American Jewish University has launched a partnership with ElevatEd – a three-year pilot initiative created by the JCC Association of North America, Jewish Federations of North America and the Union for Reform Judaism in response to a major national teacher shortage.
AJU is offering the essential college-level coursework for ElevatEd’s training program to support and inform emerging educators and further professionalize the field of Jewish early childhood education.
“Solving the shortage of Jewish early childhood educators is no easy task,” said Dr. Tamar Andrews, director of early childhood education programs at American Jewish University. “We can best approach this challenging issue by providing educators with the necessary infrastructure and resources to develop their careers. Through our partnership with ElevatEd, American Jewish University is working to reduce barriers for and adequately prepare those entering the field.”
Introduction to Working with Young Children – a four-unit course accredited by AJU and fully subsidized by ElevatEd – runs through June 15. Participants learn from Jewish early childhood expert Dr. Tamar Andrews while completing one of four required courses for a child development permit in most states.
“Transforming the field of early childhood Jewish education starts with educators who have the knowledge and skills to nurture the infinite potential of children, their families and the Jewish community,” said Orna Siegel, executive director of ElevatEd.
ElevatEd first pioneered its program in Boston, Denver-Boulder, the East Bay, Houston and Long Island, New York. It is aimed at addressing the urgent crisis of recruitment and retention of Jewish early childhood educators. Participants receive a comprehensive set of resources to propel their careers, including a year of study, an 18-month mentorship, funds to support their work and a community network of practicing early childhood educators across the country. The program will expand to nine additional communities in its second year, increasing the availability of professional training in Jewish early childhood education across the United States.
AJU is located at 15600 Mulholland Drive. For information, visit aju.edu.
Michelle Starkman, M.A., MBA
Vice President, Communications