Research, Design, and Publications

The William Davidson School guides the leaders of today in charting new paths toward a vibrant and promising future for the Jewish people. 

We bring cutting-edge research and creative scholarship together to reimagine powerful outcomes for Jewish education in the 21st century. We design innovative approaches to achieving widespread educational transformation by bringing together scholars and educators, clergy and change practitioners, to think, experiment, and create together. We craft publications to offer educational leaders a platform for dialogue across North America.

Research

In collaboration with faculty across JTS and other institutions, The William Davidson School cultivates knowledge to spark change and promote excellence in Jewish educational organizations across the continent. The center has the largest number of faculty and doctoral students engaged in research in Jewish education in North America. Our research projects have included:

  • Diversity and Inclusion in Jewish Educational Settings: These studies have informed our efforts to create welcoming, inclusive communities by learning from exemplary practice and practitioners.
  • The 20-Up Project: Following up with the Conservative Synagogue Bar/Bat Mitzvah Class of 1994–1995: This was an unprecedented longitudinal study of the life pathways of Jewish millennials who were surveyed five and 10 years after their b’nai mitzvah, and we have continued this work with our re-connection and study of this group 20 years later.
  • Jewish Court of All Time (JCAT): In this annual 10-week fall program, students in PRIZMAH day schools participate together in an online simulation. By assuming roles of historical and contemporary figures, they delve into a court case based in Jewish history and explore its current impact. For more information, email JCAT@jtsa.edu.
  • Gender Equity and Leadership Initiative: This task force explored ways gender equity and leadership could be enhanced within the field of Jewish education. View the report.

Design

Scholars, clergy, and educational practitioners across denominations gather through The William Davidson School to address major challenges in Jewish education today and design innovative ways to teach and learn Judaism. We host collaborative conferences and retreats throughout the year. Our events have included:

  • Melton Coalition for Creative Interaction Conference: “Jewish Learning and the Non-Jew”: During this conference, attended by international scholars, we engaged in conversation to explore the “other” in Judaism.View full-length video recordings of the Melton Coalition for Creative Interaction conference “Jewish Learning and the Non-Jew.”

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Publications

Gleanings: A Dialogue on Jewish Education

Gleanings explores critical questions and trends in Jewish education from a range of expert perspectives. Gleanings inspires ideas and innovative practices across the sub-sectors of day school, early childhood, congregational, communal institutions, summer camps, Hillel, youth groups, and more.

View our most recent Gleanings publication

Writings from The William Davidson School

The William Davidson School has produced a series of articles for ejewishphilanthropy.com, featuring posts from our alumni, staff, and faculty. Series examples have included articles about day school leadership and effective collaboration.

JTS Press publishes engaging, scholarly works on Jewish education. Texts have included: 

  • Maybe the Lies We Tell Are Really True: Selected Writings on Education, Judaism and Jewish Education by Joseph Sander Lukinsky, Edited by Barry Holtz
  • Vision at Work by Daniel Pekarsky
  • Covenant and Community by Michael Rosenak
  • Down the Up Staircase: Tales of Teaching in Jewish Day Schools by Carol Ingall

JTS Press continuously launches new publications—including research reports and policy briefs for practitioners and planners—to advance thinking throughout the landscape of Jewish education.

Events

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