WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC) has completed its 2014 grant cycle and has awarded $50,000 each to two Jewish Day schools. In an uncommonly transparent grant process, the JEIC narrowed from a field of 64 applicants to four finalists who presented their proposals at their annual "Innovators Retreat." In addition to four distinguished panelists, a group of past grantees, leading Jewish education thought leaders and philanthropists attended the retreat and had the opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback for each finalist. The JEIC's 2014 grant winners are the Oakland Hebrew Day School, Oakland, California, and The Binah School, Sharon, Massachusetts.
JEIC managing director, Rabbi Shmuel Feld said, "All of our finalists worked very hard, demonstrating deep, creative thought about how to address the underlying challenges facing today's Jewish educational system. It was a difficult decision, but we feel our 2014 grantees presented projects that are ready to be nurtured and have the potential to produce measurable, scalable programs:
Oakland Hebrew Day School: Workshop Based Beit Midrash
This project tests a learning environment and approach where students, guided by educational Madrichim (teacher facilitators), have the opportunity to take ownership of their Jewish learning through self-directed study and individualized learning portfolios.
The Binah School: Jewish Digital Access Project
This project changes the way students use the Internet as a Torah resource by creating a wiki-type index of Torah-based websites which can be shared. The school created a methodology to teach students the appropriate use of online Judaic resources and to help them make guided, values-based choices about appropriate content. This supports independent research on topics otherwise unreachable by high school students.
The Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC) says its grant making initiative is designed to "Disrupt complacency and encourage innovation in Jewish day school education." Rabbi Feld says, "By rewarding and collaborating with talented innovators, JEIC seeks to improve the way Jewish values, literacy, practice, and beliefs are transferred to the next generation." The JEIC defines their ultimate success as the creation and implementation of revolutionary, practical educational models that are sustainable, accountable and scalable.
Videos of all four grant finalist presentations and Rabbi Dr. Berel Wein's keynote speech from the 2014 Innovators Retreat are available at www.JewishChallenge.org. The Jewish Education Innovation Challenge is a program of the Mayberg Family Charitable Foundation.
About the Mayberg Family Charitable Foundation
The Mayberg Family Charitable Foundation is a grantmaking family foundation with particular interests in Jewish outreach and Jewish education. Trustees Louis and Manette Mayberg serve on a variety of boards and are deeply involved in many issues and initiatives impacting the future of the Jewish people.
SOURCE The Mayberg Family Charitable Foundation