The Rabbinical School of The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is pleased to announce the receipt of a $1,250,000 grant from the David and Inez Myers Foundation. Made in the form of an annual gift of $250,000 for five consecutive years beginning in 2012, the grant will support the new Myers Foundation Rabbinical Leadership Program and scholarships for rabbinical students. The leadership program will consist of a seminar in vision, management, and public leadership development that will be mandatory for all fourth-year rabbinical students, a "venture capital fund" that will enable these students to design and launch innovative outreach projects, and a supervision component that will pair each student with a rabbi-mentor. The Myers Foundation Rabbinical Leadership Program helps further the goal of JTS Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen to develop the institution as a training ground for Jewish leadership in all its many forms, within and outside the synagogue and professional or communal organization.
"Rabbinical education can be described as training the head, the heart, and the hands," said Rabbi Daniel Nevins, Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School and dean of the Division of Religious Leadership at JTS. "Our students study the intellectual riches of our tradition, develop their spiritual lives, and learn to lead a Jewish community that craves Jewish wisdom and compassionate care. In addition to these tasks, rabbis have the potential to play a leadership role in the public realm, advocating for justice and righteousness for all. The Myers Foundation grant will allow The Rabbinical School to train students in public leadership and will give them the chance to design projects that can impact the larger Jewish and general community."
Thanks to the Myers Foundation grant, Rabbi Jack Moline of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia, who received rabbinic ordination at JTS in 1982, will teach JTS's fourth-year rabbinical students about the intersection of Jewish tradition and contemporary leadership's best practices. "The goal of this program is to replace student trial and error with advanced professional resources and skills," said Rabbi Moline. "The Myers Foundation program will help JTS ordain rabbis who are at home both teaching a text and motivating a wider community. A rabbi's potential to influence and inspire people in many corners of society is unlimited, and JTS has long produced graduates who have worked tirelessly to make the world a more compassionate and principled place. Because of the Myers Foundation, we can add a new level of proficiency to our rabbis' skills as they embark upon shaping our future generations."