Pardes Pardes Center For Jewish Educators
WWW.PARDES.ORG.IL
The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators offers one- and two-year graduate programs in Jerusalem for current and aspiring Jewish educators, integrating Jewish text study, diversity, teacher training, Israel education and personal and professional development.

The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators trains and empowers Jewish Studies teachers and experiential Jewish educators to serve as knowledgeable, reflective and passionate professionals.

Graduates of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators teach and inspire youth and young adults in Jewish day schools, Hillels, synagogues and experiential settings in communities across North America.
PARDES EDUCATORS PROGRAM: A vibrant, innovative, and highly selective two-year program that combines intensive text study at Pardes with a Master of Jewish Education from Hebrew College, including student teaching and individual mentoring. Training outstanding Jewish studies teachers for day schools since 2000. One-year Accelerated Track also available.

PARDES EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATORS PROGRAM: One-year program designed to enrich the careers of Jewish experiential educators through classical Jewish text study, professional seminars and active participation in the dynamic and diverse community of Pardes. Minimum of two years in the field of Jewish experiential education required.

MASTERS IN JEWISH EDUCATION PLUS PARDES: One-year program for formal or experiential Jewish educators pursuing a Masters in Jewish Education (or related field) who are looking to complement their academic degree with a vital layer of classical Jewish text study.

TEACHERS FOR JEWISH AMERICA: One-year program designed for participants interested in exploring Jewish education and teaching for one year in a Jewish day school in a North American Jewish community, without a long-term career commitment.

For more information and to apply visit www.pardes.org.il/pcje or contact gail@pardes.org.il.
And neither did they...
Meet some of the students and alumni of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators
Joseph Shamash
Masters in Jewish Education
Plus Pardes 2012-13
Joseph Shamash
Masters in Jewish Education
Plus Pardes 2012-13
Carolyn Gerecht
Pardes Experiential Educators
Program 2013-14
Carolyn Gerecht
Pardes Experiential Educators
Program 2013-14
David Riemenschneider
Pardes Educators Program
2008-10
David Riemenschneider
Pardes Educators Program
2008-10
Lauren Schuchart
Masters in Jewish Education
Plus Pardes 2012-13
Lauren Schuchart
Masters in Jewish Education
Plus Pardes 2012-13
Joseph Shamash
Where are you from and how old are you?
I'm from Los Angeles, CA, but I was born in Dallas, TX (my parents are from Iran). I turned 33 on Nov 11th.

Where did you go to college and what was your major? What was your last job?
I went to UCLA where I studied Sociology. For the last five years, I worked as an editor for various TV shows including TMZ, Fox Sports and most recently The Dan Patrick Show on Directv where I basically got paid to watch and talk about sports.

Tell us about a Jewish education role model you admire.
My Jewish role model would be James Jacobson Maisels at Pardes. I loved his approach in his Self, Soul & Text course.

At an earlier time in your life, what did you think you'd be when you "grew up?" And when did you realize you actually wanted to be a Jewish educator?
Well, I was expelled from my Jewish day school for starting a fire in 8th grade! I think deep down, I've always known I wanted to teach but I never knew what. I remember from my days of HS basketball that I was a better coach than player (and I was the captain of my team). Now I look forward to teaching a form of Judaism that is focused on self-awareness and self-transformation, which isn't too far from what a coach is ideally trying to instill in his players.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years from now, I will have my Masters in Education and will hopefully be implementing an alternative and transformative style of Jewish education focused on teens and giving them tangible tools to trek through the highs and lows of his/her personal journey called life.

Joseph Shamash completed Masters in Jewish Education Plus Pardes in 2013 and is currently pursuing an MA in Education at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Joseph founded the “One Wish Jerusalem” group and conceived of and directed the viral videos “One Wish Jerusalem” and “One Wish for Iran, Love Israel.”
Lauren Schuchart
Where are you from and how old are you?
I'm originally from Reading, Pennsylvania, but before coming to Pardes, I spent seven years in State College, Pennsylvania, where Penn State University is located. I am 27 years old.

Where did you go to college and what was your major? What was your last job?
I went to Penn State University. My last job was working for Penn State Hillel for three years after I graduated. This is where I fell in love with Jewish learning! I was hired to do community outreach and student mentoring, but found that my most meaningful moments were ones in which I could learn together with students.

