Master's in Experiential Jewish Education
Explore the Big Questions
Research suggests that American Jews increasingly connect to Jewish learning and identity through cultural events, arts organizations, social networks, and informal educational experiences, outside the traditional hubs of Jewish schools and synagogues. There is growing need, therefore, for well-prepared professionals who can produce quality Jewish cultural programming and educational experiences. Toward that end, the Master's in Experiential Jewish Education (EJE) is dedicated to exploring:
- What themes, approaches, and cultural experiences engage Jewish audiences?
- What pedagogical approaches allow Jewish institutions to maximize their impact?
- How can the principles of experiential education enrich the Jewish cultural arts, engagement with Israel, and community-serving enterprises?
Accessible + Flexible
The 30-credit program offers an intensive 13 months full-time extended or 24 months part-time (hybrid, on-campus, or fully online) interdisciplinary course of study.
Students connect with practitioners in the field, are placed in top-notch internships, and attend professional development workshops that further their career goals.
Students may specialize in Jewish cultural arts, Jewish social justice and community engagement, or Israel education.
The only master’s degree of its kind in the country, GW’s program in Experiential Jewish Education offers a cross-disciplinary curriculum in Jewish cultural arts, experiential Jewish education, and museum education. Experiential Jewish education courses provide the tools to integrate Jewish culture and the arts into the lives of contemporary audiences. Museum education courses offer a hands-on approach to experiential education through site visits and projects.
Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in the Field of Experiential Jewish Education
Main Campus (Full or Part-Time)
The following requirements must be fulfilled: 30 credits, including 9 credits in required core courses, 9 credits in specialization courses, and 12 credits in elective courses.
Course List Code Title Core courses EDUC 6810 Paideia and Jewish Education EDUC 6803 Introduction to Experiential Jewish Education EDUC 6804 Applied Research in Experiential Jewish Education Specialization Students complete one of the 9-credit streams outlined below or another combination of courses totaling 9 credits selected in consultation with the program advisor. Jewish cultural arts stream JSTD 6201 Jewish Life in Contemporary America JSTD 6202 Multiple Lives: The Fate of Jewish Cultural Expression JSTD 6211 Displaying Jewish Culture: Landmark Exhibitions on Judaism and the Jewish Experience Israel education stream EDUC 6811 Foundations of Contemporary Israel EDUC 6812 American Jews and Modern Israel EDUC 6813 The Israel Educational Experience Social justice and community engagement stream JSTD 6201 Jewish Life in Contemporary America EDUC 6806 Jews, Social Justice, and Activism MGT 6285 Social Entrepreneurship (or approved elective) Electives 12 credits selected from the following: EDUC 6805 Capstone in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts EDUC 6807 Fieldwork in Experiential Jewish Education and/or 6 to 12 credits of approved professional or academic specialization courses selected in consultation with the program advisor.
Internships are required for Full-time Students, and optional for Part-time or Online students.
The Experiential Jewish Education program enables students to develop professional skills though participation in three progressively intensive internships (fall, spring, and summer) at Jewish arts, cultural, and educational organizations. These fieldwork experiences are supervised closely by site-based mentors and EJE faculty. EJE students have completed Fall and Spring internships at:
- The Edlavitch DCJCC
- Theater J
- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Smithsonian Folkways
- The Jewish Museum of Maryland
- Capital Jewish Museum
- Temple Micah
- Hillel International
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- Operation Understanding DC
- Sixth & I Historic Synagogue
- Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project
- AVODAH: Jewish Service Corps
- GW Hillel
- One Table
- Jewish Arts Collaborative
- Repair the World
- The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
- Capstone Fellows Program
The Capstone Fellows Program--our summer internship placement--provides students with the opportunity to pursue full-time, six-week-long internships at exemplary Jewish arts and education organizations around the country and abroad. EJE provides a stipend to defray living and travel expenses. These venues include:
- The Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco, CA)
- The Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, MA)
- Yeshiva University Museum (New York, NY)
- Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People (Tel Aviv, Israel)
- POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews (Warsaw, Poland)
- JCC's Milk & Honey Farm (Boulder, CO)
- Program Outcomes
Partnering theory with practice, and the classwork with fieldwork, the EJE curriculum enables students to become competent, creative, and reflective Jewish education professionals. The program:
- Inspires students to develop exciting and relevant programming for a range of audiences,
- Offers full-time students a year-long series of internships at cultural arts, social justice & community engagement, Israel education, and other educational institutions, and part-time students flexibility to learn while continuing to work in the field, and
- Develops professional skills including budgeting, grant writing, workplace collaboration, and effective communication.
To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.
Prerequisite: Bachelor's Degree
Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities
- Statement of Purpose (250-500 words)
Two Letters of Recommendation
*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.
- Potential Employment Settings
EJE graduates work in:
- Jewish museums and arts institutions
- community centers
- college campus organizations
- summer camps
- social justice initiatives
Our alumni are currently employed by:
- campus Hillels
- the Museum of Jewish Heritage
- Congregation Olam Tikvah
- Shaare Tefila Congregation
- Resetting the Table
- Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP)
- and various Jewish experiential education entrepreneurial ventures