Jewish Parent Academy

JPA is a high caliber Jewish adult education program for Russian-speaking parents. JPA aims to inspire participants to deepen their understanding of Jewish history, heritage and culture, strengthen their sense of belonging to the Jewish people, and create an empowered and learned community.

Location: Brooklyn , NY
Year founded: 2015

Description

Jewish Parent Academy (JPA) aims to inspire participants (Russian-speaking parents) to deepen their understanding of the uniqueness of their identity, strengthening a sense of belonging to the Jewish people, heritage, values and Israel. JPA provides diverse and stimulating Jewish learning experiences presented by outstanding Jewish scholars and educators.  The inaugural semester will consist of 10 classes and a community-wide Passover Seder event.  Also included is a parallel curriculum to engage families and children of the participants.
This project will enable the parents to explore their own Jewishness, their roots and will further enable them to find their way to get involved with Jewish causes. This will be a catalyst for creating a true, vibrant Russian Jewish community in the Southern Brooklyn.  The largest Russian Jewish population still resides in Southern Brooklyn and this is a community that has unique needs that haven't been met by any other program. Through this uniques program, JPA will help create an inspired, learned and empowered community.
Jewish Parent Academy

About

The Jewish Parents Academy (JPA) is a high caliber, Jewish adult education program for Russian-speaking parents in Brooklyn. JPA aims to inspire participants to deepen their understanding of Jewish history, heritage and culture, strengthen their sense of belonging to the Jewish people, and create an empowered and learned community.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Jewish Parent Academy mission is to provide high caliber, intensive, non-denominational Jewish adult education for Russian-speaking Jewish (RSJ) parents. JPA aims to inspire participants to deepen their understanding of Jewish history, heritage and culture, strengthen their sense of belonging to the Jewish people, and create an empowered and learned community.

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Program Description

The Jewish Parent Academy was launched in 2015 with the goal of providing Russian-speaking Jewish parents in New York City an opportunity to study a wide range of Jewish topics. We believe by participating in the program, parents will become more aware of the different cultural, historic, and creative aspects of Judaism. This awareness will enable participants to integrate Judaism into their life and thought, and inspire them to take on leadership roles in their community.

We accomplish our mission by facilitating small group lecture sessions with parents from the community taught by world-renowned speakers, lecturers, authors and scholars. By limiting the size of our semester-long cohort, the JPA aims to build a community of learners with lasting bonds between participants.

The JPA is founded and lead by a team of highly dedicated parents who believe that it is through the continued pursuit of Jewish thought and knowledge that we will be able to pass "our" values and "our" Jewish identity to the next generation. We also firmly believe that each of us is able to take on leadership roles in order to make our community stronger and more vibrant.

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Demonstrated Need

Jewish parents in the Russian speaking community have craving to learn more about their heritage and culture. Many of these parents do not yet feel comfortable going to synagogue and studying Judaism and Torah in the traditional sense, with a group or one on one with a rabbi. That is why a less intimidating, group setting, will provide the environment that attracts Russian Jewish parents where they can learn in the company of people like themselves. Previous Mazel events which brought parents together to learn and discuss Jewish topics had excellent turnouts and a clear desire among attendees for a structured program that targets this type of initiatives.

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Program Accomplishments

- Started a cohort-based, semester long learning program for Russian-speaking Jewish parents

-Reached over 100 parents through cohort only and community wide events.

-Received support grants from foundations and philanthropists.

-Invited word class presenters for the program, including renowned scholars, and best selling authors..

-Got outstanding reviews from program participants and leaders of the Jewish community in NYC.

-Revitalizing love for Judaism among the Russian immigrant community

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Success is measured by the amount of people we attract and retain in our program. To date we have had more demand for our program than we are able to meet. More parents applied for our semester-long program than allocated seats. So far, retention rates has been 100%. Open sessions where guests from the community have been invited, have been filled to capacity.

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