Director.’  Students and faculty alike turn to her for her wise counsel and thoughtful guidance.  I am confident she will make even greater contributions to HUC-JIR’s Schools of Education in her new role.”

Since the Executive MA Program (EMA) was inaugurated, 70 experienced educators have enrolled in the Program.  These educators come from congregations, day schools, early childhood education programs, Hillels, and museums to participate in this Program to enhance their understanding of Jewish educational leadership and to sharpen their practice as transformational leaders.  They know that as Jewish educators in the 21st century, their task is to “Question What Is and Imagine What Can Be.” 

In addition to serving as EMA Director, Ms. Litman works with HUC-JIR’s Experiment in Congregational Education as the coordinator of its Boston-based initiative. She also consults to The iCenter in the area of curriculum design and professional development in Israel education.  

Litman  served as the Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Israel in Boston.  Prior to her work at Temple Israel, she was the Regional Educator for the URJ and the URJ’s national specialist in Hebrew and Day School education and served on the staff of Jewish Day Schools for the 21st Century, a project of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education.

Litman was a founding member of Kibbutz Yahel in the Arava where she was the first treasurer and headed up the kibbutz’s search for an industrial project.   She is a doctoral candidate in Jewish education at the Jewish Theological Seminary doing research looking at the connection between curriculum and innovation in congregational education.

The EMA is part of the Jim Joseph Foundation Education Initiative at HUC-JIR, a series of programs at the College-Institute sponsored by the Foundation and designed to increase the number of highly qualified Jewish educators prepared to provide compelling experiences of Jewish learning and living to youth, teens and young adults. 

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