Jewish Theological Seminary to Start Training Communal Youth Workers

Asserting that the lack of trained youth workers is “perhaps the most acute of the many shortages of professional personnel in education today,” Dr. Bernard Mandelbaum, provost of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, today announced a new educational program, designed to deal with this problem.

The Seminary School of Jewish Studies, according to Dr. Mandelabum, will develop a program for the training of youth workers, and will function, beginning with the new academic year, as a department of the Teachers Institute-Seminary College of Jewish Studies. The latter is an accredited school giving degrees of Bachelor of Hebrew Literature, and master and doctorate degrees in religious education.

“Serious as is our need for teachers,” said Dr. Mandelbaum, “it is a measurable need. We know how many positions must be filled, how many licensed teachers we must graduate if we are to avoid empty classrooms and overworked administrators. The need for youth workers,” he continued, “appears infinite.” He explained that there are today 30, 000 young people involved in United Synagogue Youth activities. Additional thousands would like to enter, but are prevented from joining by lack of leadership, he said.

Emphasis of the new program, which will be administered by Rabbi Seymour Fox, Associate Dean of the Teachers Institute Seminary College of Jewish Studies, will be upon the training of experts in informal education. To young people interested in this field, the new program will place its emphasis upon content courses in Hebrew, the classical Jewish texts, history and Jewish thought, but will also offer courses in youth work, community organization, and programing. Those completing the courses will receive certification as qualified youth workers.

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