Dr. Miriam Heller Stern is assuming a new role as Vice Provost for Educational Strategy. Dr. Stern will continue in her national role as Director of the School of Education and Associate Professor (blended track), leading the School of Education team of program directors and faculty, while assuming this national leadership position. Building on her portfolio and expertise as Director of the School of Education, Dr. Stern will serve in the Office of the Provost to help guide strategic visioning with an eye toward educational excellence and innovation in the College-Institute’s academic programs.
Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Ph.D., Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Provost, explained: “The strategic goals endorsed in February under President Rehfeld’s leadership call upon us to create vibrant, dynamic learning communities where top-notch scholars teach and train our students to become ‘innovative, inspirational, learned Reform clergy, Jewish leaders, and scholars who shape the evolving spiritual, organizational, cultural landscape of 21st century Jewish life in North America, Israel and beyond.’ Dr. Stern will play a key role in helping us fulfill this vision, starting with a focus on low residency possibilities for our various programs. Dr. Stern is a highly respected scholar who brings to this new position keen insight into the contemporary Jewish world and tremendous confidence in HUC’s creative potential to impact liberal Judaism and transform Jewish learning.”
Dr. Stern is passionate about empowering Jewish educational leaders and teachers to engage in their work intentionally, skillfully and creatively. Her graduate courses include Charting the Future of Jewish Education, Teaching for Our Times, and Understanding Learners. She is the founder of Beit HaYotzer/the Creativity Braintrust, an initiative based at HUC-JIR designed to catalyze creative thinking and artistic expression through Jewish education and leadership, funded by the Covenant Foundation.
Dr. Stern’s current research and writing focuses on designing Jewish education as a tool for building a creative society. Her peer-reviewed article, “Jewish Creative Sensibilities: Framing a New Aspiration for Jewish Education,” received the “Best Article of the Year Award,” 2019 from the Journal of Jewish Education. She recently co-edited “Revelation is Just the Beginning,” a collection of insights on navigating complexity, with the artists of Beit HaYotzer/the Creativity Braintrust. She has published widely in various academic and professional journals and popular media outlets and is a frequent presenter at academic and professional conferences, on webinars and podcasts. She is called upon as a strategic thinker on national task forces across the sectors of Jewish education, including Prizmah-the Center for Jewish Day Schools, the Jewish Education Project, and early childhood initiatives. A coach, mentor and advisor, she is committed to championing and elevating the work of Jewish educational leaders, institutions and initiatives across the US and Israel.
In the community, Dr. Stern serves on the boards of Shalhevet High School and theatre dybbuk, and the education committee of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy. She is a leader in the field of Jewish educational research, serving on the board of the Network for Research in Jewish Education as Chair of the Awards Committee and the Journal of Jewish Education Editorial Board. She earned her Ph.D. in Social Sciences, Policy and Educational Practice and her MA in history at Stanford University as a Wexner Graduate Fellow.