Jewish schools are increasingly and deservedly popular, with new schools opening to match the rising demand. But more schools mean more teachers are needed, especially for Jewish Studies and Ivrit.
Pajes Director Alastair Falk said;
We are incredibly lucky in this country that so much of Jewish schooling is funded by the state. Sometimes though there is a gap, and that’s what’s happened with teachers training to teach Jewish Studies in our secondary schools, since Religious Education is not a government funded area.
Pajes is now working with five London Jewish secondary schools to find the money to train ten new teachers of Jewish Studies. The schools themselves will cover the teachers’ salaries and cost of in school mentoring, so for every £30,000 the school puts in, Pajes is looking to raise an additional ten per cent to cover the training cost. To find this target of £30,000, Pajes has come up with a novel approach that builds on its central idea of working in partnership. Through its ‘sponsor a teacher’ scheme, Pajes is asking either groups of individuals, local communities or Foundations to create a scholarship and ‘adopt’ one teacher during the training year. The sponsors will then be able to have their names on the scholarship and during the year they will receive regular updates on ’their’ teacher’s progress. They will also receive an invitation to the trainee’s school and the entitlement to have that teacher as a scholar in residence over a Shabbat in their local community. It may even be that there is a special area of teaching that the sponsoring group would like to suggest, such as Israel or Anglo Jewish history and this scheme will not only then ensure that teacher is able to specialise in that area but also that they then offer their expertise to other teachers once they are qualified. And finally, of course, all sponsors will be invited to the graduation ceremony where their support will be recognised.
If you or your community would like more information about the ‘Sponsor A Jewish Teacher’ scheme, please contact Alistair Falk at [email protected].