DeLeT graduates Cohort 8, honors Serene Victor

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education recently graduated Cohort 8 of the DeLeT/MAT Program. DeLeT/MAT means Day School Leadership Through Teaching)/Master of Arts in Teaching.

This year’s fellows were honored on July 22 at a ceremony called “Tekkes HaSiyum: A Celebration of Completion.” During the program, which focus on personal connections, each graduate talked about a key “connection” in their DeLeT experience – connections with mentors, faculty, peers, Judaism, learning.

Recalling her experience, Lea Winkler who also attended Brandeis as an undergraduate, spoke about the importance of being part of a professional learning community, which is a key aspect of the program.

“We cannot just be isolated teachers, teaching in our classrooms and then leaving at the end of the day,” Winkler said. “We must work with [the entire school] community, creating space for teachers to talk about their practices, and [learn] from each other’s wisdom. During our internships we were each able to benefit from being a part of one of these larger teaching community.”

“We are proud of the accomplishments of our eight graduates and are pleased that they will be bringing their talents to day school classrooms across North America,” said DeLeT faculty leader Serene Victor.

The ceremony also recognized Victor for her two years of visionary leadership of the DeLeT/MAT program and welcomed Noreen Leibson, the new faculty leader. Victor is retiring after a long and distinguished career in Jewish education. Leibson brings a wealth of experience, including 20 years in congregational education, to her new position.  

The day after the Tekkes HaSiyum program, graduates presented original classroom research, based on studies of their teaching practices, at the annual MAT Teacher Research Conference. This was followed by the graduation ceremony for all Brandeis MAT students, including those with elementary and secondary Jewish day school concentrations as well as elementary and secondary public school concentrations.

In the eight years of DeLeT at Brandeis, the program has prepared a total of 60 day school teachers who have gone on to touch the lives of hundreds of day school students across the United States.

The 2010 DeLeT/MAT graduates include Miriam Benowitz of Newton, Massachusetts; Robyn Esar of Montreal, Canada; Laliv Gal of Israel; Anne Glanz of Needham, Massachusetts; Jessica Perlman of Providence Rhode Island; Laura Ruth Rheinheimer of Concord, New Hampshire and Monterrey, California; Adina Rosenthal of Bangor, ME; and Lea Winkler of Long Island, NY. They will be taking teaching positions Minneapolis, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Toronto, and greater Boston.


About the DeLeT/MAT Program

The  Day School Leadership through Teaching program,is designed to open a door on a career in day school education. The program recruits outstanding recent college graduates and mid-career changers and prepares them to teach general and/or Judaic studies in the elementary grades in Jewish day schools.  DeLeT is the Jewish Day School concentration of Brandeis University's Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program. Students earn a Master of Arts in Teaching in elementary education, and are eligible for initial teaching licensure (grades 1 - 6) from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. DeLeT students work closely with faculty, mentors and peers in a cohort model. A key feature is a year-long mentored internship in a local day school. Graduates teach in several local schools as well as in many communities across the country. The DeLeT/MAT Program is generously funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, and is grateful for additional scholarship support from the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Foundation and others. For more information, visit


About the Mandel Center

Founded in 2002 as the first academic center of its kind, the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education is dedicated to transforming the quality of teaching and learning in Jewish education by supporting practice-centered research, pioneering new models of professional development, and shaping discourse in the study and practice of Jewish education.

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