Andrew Davids

William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education

Croton-on-Hudson, New York

JTS Degree Program: Executive Doctoral Program, Jewish Education  

After JTS: (I plan to) continue in Jewish education and leadership-capacity building. I believe the training I am receiving in the JTS Executive Doctoral Program is helping me sharpen my praxis-that meeting point between practice and theory-as I anchor my practice deeper in theory, and take the ideas and concepts I read and write about in my classes and apply them to my real-world setting.

Favorite Class at JTS: In general, I feel that the program is doing an excellent job preparing us to begin our own research on big questions that matter to the field, and that emerge from our own passions, curiosity, and commitments. In particular, the course I took on empirical research with Dr. Shira Epstein, assistant professor of Jewish Education, exposed me to a wide range of online learning methodologies. By the end of the course, I had written a meaningful paper of more than 20 pages that I will be able to use as a basis for my dissertation. The combination of learning and accomplishment was satisfying and reassuring.

Best JTS Experience: The interactions with my cohort have been extremely rewarding. I have also found the faculty to be thoughtful, caring, and respectful. They are willing to work closely with us as both teachers and peers. Furthermore, the faculty care about the same big issues that I do: the ongoing dynamism of the Jewish community, strategies to help Jews living in the modern world make meaning out of our tradition and lives, the strengthening of Hebrew, the relationship between the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and how Jewish life and Judaism can enhance the world around us and the lives of people everywhere. This sense of shared mission transforms the learning from something that is solely academic and objective to something more holistic and meaningful. 

Favorite Things About Living in New York City: New York City provides extraordinary opportunities for all kinds of experiences, Jewish and otherwise. Great kosher restaurants, engaging lectures and learning opportunities, and the intellectual and academic resources that are available at so many different institutions of higher learning make New York City an amazing place to pursue graduate work in a Jewish field.