Rabbis Jan Katzew and Stacey Schlein Discuss Pandemic Impact on Jewish Education

On this week's Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, Rabbi Jan Katzew, Associate Professor of Education and Jewish Thought at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, and Rabbi Stacey Schlein, rabbi-educator at The Temple-Tiferet Israel, Beachwood, Ohio, discuss the effect of the pandemic on Jewish Education.

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About the Guests

Rabbi Jan Katzew, Ph.D., is the Director of Service Learning, EMA Senior Educator, and Blended Track Associate Professor of Education and Jewish Thought in Cincinnati. Jan Katzew also formerly served as Director of the Rabbinical Program at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.

Dr. Katzew received his Ph.D. in Education and Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University (1997); his M.A. in Hebrew Letters and rabbinical ordination from HUC-JIR (1983); and his B.A. in Religious Studies, magna cum laude, from Wesleyan University (1978).  He has served as a member of the adjunct faculty at HUC-JIR, teaching courses in Education, Jewish Thought, and Moral Philosophy to rabbinical, cantorial, and education students since 1999.

Prior to joining HUC-JIR in 2012, Dr. Katzew served for fifteen years as the Director of Lifelong Jewish Learning at the Union for Reform Judaism, where he created a network of regional educators, designed CHAI and Mitkadem for Judaic and Hebrew learning, respectively, in congregational schools, and implemented Chaverim B’Ivrit for Day Schools.  He organized Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism and directed the Commission on Jewish Learning and the Lifelong Learning Council, forums for building the Jewish education system in the Reform Movement.  He introduced “Torah at the Center,” a quarterly journal for Jewish educators. Previously, he served as Head of the Middle School at the Solomon Schechter of Northbrook, IL, Director of Adolescent Learning of the BJE (now CJFE) of Skokie, IL, and Rabbi-Educator of Community Synagogue of Port Washington, NY.

Dr. Katzew has participated in significant assemblies of interfaith clergy and served as a scholar-in-residence and presenter at scores of congregations throughout North America and at CAJE, Limmud, NATE, CCAR, and URJ Biennial conferences. He served as Editorial Board Chair of URJ Press for fifteen years.  He has published widely on the subject of Jewish education and Jewish thought, including articles in the Hebrew Union College AnnualCCAR JournalInternational Journal of Jewish Education, and Reform Judaism magazine. He received the Distinguished Educator Award from the National Association of Temple Educators and was selected as a Jerusalem Fellow as an international leader in Jewish education by the Mandel School in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Stacy Schlein is director of education at The Temple-Tifereth Israel, Beachwood, Ohio. She brings a passion for learning and hands-on experiences to all the work she does throughout our congregation. She has been teaching for over twenty years in both formal and informal settings. Rabbi Stacy Schlein joined our congregation in 2007 as Director of the Shabbaton – Weekly Family Education Program. A year later she began to oversee the Social Justice Initiatives. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of Greater Cleveland Congregations – a non- partisan coalition of faith communities and partner organizations in Cuyahoga County working together to build power for social justice.

Immediately after Rabbinical School she worked for two years as the Rabbi of Chavurat Tikvah in Rye, New York. After returning to Cleveland in 2003, she served as a Chaplain for The Jewish Federation of Cleveland and led Reform Prayer Services at Stone Gardens Assisted Living Residence and Wiggins Place. A native Clevelander, Rabbi Schlein graduated from Indiana University in 1994 with a B.A. in Journalism and Sociology and a Certificate in Jewish Studies. In 2001, she was ordained at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She served as rabbinic intern in Beachwood, Ohio; South Bend, Indiana; New York, New York; and Rye, New York.

She also has served as a consultant to children’s author Jean Marzollo for her series of books on the bible and had a story published in Three Times Chai: 54 Rabbis Tell Their Favorite Stories by Laney Katz-Becker. Rabbi Schlein enjoys biking, running, swimming and most of all spending time with her husband Jeremy Sosin and three beautiful children.

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