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PCJE Update

The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators welcomed its second cohort of experiential educators in August. We asked the cohort’s three new members, who are spending 5774 studying classical Jewish text at Pardes, to explain why experiential Jewish educators already in the field would choose to take a year off from their career and come to the Pardes Experiential Educators Program. Here’s what they told us:

Lisa Motenko, Hillel, UC Berkeley:

“I am really good at what I do in experiential education – programming – but I lack the Jewish background. I want to be able to feel confident to learn with students, to be able to look up my own texts if I want to include text study in a program, to know what it is like to live in Israel and in general have a foundation of knowledge that I can refer back to.” 

Carolyn Gerecht, Agency of Jewish Learning, Pittsburgh:

“After several years in the field of experiential Jewish education, I’ve chosen to spend a year studying full-time at Pardes to familiarize myself with more Jewish texts and sources, to meet other educators from a wide variety of backgrounds and most of all, for the chance to view these ancient stories and commentaries against the backdrop of modern-day Jerusalem. At Pardes, I hope to gain a better understanding of Jewish texts so that I can transmit a fuller, genuine love and knowledge of Judaism to students.”

Sara Spanjer, The Weber School, Atlanta:

“Why wouldn't you want to take a year ON and spend it learning in Israel at Pardes?”