The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education is funded by more than $2 million in grants from nonprofit organizations.
By Ruth Steinhardt
The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education will move to the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development this year.
The move will add to GW’s existing resources in Jewish education and in educational research more generally.
CASJE is an alliance of educational, philanthropic and research institutions aiming to provide improved data and scholarship relevant to the practical needs of teachers, administrators and leaders in Jewish education.
“The idea behind CASJE is to connect the world of high-quality education research to the needs of the Jewish community for the purpose of improving policy and practice in education,” said GSEHD Dean Michael Feuer, who will serve as director of the consortium.
CASJE’s transition to GW was funded by core grants totaling $2 million from the AVI CHAI and Jim Joseph foundations. Those organizations, along with the Stanford Graduate School of Education and Rosov Consulting, were founding members of CASJE in 2011.
Initial projects as the consortium moves to GW will include one on leadership at Jewish day schools and another on early childhood education, which Dr. Feuer said plays into GSEHD strengths.
“In the Jewish community, the question of quality early childhood education looms large, and a lot of those concerns mirror the concerns of the more general community,” Dr. Feuer said. “We are immensely grateful to the Crown Family Foundation and another generous donor for their support of work that we believe will enrich both sides of that story.”
He emphasized that part of CASJE’s mission is to shed light on the ways that Jewish and secular education overlap.
“Jewish education takes place in secular institutions, and secular education takes place in Jewish institutions,” he said. “CASJE takes advantage of that cross-fertilizing collaborative [potential].” Indeed, as Feuer notes, “GSEHD is an example of a secular institution where Jewish education takes place.”
The school offers programs such as the degree in experiential education and Jewish cultural arts, which is the only master’s program of its kind.
“There are pressing, important questions about Jewish education, and the quality of research about those questions could always improve,” Dr. Feuer said. “So we’re looking forward to being able to tackle that from a variety of angles and building off the remarkably rich and diverse perspectives of our faculty.”