Master's in Experiential Jewish Education

The only program of its kind in the country, the GW Master's program in Experiential Jewish Education will expand your knowledge and teach you pedagogical approaches to Jewish Education in experiential settings. 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 may specialize in Jewish cultural arts, Jewish social justice & community engagement, or Israel education. Graduates are prepared for leadership positions in Jewish museums and arts institutions, community centers, college campus organizations, social justice organizations, summer camps, and other innovative educational and cultural settings.
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.

We invite prospective students to visit us or schedule an informational phone conversation to learn more about the Experiential Jewish Education program. For program information, please email Ilana Weltman at ilanaweltman@gwu.edu .

Highlights

The Big Questions We’re Exploring

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, 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?

Internships for Full-time Students (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

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)

Curriculum

Program of Study (30 Credits)

Core Courses (9 credits)

EDUC 6810 Paideia and Jewish Education
EDUC 6803 Introduction to Experiential Jewish Education
EDUC 6804 Applied Research in Experiential Jewish Education

Specialization (9 credits)

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 & 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 (minimum 12 credits)

Selected from the following list:

  • EDUC 6807 Fieldwork in Experiential Jewish Education (3 credits)
  • EDUC 6805 Capstone in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts (3 credits)

AND/OR

  • 6-12 credits of approved professional or academic specialization courses selected in consultation with the program advisor

Faculty

Feuer, Michael Dean, The Graduate School of Education and Human Development; Professor, Education Policy
Jacobs, Benjamin M. Associate Research Professor, Experiential Jewish Education
Weissman Joselit, Jenna Professor, Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts

Career Outlook

Opportunities

The Experiential Jewish Education program offers multiple opportunities for professional networking. Students connect with practitioners in the field, are placed in top-notch internships, and attend professional development workshops that further their career goals.

EJE graduates work in Jewish museums and arts institutions, community centers, college campus organizations, summer camps, and 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.

Admissions

Program Entry: Fall
Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
Campus: Main Campus

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • No GRE Required
  • Statement of Purpose (250-500 words)
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts (from all colleges/universities attended)
  • Application Fee

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.

We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible.  If you have questions about the application process, please contact our Admission Office at gsehdadm@gwu.edu or at 202.994.9283.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Master's in Experiential Jewish Education program located on campus (202) 994-7066.