Rabbi Lisa D. Grant, Ph.D., Professor of Jewish Education, has been appointed Director of the Rabbinical Program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York, as of July 1, 2018.
Dr. Michael Marmur, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost, stated, “Rabbi Dr. Grant’s excellence as a teacher, mentor, and scholar, as well as her research and expertise relating to Israel education, adult learning, and the professional development of Jewish educators, will enrich her students’ rabbinical studies. We are excited that she will be adding this leadership role to her teaching and research activities.”
A member of the HUC-JIR faculty since 2000, Dr. Grant has been responsible for teaching and advising education, rabbinical, and cantorial students at the New York school and students in the national Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education. Dr. Grant provides service to the College-Institute through various committees and projects and is part of the core faculty for the Mandel Fellowship and the Mandel Initiative in Visionary Leadership. She led a biennial Israel seminar for New York School of Education students.
She received her Ph.D. in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (2000), studied Judaic studies at the Hartford branch of the Hebrew College, Brookline, MA, and received her M.B.A. in Public Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1981) and B.A. in Drama, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1976).
Prior to joining HUC-JIR, she was associated with the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she served as an Instructor and Special Projects Coordinator at The Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education and as Research and Pilot Project Manager for the Melton Research Center for Jewish Education. She served as Hillel Advisor at Trinity College, as a teacher at Yachad Community High School, West Hartford, CT, as High School Coordinator at Temple Beth Sholom, Manchester, CT, and as Family Educator for the Commission on Jewish Education, West Hartford, CT.
She has served as a Scholar-in-Residence internationally, including at Leo Baeck College, London UK – Centre for Jewish Education and Professional Development; Beit Knesset Yisrael, a joint project of ARZA and MAKOM to enhance the place of Israel in Reform Congregations; Professional Development Seminars for Educational Coordinators in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) for the World Union for Progressive Judaism; Professional Development Seminars for teaching staff of the Lokey International Academy of Jewish Studies at the Leo Baeck Education Center, Haifa, Israel; Beit Binah, Jewish Education Program for Project Kesher a women’s leadership development organization in the CIS; and Israel Seminar Scholar, New York BJE-sponsored Israel trip for principals and teachers from Congregational schools in Greater New York.
Her research and evaluation studies include UJA-Federation of New York (with Dr. Diane Tickton Schuster): Longitudinal research study of J Learn, an adult Jewish learning initiative on Long Island, NY; Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (with Dr. Ezra Kopelowitz): Evaluation study of the Israel on Campus Coalition; Jewish Federation of St. Louis (with Dr. Ezra Kopelowitz): Evaluation study of Focus Israel: The Place of Israel in Four St. Louis Congregation; Covenant Foundation: Evaluation study of the Proficiency Approach to Hebrew Language Instruction at the Jewish Community Day School, Newton, MA; United Jewish Communities: Evaluation study of Limudim, a lay leadership development program through text study; Lokey International Academy of Jewish Studies, Leo Baeck Education Center, Haifa, Israel: Evaluation of Yachdav/School-to-School Shared Curriculum Project; Melton Research Center for Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, NY: Evaluation studies of two innovative programs, a Middle school curriculum for the congregational schools and a Hebrew immersion program for early childhood education; and the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning: Formative evaluation of Iyun, a 3-year certificate program in Jewish study.
Prior to her career in Jewish education, Dr. Grant worked in the field of management and planning at Kaiser Permanente Health Plan, Northeast Region, Hartford, CT, and Hilltown Community Development Corporation, Chesterfield, MA, and as Affirmative Action Coordinator, Division of Student Affairs, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
At HUC-JIR, she has taught courses in Teaching & Learning in Jewish Education, Engaging Adults in Jewish Learning, Teaching Bible to Jewish Adults (co-taught with Dr. Andrea Weiss), Why Israel Matters, Ideologies of Jewish Education, Dynamics of Congregational Change, From Talmud Torahs to Learning Communities: A History of Jewish Education in America, Beyond the Classroom – An Introduction to Informal Jewish Education, The Nexus of Family and Adult Jewish Learning, and Teaching the Holocaust.
Among her extensive professional activities, she serves Editorial Board Member, Sh’ma, An On-Line Journal of Responsibility; Editorial Board Member, URJ Press; Advisory Board Member, Leadership Institute for Congregational School Principals, a Joint program of the Hebrew Union College and the Jewish Theological Seminary; and Advisory Board Member, Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning Temple Emanu-El, New York, NY. She has served as Chair, Network for Research in Jewish Education; Program Chair, Network for Research in Jewish Education; Institute for Reform Zionism, ARZA; Member of Israel Education Think Tank, Melton Center for Jewish Education, The Hebrew University; and Advisory Committee Member for Project EngaJE, Judaic enrichment for early childhood educators through SAJES, (Suffolk County Jewish Educational Services.
Dr. Grant is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, fellowships, and scholarships, including a grant from the Hadassah Brandeis Research Institute to study the impact of feminist pedagogy on Jewish learning and identity in the Former Soviet Union; Fellow at the Tauber Institute, Summer Institute for Israel Studies, Brandeis University; and a grant recipient from UJA-Federation of New York to study the long-term impact of an adult Jewish learning initiative on Long Island, NY.