One of the crises facing the future of the Jewish people is the lack of engaging educators. With ever-growing challenges arising from contemporary society and assimilation into the “global village” at an all-time high, there is a pressing demand for inspiring Jewish teachers and role models to reinvigorate our classrooms, uplift our schools and build thriving communities based on Jewish values and traditions which are both intellectually and spiritually compelling.
Successful Jewish education is about more than informing; successful Jewish education is about transforming. To this end, OTS established the Ethel and Adolph Beren Educators Institute, which provides educators with the 21st Century tools needed to offer the richest possible programming in Jewish schools and communities in Israel and all over the world. Programming which will excite a jaded generation of pupils who are accustomed to instant gratification and whose feet are planted firmly in the modern world. Programming which will pique an interest in their heritage and inspire them to discover the richness of their culture. Programming which will implant within them a love of Judaism and instill in them a lifelong pride in their Jewish identity.
“On the one hand, effective modern Jewish educators must still teach Torah, because that is, after all, the foundation of our heritage,” explains Rabbi Riskin. “But on the other hand, they must have the fluency to relate to people who live in the modern world in a language that they understand.”
Integral to the Institute’s 3-5 year curriculum are the academic courses participants take in the Robert M. Beren College in order to attain a Bachelors Degree. There is also a non-degree granting component to the Institute, the 1-2 year Beren-Amiel Practical Training Program, which prepares educational emissaries for service abroad.