The American Jewish University announced on Monday that it has received a generous grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. The grant was given to AJU for its new program, the Jewish Education Excellence Project: Supporting Teachers for Healthy Schools (JEEP).
JEEP was launched as a result of the education crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; it adapts models of trauma response and resiliency creation used after major emergencies and disasters.
One of the central goals of the program is to encourage experienced teachers to mentor newer colleagues. After in-depth training, a mentor is partnered with their mentee, and the two work together to make the school a healthy environment for students.
"Over the course of the pandemic, our society has learned who our true heroes are: High on this list are teachers," said AJU president Dr. Jeffrey Herbst. "Now is the moment to address the trauma and challenges caused by the pandemic, to invest in retaining our teachers, and to equip them for success. We are deeply grateful to the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles for supporting the JEEP."
"Through JEEP, we are creating a platform for teachers to build resilience and thrive as our society recovers from the pandemic," said Dr. Rachel Lerner, Dean of AJU's School for Jewish Education and Leadership.
The faculty of the School for Jewish Education and Leadership has extensive experience working with Jewish day schools, holds national certificates in leadership and mentoring and has come up with a curriculum for training teachers that will ensure excellence in future teachers.