At an earlier time in your life, what did you think you'd be when you "grew up?" And when did you realize you actually wanted to be a Jewish educator?
I received a degree in Public Relations, so I thought that I would be working in the corporate PR world in New York City. I did an internship at a public relations firm going into my senior year of college. I enjoyed the work, but it didn't reach me on a deep level. What I wanted to be doing is working with people, and feeling like I was making a difference. I was also very interested in asking "big questions" about the world and our purpose. I quickly found that this is what Judaism and Jewish text study is all about. It's almost as if a huge, new world opened up to me...and it's still unfolding.

The point I knew that I wanted to be a Jewish educator is when I attended the Brandeis Collegiate Institute in California (BCI) in 2009. Here I met amazing Jewish educators who were smart, funny, warm and welcoming, but most importantly, they took their students by the hand and said, "This amazing tradition? This is yours." Whoa.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I could see myself going in multiple directions, especially in five years. I'm interested in working with young adults, particularly those who identify as unaffiliated, or feel on the "outside" of the Jewish tradition. I am also interested in how prayer can affect our lives and developing new ways to teach tefillah, particularly to young adults.

Lauren Schuchart completed Masters in Jewish Education Plus Pardes in 2013 and is currently pursuing an MA in Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education in New York City.
David Riemenschneider
Where are you from and how old are you?
I'm 33. I was born in Cincinnati and grew up in the Atlanta suburbs. I went to public school, and my family attended a Reform synagogue, usually only on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I am married to another Pardes Educators Program alum.

Where did you go to college and what was your major? What was your weirdest job?
I went to Northwestern University and studied film. I've had about 17 jobs in my life – I was a veterinarian assistant at an animal hospital, a clerk in a collectibles store, a waiter in a vegetarian restaurant, a clerk in a Scottish record store, and a worker on an Australian bridge construction site. My favorite job was probably selling cookies at a mall cookie store in high school.

At an earlier time in your life, what did you think you'd be when you "grew up?" And when did you realize you actually wanted to be a Jewish educator?
When I was 15, I thought I'd be a radiologist. When I was 19, I thought I'd be a cinematographer. When I was 24, I had no idea what I wanted to be. And when I was 26, I thought I'd be a high school math teacher. Once I realized I wanted to teach, though, it became a natural transition into Jewish education, especially since I wanted to be an embedded part of engaging young Jews in embracing their Jewish identities in ways that I never did growing up. I wanted to help students utilize our tradition to inform the way they make decisions, especially in adolescence when they are figuring out how to engage the world.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I've never been good at answering this question – honestly, life is too surprising for me to do that kind of career planning. That said, I am interested in continuing to broaden my skills in the classroom, but also working on expanding my extra-classroom roles.

David Riemenschneider graduated from the Pardes Educators Program in 2010 with an MJEd from Hebrew College. He is a Jewish Studies teacher and a novice teacher mentor at the Heschel School in New York City.
Carolyn Gerecht
Where are you from and how old are you?
I’m 25 years old. I grew up in Olney, MD (outside of Washington, D.C.) and have been living in Pittsburgh for the past seven years.

Where did you go to school? What was your major? What was your most meaningful or weirdest job?
I went to the University of Pittsburgh and studied Religious Studies, Jewish Studies, and Political Science.

The job that was both the most meaningful for me and definitely also the “weirdest” was being a camp counselor. It was such a serious undertaking, to positively influence camper identities and values in a very short period time…and yet while doing so, I spent most of the day covered in paint, shaving cream, and chocolate. But I loved it.

Tell us about a Jewish education role model you admire.
My most important Jewish educational role model is my grandfather. He emulates the integrity and passion that I believe every Jewish educator must have, not just with his words but with his actions. He is constantly pursuing learning.

What is your favorite part of living in Jerusalem?
My favorite part of Jerusalem is the Rakevet walking and biking path near the German Colony. I love the huge feeling of community when everyone congregates outside there in the evenings, and especially on Shabbat.

What is your favorite class at Pardes?
My favorite class at Pardes is “Introduction to Rambam” with Levi Cooper. I’m really challenged by the texts and philosophies we are learning there.

