DIANE TICKTON SCHUSTER
HONORED AS KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT
“THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK: JEWISH LITERACY AND BEYOND” CONFERENCE
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
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
- 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
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).