The Jim Joseph Foundation created the Education Initiative to increase the number of educators and educational leaders who are prepared to design and implement high-quality Jewish education programs. The Foundation granted $45 million to three premier Jewish higher education institutions--Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and Yeshiva University (YU)--(each institution received $15 million) and challenged them to plan and implement programs that used new content and teaching approaches to increase the number of highly qualified Jewish educators serving the field.
The grant covered program operation costs as well as other costs associated with institutional capacity building. The majority of the funds (75 percent) targeted program planning and operation. The grantees designed and piloted six new master's degree and doctoral degree programs or concentrations; eight new certificate, leadership, and professional development programs; two new induction programs; and four new seminars within the degree programs. The Education Initiative also supported financial assistance for students in eight other advanced degree programs. The grantees piloted innovative teaching models and expanded their use of educational technology in the degree and professional development programs.