The project will train at least 50 new and current teachers to teach Jewish Studies in Jewish day schools, state schools, Jewish Sunday schools, and informal education programs in Ukraine. Studies will take place within the Interdisciplinary Certificate Program in Jewish Studies (ICPJS) at the National University of Kiev-Mohyia Academy (NaUKMA). Students will be divided into groups, based on the subjects and grades which they teach. The academic schedule is comprised of 3 trimesters per year (13 weeks; 13 weeks; and 7 weeks), and the program extends for 2 years.
The curriculum includes mandatory courses in Hebrew (120 hours per year), Introduction to Classical Jewish Texts (50 hours), and Methodology for Teaching Jewish Studies (78 hours). Students select at least 4 additional courses based on their areas of special interest. Course offerings include: Jewish History; Zionism and Israel; Jewish Medieval Philosophy; Jewish Modern Philosophy; Workshop on Rabbinic Texts; History of Ukrainian-Jewish Relations; History of the Holocaust; Culture of European Jewry; Yiddish Language; Yiddish Literature; Hebrew Literature; Biblical Studies; and History of the Khazars . Courses are comprised of lectures, seminars, and an examination paper. The paper must include a research section, and also development of a curriculum for a course which the participant is specialized to teach.
The course in the Methodology of Teaching Jewish Subjects meets for two hours weekly during the first year. In the second year, students will work individually with the instructor to develop their own curricula and teaching materials. The entire group will meet together once every three months. During the final three months of the second year, each student will prepare curricula for at least two courses in his or her area of specialization. These curricula and methodological recommendations will be available online, for discussion and use by other Jewish educators.
The project will revise and reorganize the current ICPJS curriculum by introducing new courses, revising existing courses and expanding liaisons with similar centers abroad. Existing courses will be revised to better meet teachers’ needs. Thus, instruction on classical Jewish texts will focus not only on content and historical and cultural context, but also on strategies for teaching the texts. The course on the Holocaust will focus on methods for teaching the Holocaust.
Graduates will receive a certificate from NaUKMA, as well as a state-certified and recognized teaching certificate from the Center of Jewish Education in Ukraine, which was established by the VAAD. Students who excel in their studies will be awarded a monthly stipend. The VAAD will assist in finding job placements for all graduates.