JTS Awarded Grant to Address "Evaded Curriculum"

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

May 26, 2006, New York, NY

The Jewish Theological Seminary, the flagship institution of the Conservative Movement, has been awarded a grant to fund "Addressing the Evaded Curriculum in Jewish Education" by the Jewish Women's Foundation of New York.

The ground-breaking initiative will develop and train testing modules that address the "evaded curriculum," issues that touch the lives of students but are rarely discussed in Jewish schools. These situations include gender politics and identity, sexuality, violence, physical and emotional abuse, eating disorders, substance abuse, unintended pregnancy, and suicide.

Dr. Shira Epstein, Assistant Professor of Jewish Education in the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at JTS, will serve as Program Director. A sought-after speaker and consultant on teenage girls and relationship issues, Dr. Epstein serves on UJA-Federation of New York's Task Force on the Jewish Woman and appears in Jewish Women's International‘s video and brochure When Push Comes to Shove, It's No Longer Love: Young Perspectives on Health and Unhealthy Relationships. Dr. Epstein holds an EdD in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College of Columbia University and an MA in Education Theater from New York University.

Dr. Steven M. Brown, Dean of The Davidson School, will serve as Project Director. Over the course of the one-year pilot program, 120 pre-professional and professional educators will be trained in developing effective strategies for identifying and addressing the evaded curriculum in formal and informal settings. Participants will include students in The Davidson School and members of two of JTS's professional leadership development programs, the national Day School Leadership Training Institute funded by AVI CHAI, and the regional Leadership Institute for Congregational School Principals, a partnership with Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and UJA-Federation of New York.

Founded in 1995, the Jewish Women's Foundation of New York (JWFNY) is a member-driven philanthropy that addresses the needs of women and girls in the metropolitan New York Jewish community and beyond.

Further information about the evaded issues curriculum is available by contacting Dr. Epstein at (212) 280-6044 or by email.

Editors/Reporters: For further information on the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education and JTS, please contact Sherry S. Kirschenbaum in the Department of Communciations at (212) 678-8953 or email.

Founded in 1886 as a rabbinical school, The Jewish Theological Seminary today is the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism worldwide, encompassing a world–class library and five schools. JTS trains tomorrow's religious, educational, academic and lay leaders for the Jewish community and beyond.

Visit the JTS website at www.jtsa.edu.