News Releases

AVI CHAI funds capacity building plan of Jewish New Teacher Project


New York, NY (August 15, 2011) — The Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP) announced today the receipt of a $1,425,000 grant from AVI CHAI Foundation. The grant, which covers a two-year period, is focused on helping the organization to implement its long-term strategic plan to accelerate the effectiveness of new teachers and advance student learning in Jewish Day Schools, especially in New York and New Jersey.

"We are very grateful to receive this new grant," says Mark Silk, JNTP Director. "These funds will allow us to push forward with key initiatives to support the growth and long-term sustainability of the organization and to continue our work to ensure new teachers in day schools gain the support they need and students get the great teacher they deserve.

The new grant is another stage of what has been a long and fruitful funding relationship between JNTP and AVI CHAI who initially brought the Jewish New Teacher Project to Jewish day schools to address the high turnover of, and perceived lack of support for, new teachers in those schools. The goal was to offer new Jewish day school teachers mentoring support that would facilitate their acclimation to the demands of the job and thereby increase the likelihood that they would remain in the field while becoming better teachers.

Yossi Prager, AVI CHAI’s North American Executive Director, said, “JNTP has proven itself as an extraordinary support to new teachers and their mentors.  The next step for the organization is to implement a plan that will put the organization onto firm financial ground for the future.” Towards that end, JNTP has also received support from the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Alan B. Slifka Foundation and the UJA Federation of New York.

The program focuses on the professional development of first and second year teachers of general and Judaic studies through intensive weekly mentoring from expert, talented teachers. JNTP mentors guide new teachers through a system of intensive on-the-job support, focusing on professional standards for excellence in teaching. The success of the program goes beyond support for new teachers to offer benefits to the mentors too. Mentors gain a deeper understanding of effective teaching and learning, develop common ways of thinking about instruction and considering student work, and acquire ideas and strategies for exemplary practice that can be applied to the whole school.

The broader impact that JNTP mentors have had in their schools was documented in a 2006 research study, entitled Experience Speaks, conducted by New York University's Research Leadership and Action Center Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and commissioned by the AVI CHAI Foundation.

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About the AVI CHAI Foundation

The AVI CHAI Foundation is a private foundation established and endowed in 1984 by Zalman C. Bernstein, founder of Sanford C. Bernstein and Co., an investment research and management firm. AVI CHAI has two basic goals: to encourage Jews in the United States to become more deeply involved in Jewish learning; and to promote mutual understanding and sensitivity among Jews of different religious backgrounds in Israel. In North America, one of AVI CHAI's primary efforts has been to encourage the growth of the Jewish Day School movement by initiating and funding innovative programs designed to enhance the quality of the schools and to attract greater numbers of students and funders.

About JNTP

The Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP) is dedicated to improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of beginning teachers in Jewish day schools. JNTP was founded in 2002 and is part of the New Teacher Center based in Santa Cruz, California, which, since 1998, has been renowned for its comprehensive, researched based instructional mentoring and professional development programs. JNTP has supported new teachers in Jewish day schools in New York, New Jersey, Washington, Florida, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. JNTP is headquartered in New York and funded by generous grants from the AVI CHAI, Jim Joseph Foundation and the Alan B. Slifka Foundation.

Contact:

Mark Silk, Director, Jewish New Teacher Project
646.695.5090
 msilk(at)newteachercenter.org