HUC-JIR's Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education Launches Eighth Cohort with Fifteen Students - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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HUC-JIR's Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education Launches Eighth Cohort with Fifteen Students

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

We are thrilled to welcome our eighth cohort of the Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education! The fifteen students who comprise this cohort serve in a broad range of Jewish educational settings across North America, including early childhood, camping, congregational education, Israel education, central agencies, and more. 

Cohort 8 kicked off their studies in Cincinnati with a deep-dive into the cohort experience with Dr. Miriam Heller Stern, National Director of the School of Education; Dr. Sam Joseph, Eleanor Sinsheimer Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Education and Leadership Development; and Aaron Henne of theatre dybbuk; exploring their upcoming journey in the Executive M.A. Program, their potential, and their aspirations through reflection, Jewish text, and drama.  Dr. Lesley Litman, Director of the Executive M.A. Program, and the group’s four clinical faculty mentors, guided the cohort in building a unique cohort culture through sharing each other’s talents and gifts and shaping a set of group norms. 

Meet our students in Cohort 8:

Lisa Isen Baumal, Director of Youth Engagement, Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto
Lauren Belferder, Director of Youth Engagement, Temple Sinai, Roslyn, NY
Elizabeth Bloch, Director of Education, Congregation Bnai Torah, Atlanta, GA
Amanda Campbell, Educator, Temple Chai, Phoenix, AZ
Jennifer (Jenn) George, Program Manager, Ta'am Yisrael, Chicago, IL
Zoe Goldberg, Youth Engagement Professional, Congregation Bnai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Betsy Kachel, Relgious School Director, Temple Emanuel, Andover, MA
Carly Kastner, Director of Youth Engagement, Temple Kol Ami, Scottsdale, AZ
Sarit Katzew, Director of Education, Havurah of Middlebury, VT
Joie Magnone, Director of Youth & Family Engagement, Temple Beth-El Providence, RI
Mary Passell, Director of Early Childhood Enter, Temple Chai, Phoenix, AZ
Jennifer Quick, Youth Program Manager, Temple Or Ami, Calabasis, CA
Hannah Richman Kearney, Director of Havayah, The Teen Community at TBE, Wellesley, MA
Robin Sheridan, Director of Beth Emet Early Childhood Center and Summer Camp, Cooper City, FL
Jane Tuv, RSJ Engagement Officer, PJ Library, New York

In the Fall, Cohort 7 worked with the Jewish Studio Project in a three-day intensive where students explored the nexus between Jewish texts and practice and the arts as they are expressed through their personal perspectives and experience.  This work was then integrated into a series of courses that included arts as pedagogic strategies, a model for professional learning and curricular design.  

The Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education, a 24-month-long program of study, is made possible by the generous grant support of the Jim Joseph Foundation. The Jim Joseph Foundation has provided a grant to HUC-JIR to increase the number and enhance the quality of Jewish educators working with Jewish youth and young adults through the development of new certificate and degree programs and training and mentoring new and practicing educational professional. Additionally, the Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education is a proud participant in a unique mid-career scholarship/fellowship program supported by a private foundation.

We are currently seeking interested candidates for Cohort 9 of the Executive M.A. Program. Prospective students are invited to take the program for a “test drive” in the Fall of 2019 by enrolling in a pre-requisite introductory online course, Introduction to Jewish Educational Leadership with Drs. Sam Joseph and Adrianne Leveen. 

To learn more about the Executive M.A. Program, click here or contact Lesley Litman, Ed.D., RJE, Program Director, at

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.