At an earlier time in your life, what did you think you'd be when you "grew up?" And when did you realize you actually wanted to be a Jewish educator?
When I was in college, Judaism was just one of many interests I had. I was active in Hillel, but I also enjoyed writing for the newspaper, tutoring kids in English, talking about politics, and learning languages. I thought I might continue to study Religious Studies academically, or maybe teach a language – I even thought I’d become a Spanish teacher!

I began to consider Jewish education my true “calling” when I took a position after graduation as the Youth Director of a synagogue in Pittsburgh. It turned out to be my dream job. I felt so moved and motivated by talking with kids and teens about their relationships with Judaism, and I became very passionate about helping others to shape strong Jewish identities.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Early retirement…kidding, kidding. I hope to hold a full-time position working with teens and adults in the field of Jewish experiential education. I’m open to suggestions!

Carolyn Gerecht is currently a student in the Pardes Experiential Educators Program in conjunction with Yeshiva University’s Certificate in Experiential Jewish Education program. After her year in the joint program, she will return to Pittsburgh to oversee Jewish teen and family education at the community level.
So you never thought you'd want to be a Jewish educator?
Haven't you always wanted to be a Jewish educator?
And so did they...
Meet some of the students and alumni of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators
Annie Matan Gilbert
Pardes Experiential Educators
Program 2012-13
Annie Matan Gilbert
Pardes Experiential Educators
Program 2012-13
Josh Pernick
Masters in Jewish Education
Plus Pardes 2013-14
Josh Pernick
Masters in Jewish Education
Plus Pardes 2013-14
Joey Heyman
Pardes Educators Program
2008-10
Joey Heyman
Pardes Educators Program
2008-10
AdAm Mayer
Pardes Educators Program
2012-14
AdAm Mayer
Pardes Educators Program
2012-14
Annie Matan Gilbert
Where are you from and how old are you?
I'm from Toronto, Canada, and I am 34 years old. I got married last year!

Where did you go to college and what was your major?
I went to several universities and finished my undergrad in Religious Studies at York University in Toronto.

Tell us about a Jewish education role model you admire.
There are many! My top two are Professor Rachel Turkienicz at York University – she was the first to expose me to Hebrew texts and Jewish practices from an academic perspective. She has a way of illustrating Jewish traditions that opened me up and got me hooked on Jewish studies.
Also Michael Hattin at Pardes – his Humash class remains my favourite class ever! The way he weaves together the insights of the commentators, literary analysis, and his own insights, and then opens the class so we can share and learn from each other always inspires me!

What are some life snapshots which reinforced your belief that you wanted to become a Jewish educator?
Age 5-16: As a kid, I was the only one in my class who liked religious school!
Age 10: I remember watching the rabbi on the bimah and keeping track of her teaching and singing style and thinking "I want to do that one day."
Age 15: In high school, I was one of six Jews at my school and often volunteered to teach about Jewish holidays and practices, even giving a two-minute lesson in French class on how to eat matza without making crumbs! I also spoke about Yitzchak Rabin at the school remembrance day service the year he was killed.
In university: I realized that although I started out majoring in English and knew I wanted to be a teacher, I was taking Jewish studies courses every year and they were my favourite courses – so I switched into Religious Studies.
Age 23: At my first interview for a corporate job, when I was asked where I saw myself in five years, I surprised myself by answering, "in rabbinical school." I got the job anyway.
Age 32: When I started Aleph rabbinical school, new students were welcomed into the community with words that honoured our courage and our journey. I took my first steps into the circle of my program in tears, feeling awed at the journey and so much gratitude to have made it this far toward realizing my dream.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Leading services and spiritual Jewish educational workshops with song in a grassroots Jewish community in Toronto – I want to reach Jews who feel marginalized or disillusioned or not met by their Jewish community and help them feel welcomed home. And I want to work with leaders of other faiths to foster a community where we can all hold our values and notice and celebrate connections.

Annie Matan Gilbert, who is currently studying in the Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal Rabbinic Program, completed the Pardes Experiential Educators Program in 2013. She serves as the Jewish Life Program Coordinator at the Miles Nadal JCC in Toronto.
AdAm Mayer
Where are you from and how old are you?
I'm from Philadelphia, PA and Danbury, CT. I am 28 years old. I am married and have a three-year-old daughter.

Where did you go to college and what was your major? What was your last job?
I went to Brandeis University and got my BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Hebrew Language and Literature. My most recent job was as Rosh Tefilah at Ramah Israel Seminar; I also recently worked at an Israeli high school for autistic children.

