Schechter Residency in Educational Leadership (SREL) Fellowship Program
The SREL program is designed to create a career path to Solomon Schechter Day School professional leadership. Graduates of the Conservative movement’s rabbinical schools (the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies) who demonstrate a strong interest in Jewish education and some preparation for professional work in Jewish education are the primary target population. This cutting-edge program in professional development bridges the distance between academic preparation and the assumption of a school leadership role. The SREL program provides for the selection of a resident fellow each year, who will choose a placement from a list of Solomon Schechter residency schools that have demonstrated their capacity to supervise and support a Fellow. The residency school, together with the Schechter Network and SREL Fellow, will design the program that meets the needs of the Residency School and that will prepare the Fellow to serve as an educational leader in a Jewish day School.
The SREL program has been designed to ensure that SREL Fellows will receive guided and structured practical experience. The significant grant from the SREL endowment goes to the residency school to be used to ensure a competitive compensation package and support the capacity of the school to provide professional experiences in various aspects of school leadership. One new Fellow will be selected per year.
If your school is interested in participating in this cutting-edge program to develop educational leaders for Schechter schools, click on SREL School Application 2014-2015.
Praise for the Program from Past Fellows
“What is most powerful for me about being a Rabbi in Jewish Day School setting is that each and every day I am working to help build a strong foundation for the next generation of the Jewish people. I am able to share formative moments with my students (in class, in minyan, in Israel, on field trips) during which their connection to Judaism and the Jewish people is growing and really coming alive. The knowing smiles they share with me, the stories they come to tell me,or the glimpse of the twinkle in their eyes that I spot when a they have experienced new “Aha” moments make all the hard work and attention to their variety of needs worthwhile.”
–Rabbi Matthew Bellas, former SREL Fellow, The Brandeis School, Lawrence, NY. Currently, Vice Principal of Judaic Studies/School Rabbi, Talmud Torah School, Vancouver, BC, Canada
“Being a SREL fellow was one of the most instructive and effective ways to transition as a rabbi-in-residence to a school. All of a sudden I was beginning my professional career as a rabbi and I had the backing of the Schechter community and a wonderful head of school who was assigned as a mentor. I beganmy career here at Ezra with everybody in the community acknowledging that I had won a fellowship with a major agency of the American Jewish community, the United Synagogue. It was a wonderful way to help me establish myself. Despite the fact that no one knew me, they understood I cam with an important credential. I was the SREL fellow after all.
Having Schechter and Ezra behind me was crucial. Both quickly became pillars of support. Being a SREL fellow was an important way to transition but also taught me how to live my life as a spiritual exemplar within the school environment. It has allowed me to move on to the headship of Ezra Academy knowing I had a wonderful background.”
–Rabbi Amanda Brodie, Head of School. Ezra Academy, Woodbridge, CT
“I will be ever grateful to the SREL Fellowship and SREL program for giving me the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of life at Solomon Schechter. As part of my SREL Fellowship, I have rotated through programs and projects, both Judaic and secular including;
Kindergarten Kabbalat Shabbat and 5th grade parashat hashavua; overseeing the BÕnai Mitzvah program and traveling to Israel with our seniors; planning class Shabbatonim and being an assistant coach for the varsity girls basketball team; leading an interfaith seder for 8th graders and coordinating student and teacher schedules for our high school.
Throughout it all, I have learned from my colleagues as well as my students. Through these rotations, I have seen and experienced the inner workings of Day School education.
I am proud to be a SREL Fellow and the experience has certainly crystallized my initial aspirations for a career in Jewish Education, specifically in Day Schools.”
–Rabbi Moshe Schwartz, 2008
Director of Jewish Life and SREL Rabbinic Fellow
Solomon Schechter Day School of Nassau County
Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island