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The Jewish Chronicle - - EDUCATION - BYSIMON ROCKER

THE LON­DON School of Jewish Stud­ies this week cel­e­brated the first grad­u­ates of its new ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses ap­proved by Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity.

Four stu­dents re­ceived cer­tifi­cates for their BA in ed­u­ca­tion from Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, pres­i­dent of LSJS, while 14 gained MAs in Jewish ed­u­ca­tion.

The part-time MAs in­cluded nine rab­bis, among them Rabbi Joseph Dweck, deputy pres­i­dent of LSJS.

While the part-time BA is in­tended to be taken over four years, com­bin­ing day-time class­room teach­ing with evening lec­tures, its first grad­u­at­ing group com­pleted it fast-track in three.

“It is a tough de­gree to get,” said Jonathan Bach, di­rec­tor of teacher train­ing. “It is a huge

New BAs in ed­u­ca­tion at LSJS: Naomi Levy, Ruthie Coren, Hadass Az­i­zoff and Bluma Weltl­man Rabbi Joseph Dweck MA (right) with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

achieve­ment for the grad­u­ates, who are work­ing full-time, to man­age to get a de­gree in their spare time.”

The new course, he said, was “an­other step to­wards mak­ing the whole of Jewish ed­u­ca­tion more pro­fes­sional”.

Other rab­bis gain­ing MAs in­cluded Rabbi Barry Lerer of Bar­net Syn­a­gogue, Rabbi Dov Ka­plan of Hamp­stead Gar­den Sub­urb Syn­a­gogue and Rabbi Men­del Levy, leader of the Saatchi Shul in St John’s Wood.

Ed­u­ca­tional con­sul­tant Es­ther Col­man, a grand­mother, said she had been “ready to throw in the towel” af­ter the first term of the mas­ter’s course but was grate­ful to have per­se­vered. “It has given me a broader and deeper view of Jewish ed­u­ca­tion”, she said.

MA dis­ser­ta­tion top­ics ranged from in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy in Jewish ed­u­ca­tion to rab­binic burn-out. Rabbi Mirvis hailed the “ex­tra­or­di­nary achieve­ments” in a cer­e­mony on Mon­day at Hamp­stead Gar­den Sub­urb Syn­a­gogue.

From this month, the new cour­ses can be taken on­line. Rabbi Dweck will be­gin a new adult ed­u­ca­tion lec­ture se­ries on the phi­los­o­phy of Mai­monides at LSJS on Mon­day night.

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