Tell us about a Jewish education role model you admire.
Definitely the Ba'al Shem Tov. He spread light, joy, healing and renewed excitement for a lot of people.

What are some life snapshots which reinforced your belief that you wanted to become a Jewish educator?
1. Coming to Israel with my family in January 2002 and internalizing my connection as a Jew with the land of Israel.
2. Bringing in Purim costumes for friends both Jewish and not in my public high school made me feel that Judaism has something to share with everyone.
3. Kabbalat Shabbat on the shore in El Salvador on an AJWS trip with Jews of all different backgrounds; singing together made me believe in the unity of the Jewish people.
4. Shining while singing and telling stories at a Shabbat table or Shabbat Oneg.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Teaching and living a holy life based in Torah.

AdAm Mayer is a student in the Pardes Educators Program, preparing to become a Jewish Studies teacher at a day school in North America. He is pursuing a Master of Jewish Education at Hebrew College and in 2013 received semicha.
Joey Heyman
Where are you from and how old are you?
I'm from Orange County, California; I am 29 years old.

Where did you go to school? What was your major? What was your most meaningful or weirdest job?
I attended Tarbut V'Torah Community Day School from second grade through high school, and was a member of the second graduating class. Technically, I went to the same university for undergrad and grad school, but it underwent a merger/name change in the process so I'll list them as separate: I earned my BA in Classic Jewish Studies from the University of Judaism ('06), and then I earned a Masters in Experiential Jewish Education from the American Jewish University ('08).

The only attempt I have ever taken at working outside of the Jewish education world was a six-day stint as a hostess at Ruby's Diner when I was 17. Besides my current job, my most meaningful employment was with the Shomrei Torah Synagogue USY department from '04-'08 – talk about a loving, committed community!

Tell us about a Jewish education role model you admire.
Thank God, I have too many to count! The three most formative have been my congregational rabbi from Orange County, Elie Spitz, who counseled me and my family through tragedy, and showed me the power of the Jewish community; my high school youth director at the Bureau of Jewish Education, Jay Lewis, who introduced me to exceptional experiential education; and my father, Ed Heyman, who stopped at nothing to ensure for his children the education and upbringing he himself did not have, and was a partner, rather than a passive observer, in our education all the way.

What are some life snapshots which reinforced your belief that you wanted to become a Jewish educator?
When I was in middle school, my day school and synagogue communities were instrumental in helping me through the extended illness and subsequent death of a parent. I knew by the end of my freshman year of high school that my mission was to give back to the community that raised me and allowed me to question, doubt, and explore, ensuring that future teens in vulnerable states would be granted that same compassion and opportunity.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Ideally? I'd love to be teaching in a school built by the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators, with fellow administrators and teachers who are PCJE/PEP alumni! In the meantime, I hope to keep helping Atlanta "rise up" in community-wide open text study :)

Joey Heyman graduated from the Pardes Educators Program in 2010. She also has a Masters in Experiential Jewish Education from the American Jewish University. She is a Jewish Studies teacher at the Weber School in Atlanta.
Josh Pernick
Where are you from and how old are you?
I just turned 25 and I’m from Nanuet, NY.

Where did you go to school? What was your major? What was your most meaningful or weirdest job?
I went to Nanuet public schools growing up and to Brandeis University for college, where I studied Sociology and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. I worked at the on-campus preschool for the majority of my time at Brandeis, which is when I first began thinking that perhaps I should work in education.

Tell us about a Jewish education role model you admire.
Two of my Jewish education role models are Jocelyn Segal and Meg Lederman, my mentor teachers last year at The Jewish Community Day School of Boston (where I did my fieldwork during DeLeT). I learned an incredible amount about teaching from spending every day teaching alongside them, and envision my future teaching practice as largely a combination of their teaching styles. They both also spent hours and hours outside of the school day reflecting with me on both their teaching practice and mine, which taught me how incredibly intellectual a profession teaching is. I hope to be half as reflective and evaluative of both my teaching practice and the social/emotional/academic dynamics of my classroom as they are!

What is your favorite part of living in Jerusalem?
What's not to love? I love going into stores and having conversations with the merchants in Hebrew, watching the Jewish calendar come to life in a way that I don't think it does anywhere else, spending my days learning Torah with a diverse array of really cool people… I could keep going on and on.

