The Jim Joseph Foundation has announced a grant of $1.47 million to George Washington University to establish a joint program in the university's Graduate School of Education and Human Development and Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
Believed to be the first of its kind in the country, the graduate-level program will combine experiential education and Jewish cultural arts, providing a master of arts curriculum based on the School of Education's museum education program and Columbian College's program in Judaic studies. Set to launch in the summer of 2014, the program will be informed by "experiential" pedagogy, in which educators engage with students to provide not only knowledge but firsthand experiences outside of a traditional academic setting, and will offer a series of intensive summer institutes and community collaborations designed to take advantage of the university's location in the nation's capital.
"One of the foundation's strategic priorities is to increase the number of Jewish educators and to develop educators with a skill set to provide compelling learning experiences beyond the classroom," said Jim Joseph Foundation president Al Levitt. "Jewish cultural arts in particular appeal to young Jewish adults, who often want to experience Judaism in unique ways that touch their personal Jewish identity. The joint program from GSEHD and the Columbian College is an incredibly forward-looking initiative that will help create innovative and dynamic educators, ready to engage Jewish youth and young adults in this important space."