Enhance Your Mentorship Skills: Training Videos for HUC-JIR Alumni Ambassadors


Group photoThrough the Alumni Ambassadors Program, our dedicated alumni connect with prospective students by hosting events at summer camps, Hillels, and other popular gathering places, and by participating in panel discussions during open houses. We are proud to recruit alumni to serve as mentors, offering one-on-one engagement with prospective students and participating in our fellowship programs. If you are interested in mentoring opportunities, email admissions@huc.edu.

Please enjoy two of HUC-JIR’s Alumni Ambassador training videos that were designed for our alumni headed to camps this summer. They feature insights and guidance from our esteemed faculty about how campers and staff may have been affected by the events of and since October 7 in Israel and on college campuses.

These videos, from Sivan Zakai, Ph.D., Sara S. Lee Associate Professor of Jewish Education and Rabbi David Adelson, ‘99 D.Min ‘16, Dean of New York, provide valuable resources and strategies for alumni ambassadors as they mentor and support the next generation of rabbinic students. Whether you are a seasoned ambassador or new to the program, these videos will enhance your ability to inspire and guide prospective students on their Jewish leadership journey.

Tools for your Israel toolbox: Caring for campers and counselors in a Post October 7th world with Dr. Sivan Zakai

Sivan shares some of her research to help us understand where campers are coming from and how they comprehend the events in Israel over the past year. Then she helps us translate that into ways we can support them and their staff at camp.

Sivan ZakaiSivan Zakai, Ph.D., is the Sara S. Lee Associate Professor of Jewish Education at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles. A thought leader in Jewish and Israel education, Dr. Zakai is the director of the Children’s Learning About Israel Project and co-director of Project ORLIE: Research and Leadership in Israel Education. She also serves as a senior editor of the Journal of Jewish Education and as a member of the faculty at the Mandel Teacher Educator Institute.

Tools for your pastoral care toolbox: Slowing down and caring across difference with Rabbi David Adelson

In this video, David helps us think about the containers we need to make for ourselves in order to be present for the campers, and especially the staff at camp this summer. Watch the video to learn more about what work we need to do to prepare for our time at camp, and how we can keep the goal of positive Jewish experiences for campers and staff at the center of our work?

David Adelson headshotRabbi David Adelson is Dean of the New York Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Before coming to HUC-JIR, he served as rabbi of East End Temple in Manhattan for sixteen years. He serves as a spiritual director and is a leader in the Reform Movement’s justice organizing work. He was ordained in 1999 and earned a D.Min. degree in 2016. Rabbi Adelson lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Lynn Harris, and children, Bess and Sam.