e believe that every Jewish child, no matter where they live is entitled to an excellent Jewish education. Even in those communities that are lucky enough to have Jewish professionals, synagogue religious schools are often run by an all-volunteer staff consisting of parents or other volunteer lay-people. These dedicated teachers, who typically have very busy lives, give their weekend over to teaching religious school. They come with enthusiasm and commitment, and often work without any professional support, in many instances with limited Judaic background or pedagogical training of their own. While some communities manage to maintain their Jewish identity, the level of Jewish literacy remains extremely low.
With its education program, the ISJL is committed to assisting these parents and helping to ensure students will become life-long participants in the Jewish community.
The ISJL’s pilot education program began with 10 communities in the four states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Today, the program has expanded to 77 congregations in 13 states.
We support these partner communities through the 3 C's of the ISJL Education Program.
Curriculum: A standard curriculum designed to give teachers the tools and background they need to create a meaningful Jewish educational experience for their students, and to provide a common body of Jewish knowledge throughout our region.
Community Visits from the Institute's Education Fellows
An annual education conference designed to train religious school educators to assist the implementation of the regional curriculum.