We are concerned with your overall growth as a Jewish educational professional. The Davidson School is committed to furthering your personal religious and spiritual development, and helping you network with the Jewish education community—including your fellow students, who will become lifelong colleagues.
Each week, first-year, full-time MA students meet as a cohort for the Big Tent Minyan, morning services led by a rotation of students, and for Mifgash, a community-building session created for students to reflect on what it means to be a professional Jewish educator.
The community time serves as a safe space for students to nurture their spiritual selves, develop their prayer skills, and engage in conversations around professional goals and aspirations. Students explore questions and issues that formal classroom discussions may not allow. In the first semester, the Mifgash focuses on helping students craft personal mission statements as they look at the past in order to determine their future as Jewish educators.
Rabbi Jonathan Lipnick, the rabbi-in-residence of The Davidson School, oversees the minyan and facilitates Mifgash. Rabbi Lipnick also works with students on an individual and small-group basis to help them develop religious skills, personal practice, and personal theology; and to reflect on their own Jewish journeys and growth while here at JTS.
Since these are considered nonacademic areas, Rabbi Lipnick provides a confidential, highly personalized resource to help students in their quest to develop a religious approach and role-model self-image consistent with their own approaches to Judaism.
Each graduating student participates in an interactive three-day workshop that includes writing a personal mission statement as a Jewish educator, designing a professional portfolio, and learning all the skills needed to search and be selected for choice jobs in the field.
This full-service workshop teaches the basics to those who have no work experience, and augments the skills of those who are ready to try again in their new career. Among other skills, the students learn:
"The career workshop was helpful in clarifying the job process for me. It allowed me to focus on what I needed to get the ball rolling, such as fixing up my résumé, identifying references, and practicing my interview skills. The workshop was a safe space to practice these skills among peers and under the influence of professionals from the field."
—Shana Zionts, MA '10
Coalition educator for the Jewish Education Project, New York City
"I wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful event. The expertise, thoughtfulness, kindness, and knowledge were invaluable. I truly enjoyed working with this wonderful group, and I know that I can speak for others as well when I say that we really had a great time. I am graduating in a few months, and I'm eager to start the next step in my career. I believe that everything that I have learned during this workshop is a big step toward my successes in the field of Jewish education."
—Sonia Levin, MA '10
Teacher, Solomon Schechter Day School of Westchester