New Mayberg Center initiative to teach Jewish history, values to nonprofit professionals

“Senior-level professionals” at Jewish nonprofits can now apply to join a new program to improve their understanding of Jewish culture, tradition and writings.

The Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership is now accepting applications for its first Text and Tradition Initiative, which kicks off with a five-day retreat at the Pearlstone Retreat Center in Reisterstown, Md., at the end of May next year and continues with a series of monthly webinars from July to December 2020. Officials said the program will help the participants gain an understanding of Jewish history and practice.

“We hope participants will feel culturally competent and comfortable with their Jewish knowledge by the end of their participation in the initiative and that they will have connected with members of their cohort,” said Sharon Blumenthal-Cohen, the center’s associate program director.

She said the Covenant Foundation – a nonprofit organization that financially supports “educational endeavors that perpetuate the identity, continuity and heritage of the Jewish people” – awarded the center a $150,000 grant in 2018 to create the Text and Tradition Initiative. She said Erica Brown, the center’s director, “was instrumental” in writing the grant proposal.

Blumenthal-Cohen said participants will develop an “emerging” understanding of topics like foundational Jewish texts, major figures in Jewish history, the Jewish calendar year and Jewish law and values.

She said space in the spring 2020 cohort is limited to 20 people, and applications close Dec. 15. Applicants must be nominated by their organization to be considered, and the first 10 applicants accepted to the program will receive a $500 grant to offset the $3,500 cost of attendance, according to the program’s website.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Jan. 31 next year, the website states.

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