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Grant Establishes New UC Center for Jewish Education

The center will strengthen the performance of teachers as well as UC’s ties to the Jewish community.

Date: 10/23/2006 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover and Britt Kennerly

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A $100,000, two-year grant from the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati is supporting the establishment of a new Center for Jewish Education at the University of Cincinnati. The center is a joint endeavor of the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) and the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences (A&S). The new center will focus on outreach, interaction and research, with the goals of strengthening the performance of teachers in Jewish educational settings and teachers of Jewish subjects in private and public schools, as well as teacher preparation at the university.

“The center will facilitate the college’s goals of recruiting diverse, world-class faculty and students, increase faculty publications and presentations, and support research and community partnerships,” says Lawrence J. Johnson, dean of the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. The college has committed an additional $95,400 toward the funding of the center.

Miriam B. Raider-Roth
Miriam B. Raider-Roth

Johnson and Karen Gould, dean of the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, announced the appointment of Miriam B. Raider-Roth and Mark A. Raider as the co-directors of the new Center for Jewish Education. Raider-Roth joined the Division of Educational Studies and Leadership in CECH as an associate professor. Raider was appointed to UC as department head and Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati Endowed Chair in the Department of Judaic Studies (A&S). Raider-Roth and Raider formerly served as co-directors of the Jewish Education Initiative at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Raider-Roth earned her doctorate in education from Harvard University. Her professional background includes teaching in primary, secondary and college education, as well as conducting research focusing on classroom relationships, culture and gender in education.

Mark A. Raider
Mark A. Raider

Raider earned his doctorate in modern Jewish history at Brandeis University. His areas of specialization are American Jewish history and Zionist history.

“This is an innovative and unique opportunity for the university to reach into the community and for the community to reach into the university, and for that to be mutually beneficial,” says Raider-Roth. “In a post Sept. 11, 2001, reality, educating teachers to teach about religious history and culture – whether it’s Judaism, Islam or Christianity – now has an urgency, because they are teaching a generation of students who must learn to understand and live in an increasingly fraught and complex world,” she says.

The center also aims to establish relationships with public and private K-12 schools in the area to support future research focusing on teachers’ roles as transmitters of culture.

“There is no comparable effort underway at any other major research university in the Midwest. This is an area where UC has something special and unique to offer. The center will plug a huge gap in the public arena while enhancing the standing of Cincinnati as a flagship for Jewish studies and education,” says Raider.

The new UC Center for Jewish Education will assist in the completion of the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP), a seven-year, $10 million study announced in 2001 that encompasses all 50 of Ohio’s education programs. Co-chaired by CECH Dean Lawrence J. Johnson, the study is exploring what makes a teacher an outstanding teacher, and how that excellent teaching performance impacts the performance of schoolchildren in math and English. The study is following new teachers from their college graduation into their jobs in the classroom, in addition to the on-the-job performance of accomplished teachers.

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