Three Jewish seminaries across the denominational spectrum will receive a total of $12 million to help train new Jewish educators.
The Jim Joseph Foundation announced Tuesday that it will distribute the grants over a five-year period to the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, the Reform Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Modern Orthodox Yeshiva University.
Financial aid for students who are pursuing careers in education at each of the seminaries will get the first round of grants.
The foundation will give the institutions $700,00 for each of the next five academic years for scholarships for future educators, as well as $563,000 for Yeshiva University, $221,900 for the Jewish Theological Seminary and $212,110 for Hebrew Union College in the 2009-10 term.
The institutions must collaborate to develop innovative best practices and technologies for advancing Jewish teaching, the foundation stipulated.
“Our commitment is to Jewish education, and the partnership now established with these three institutions through these grants should contribute greatly to advancing this cause,” Al Levitt, the president of the foundation, said in a news release. “It is an exciting development for all who care about improving the quality of Jewish life. We’re simply playing our role in helping these institutions, and the educators they educate, reach their full potential and positively shape the lives of Jewish youth.”