The Jim Joseph Foundation has announced that it will endow George Washington University with a $1.47 million grant to launch a new educational program fusing experiential education and Jewish cultural arts.
GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development and Columbian College of Arts and Sciences will create the interdisciplinary track, granting participating students a Master of Arts in experiential education and Jewish cultural arts. The program is set to launch in the summer of 2014.
Experiential education has been a growing trend in the Jewish world lately, from symposiums about Jewish camps to experimental Hebrew schools that encourage the parents to learn with their children.
“It’s intended as a way to actually prepare people for careers in a wide range of institutions, including musuems, and community centers, and camps,” said Michael Feuer, dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Developement at GW, in an interview. “People will use this kind of training to pave the way into careers that are going to be quite important to the future of Jewish cultural arts in America.”
The Jim Joseph Foundation was founded in 2006, and awards grants to Jewish education initiatives. This announcement follows the news that the Foundation would award $3.6 million to four educational institutions. The others are UC Berkeley, the Pardes Institute and and the Institute of Southern Jewish Life.
“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,” announced Al Levitt, president of the Jim Joseph Foundation, in a statement. “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.”