What is your favorite class at Pardes?
My favorite classes at Pardes (in case you don’t noticed, I have trouble picking one favorite!) are "Hasidut" and "Torah Classics." I always leave "Hasidut" in a better emotional place than I came in, and it is causing me to really think about aspects of my Jewish practice that I often have not taken the time to truly consider. Also, Levi Cooper is awesome. I love "Torah Classics" because of the flexibility that it gives me to look closely at Parshiyot that I might be teaching next year from a variety of perspectives, allowing me to explore the Pardes Beit Midrash and discover resources and commentators that I have never used before.

At an earlier time in your life, what did you think you'd be when you "grew up?" And when did you realize you actually wanted to be a Jewish educator?
From the time that I was in Middle School I wanted to be a Rabbi, but somehow took a wrong turn and ended up at the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators. In all seriousness, the first time I really considered a career outside of the Rabbinate was during my senior year of college, after a long conversation with the director of Brandeis Hillel, who made me realize that I didn't have to go to rabbinical school in order to work within the Jewish community. This conversation led me to start looking into careers in the Jewish non-profit sector, but a year spent working for a small (non-Jewish) non-profit through Americorps led me to reconsider my non-profit plans. I knew I wanted to work with children and I knew that I wanted to work within the Jewish community, so I probably should have considered Jewish education as a possibility earlier on! I spent a year teaching three- and four-year olds at the Addlestone Hebrew Academy, the Jewish day school in Charleston, South Carolina (where I had completed my Americorps service), and really looked forward to coming into work every day in a way that I never had before. I actually missed my job during vacations, something that I thought would never happen. This amazing year at Addlestone led me to pursue a Masters in Jewish Day School Education through the DeLeT program, during which I realized that, even though I enjoy teaching math and reading, my real passion is in teaching Torah. The excitement that I felt when teaching Torah surpassed my excitement for teaching non-Judaic subjects (sorry Math!) which is what led me to supplement my Masters studies with a year of intensive Jewish text learning as part of Masters in Jewish Education Plus Pardes .

Where do you see yourself in five years?
My hope is that I will be teaching Torah (loosely defined) at a Jewish day school in five years. I would love to teach elementary Judaics (though I think middle school could be fun as well), and would also love to work with my school's administration on helping to craft a cohesive and inspiring Judaics program. I hope that the people that I have connected with through my Pardes and DeLeT networks will continue to inspire and challenge me to grow as a teacher and as a Jew, so that I am a 5-year-improved-Jew-and-teacher five years from now.

Josh Pernick earned his Master of Arts in Teaching at Brandeis University’s DeLeT program and is currently a student in Masters in Jewish Education Plus Pardes.
The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators offers one- and two-year graduate programs in Jerusalem for current and aspiring Jewish educators, integrating Jewish text study, diversity, teacher training, Israel education and personal and professional development.

The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators trains and empowers Jewish Studies teachers and experiential Jewish educators to serve as knowledgeable, reflective and passionate professionals.

Graduates of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators teach and inspire youth and young adults in Jewish day schools, Hillels, synagogues and experiential settings in communities across North America.
PARDES EDUCATORS PROGRAM: A vibrant, innovative, and highly selective two-year program that combines intensive text study at Pardes with a Master of Jewish Education from Hebrew College, including student teaching and individual mentoring. Training outstanding Jewish studies teachers for day schools since 2000. One-year Accelerated Track also available.

PARDES EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATORS PROGRAM: One-year program designed to enrich the careers of Jewish experiential educators through classical Jewish text study, professional seminars and active participation in the dynamic and diverse community of Pardes. Minimum of two years in the field of Jewish experiential education required.

MASTERS IN JEWISH EDUCATION PLUS PARDES: One-year program for formal or experiential Jewish educators pursuing a Masters in Jewish Education (or related field) who are looking to complement their academic degree with a vital layer of classical Jewish text study.

TEACHERS FOR JEWISH AMERICA: One-year program designed for participants interested in exploring Jewish education and teaching for one year in a Jewish day school in a North American Jewish community, without a long-term career commitment.

For more information and to apply visit www.pardes.org.il/pcje or contact gail@pardes.org.il.