(JTA) — Six American universities are teaming up to offer a master’s concentration program in Israel education.
The graduate-level program is being coordinated by the iCenter, a Chicago-based nonprofit that works to enhance Israel education within the framework of Jewish education. The center’s founding funders are the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Jim Joseph Foundation.
The aim, says Anne Lanski, executive director of the iCenter, is to develop future Jewish educators who will be “champions, advocates and leaders of Israel education.”
The program will launch in May with an initial cohort of 18 graduate students. Participating schools are Yeshiva University, the Jewish Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Learning, New York University and the Spertus Institute.
Moshe Sokolow, the associate dean of Yeshiva University’s graduate school of Jewish education and administration, says the initiative makes sense because it is focused on graduate students already training to be Jewish educators.
“This will insure that Israel education will be seen as a more integral part of a well-rounded Jewish education rather than a stand-alone," he said.