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Year 2: Refining the Pedagogy of the Group Leadership Training Institute for Immersive Jewish Service Program Leaders
Successful immersive Jewish service-learning programs depend heavily on highly skilled and
competent program leaders. In 2009, American Jewish World Service (AJWS), The Progressive Jewish Alliance & Jewish Funds for Justice (PJA & JFSJ) and the PANIM Institute of BBYO, launched the Group Leadership Training Institute (GLTI1) with support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation and Repair the World. The goal of this initiative was to develop and implement high-quality program leader training that would foster professionalization of the role of service-learning program leader and contribute to the availability of well qualified staff.
Researchers from the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS) conducted a formative study of the pilot session of GLTI with the primary purpose of developing feedback for further revision of the program. This study indicated that GLTI1 represented an important contribution to the development of the “signature pedagogy” for the professional training of service-learning program leaders. Participants thoroughly enjoyed meeting peers who shared their values and interests, developed skills related to co-leading and curriculum implementation, and gained a better understanding of their organizations. On the other hand, many left training with only modest gains in their shared language or understanding of Jewish perspectives on service. Participants complained of the daunting schedule, limited opportunities to develop connections across organizations, and lost opportunities to model the development of positive, pluralistic Jewish life. Novice learning at GLTI1 far outpaced that of veteran leaders who were dissatisfied with the amount of repetition from previous trainings and expressed a desire to be better utilized as resources for training. This report summarizes the findings of research conducted by CMJS on the second year of the GLTI initiative. The purpose of the current research was to build on findings from the study of the program’s inaugural year related to the experience of and satisfaction with training and to conduct a summative evaluation of the impact of GLTI2 program participation.
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Tobias, Josh. Chertok, Fern. Rosin, Shirah. Year 2: Refining the Pedagogy of the Group Leadership Training Institute for Immersive Jewish Service Program Leaders. Maurice & Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS),Repair the World. November 2011: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=13456
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