Contending with educational challenges in an age of uncertainty

Here’s how learning from afar keeps you close to Jewish education. Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University’s 1 Year MA E

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Here’s how learning from afar keeps you close to Jewish education. Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University’s 1 Year MA Education specializing in Jewish education is taught 1 year online with 6 weeks in Israel. Read why students around the world love Melton Centre’s Blended MA Education degree.

The Facts

  • Hebrew University’s Melton Centre of Jewish Education is widely considered to be the top institution in the world for academic research and teaching in Jewish Education.
  • The Center’s faculty ranks amongst the global leaders in the field.
  • Two semesters of the MA Education specializing in Jewish Education (MA-EJE) are taught in the distance learning format.
  • As a blended distance and onsite learning program, MA-EJE students from all corners of the globe congregate at Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus for an intense 6-week summer seminar.

While the facts speak for themselves, and they indeed speak volumes, hearing what those closest to the ground have to say, reverberates more loudly and stronger than anything, well, than anything else. The Melton Center of Jewish Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has made it standard practice to interview MA Education specializing in Jewish Education ( students during their studies in the summer. A common theme throughout is that the program has brought the students closer, closer to their families and communities, closer to Judaism and the Jewish people, and, closer to achieving their career and life goals.

Close to your home and job

It is not surprising that the mass majority of the students we spoke with mentioned not having to leave their current positions or families for an extended period of time, as a primary factor in choosing the blended M-EJE. This not only makes the program practical, but it is also a great stress reducer, giving the students more peace-of-mind to focus on their studies and get the most from the program.

Regarding the unparalleled convenience of the program for its students, Professor Cohen, the dean of Melton Centre at the time the program opened in March 2016 explains: “This was the first time we’ve accredited an almost full distance learning study program. Now, Jewish educators all over the world can continue teaching in their home countries, yet still experience studying in Jerusalem.”

Close to your students

Other than the physical proximity, our conversations uncovered other ways in which the MA-EJE format contributes to the students’ interaction with their own pupils. For instance, Adam Cohen, an informal UK and Australia Jewish educator

explained to us how he was able to apply what he learned the very next day in his Israeli education classes in London. While students in “conventional” programs wait to use their learnings, MA-EJE students put their newfound knowledge to use immediately, making the materials more impactful and relevant.

Close to the thought leadership

The MA-EJE students had much and more to say of their teachers, including:

  • Having online access to MA-EJE faculty is equivalent to MBA or Masters of Robotics students being able to attend distance learning programs from Harvard Business School or MIT, respectively.
  • It is a testament to the professors’ commitment and passion that they avail themselves to students online.
  • When implementing concepts at home, students could immediately obtain valuable feedback.

Close to your classmates and people

A distance learning program that makes you feel close to your classmates? Yes! As one MA-EJE student put it, virtually studying alongside your classmates for two semesters intensifies the social aspect of the 6-week seminar in Jerusalem. Moreover, the fact that students participate from all corners of the planet, means each student gains unparalleled exposure to a diverse set of ideas, cultures and beliefs, and can develop a new network of Jewish educator colleagues.

Here is another quote from an MA-EJE student, who puts it all together quite nicely:

“This program couldn’t be more perfect for me. The program is flexible, accessible, practical… even after 3 weeks in the program, I am thinking how I’m changing my vision, how I’m adopting everything, how I’m incorporating it into the curriculum, into my work, into my own ideology and philosophy as a Jewish educator.” Batel Leiberman

–7-8th grade Jewish Studies and Hebrew teacher at Bernard Zell Anshei Emet Day School, Chicago.

Contend with educational challenges in an age of globalization and uncertain identities

According to Prof. Cohen: “Long-term, the measure of success is going to be how these people will integrate and reinforce their professional careers and educational institutions. Will they become harbingers of change, able to influence the institutions where they work and the day-to-day work with the student body?

Will they be able to contend with educational challenges in general, and those of Jewish education in particular, in an age of globalization and uncertain identities? We fully expect that, for the students of the blended MA Education specializing in Jewish Education program, that the answer will be a resounding YES!”

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