Shlomo Lifshitz

The Why’s and How’s for ensuring a strong Jewish future

How getting a master’s degree in Jewish Education helps you, your students and your community

Personal and Career Growth for Jewish Educators

How and why does a master’s degree in Jewish Education promote personal development, teaching excellence and communal responsibility?

In their studies, Jewish Kabbalah scholars progress along the “Sephirot” (enumerations) of the Tree of Life, moving from the material world, to the divine.  Similarly, your own advancement in the world of Jewish Education can be seen as an ongoing quest, where your own personal and career development are intricately tied to the continuation and betterment of the Jewish people as a whole and individually.  Put more plainly, a graduate degree in Jewish Education is an all-around winning prospect, simultaneously allowing you to help yourself and the community you so care about.

Following the example of all great Jewish scholars, there are three questions we can ask ourselves to further understand why a Masters in Jewish Education is a worthwhile endeavor.

Why a Master’s in Education?

While a master’s degree is an excellent idea in any discipline, it holds greater significance in the field of education, so much so, that Finland, whose education system consistently tops the world rankings, requires all general education teachers to obtain a masters degree. Even in America, graduate degrees are a requirement for reaching higher positions.  Here are, but a few, of the advantages of an MA:

  • MA’s are more qualified teachers: An MA degree focuses on how to impart knowledge to students, emphasizing pedagogy, teaching methods, educational technology and more.
  • MA’s are regarded as experts in their fields.
  • Improves career (upward) mobility: MA’s carry substantial weight in the educator job market. Schools need highly qualified, expert teachers to improve the quality of education and pedagogical processes, and an advanced degree portrays such value to potential employers.
  • Improves academic (upward) mobility: In addition to paving the way to a PHD, an MA is a basic requirement for teaching at the college or university level.

A Masters in Jewish Education, Why?

It is not for naught, that the Jewish people are known as the “People of the Book”.  Throughout the ages, Judaism has held education in the highest esteem, not only to ensure the nation’s survival, but to continually maintain forward momentum.  In fact, the reason that “educate your children” is not one of the ten commandments, is that it is implicit in the very concept of the commandments themselves, i.e. that they are only of value if you teach and debate them generation after generation.

This educational philosophy holds true today more than ever, and underscores the importance of a master’s degree to Jewish educators, as well as other positions in Jewish life.  For example:  philanthropists and communal organizations place a high priority on the recruitment and retention of well-trained Jewish educators; employment opportunities include senior posts beyond the Jewish community settings of schools, university clubs, lobby organizations, NGOs,  etc., such as placement in government service, Jewish charities, and more; above all, a Masters in Jewish Education is an umbrella for students to achieve spiritual, professional and societal goals, all at once.

How Should I Go About Earning my Degree?

Some of the finest schools in the world offer graduate degrees in Jewish education, however not all are built to accommodate “natural candidates” for such studies, namely working individuals, many of whom already fill important positions in their community and for whom full time programs are not an option.  This is why, in the case of a MA in Jewish Education, we are proponents of distance learning, albeit, from accredited, well known institutions.  In addition to enabling students to continue working, online studies have other benefits, such as being able to use what you learn in practice, as you learn it, and having on-demand access to materials.

We hope that you are now convinced of the merit of pursuing a master’s in Jewish education, and encourage you to climb higher on your own tree of life by looking further into the online master’s studies at Hebrew University’s Melton Centre for Jewish Education.  The program blends all of the qualities mentioned, in addition to being taught by a world renowned faculty and incorporating a 6-week, intense on-campus summer semester in Israel. To read more about this program, visit


About the Author
With over 30 years of experience, Shlomo (Momo) Lifshitz was the founder and president of Oranim Educational Initiatives, which at its peak was the largest operator of Birthright-Taglit tours. Oranim has run over 1,201 Birthright groups. After selling Oranim in 2012, Momo turned his sights to promoting educational programs to Israel, and serves as the director of Study in Israel LLC and Lirom Global Education, promoting the and brands.
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