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MAT Program - Tanakh

Do you love working with young people?  Are you passionate about Bible study?  Do you want to have an impact on the next generation of young Jews?

If you answered "yes", then consider the Brandeis Master of Arts in Teaching Tanakh.  This unique combination will prepare you as no other program can to become an inspiring teacher of Tanakh and a role model for Jewish youth:

  • Full-time program of academic study and fieldwork, including a year-long mentored internship in Boston area day school
  • Courses with great scholars and educators in Tanakh, Jewish studies and Education
  • Close, personal supervision and coaching
  • Generous scholarships
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree in 13 months
  • Support in gaining teaching position upon graduating

At Brandeis you will study with both day school and public school teachers-in-training.  Your education courses are taken together, while your Jewish studies courses are in Brandeis' renowned Department of Near Eastern and Jewish studies.  Your year-long internship will take place in a partner day school where the mentor teachers are dedicated to your induction into Tanakh teaching.

ziva reimer 

Ziva R., a current MAT Tanakh student, writes:

To have the opportunity to sit in a Brandeis classroom with Bible doctoral students is invaluable.  Besides the obvious benefit of exposure to the most current biblical scholarship, these courses set a caliber of work that has challenged me in incredible ways. And here, during my time at Gann Academy, is where I am really learning to teach.  As an integrated and supervised internship that combines observation and practice teaching, my internship has allowed me to intimately acquaint myself with both high school student mentality and curriculum.  Working so closely, one-on-one, with a Gann teacher is an amazing resource that has helped me translate my teaching knowledge into engaging pedagogy.

Marc Brettler, the Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University, who teaches students in the MAT - Tanakh program, observes:

"I am a graduate of Jewish day schools, have served on the board of a local Jewish day school, and am proud that I have several former Ph.D. and M.A. students who teach at day schools.  Too often, the attitude of many of these schools is that anyone can teach Bible - it is much easier than Talmud. This is not, however, the case - the teaching of Bible requires a set of skills related to teaching adolescents, knowldege of biblical Hebrew, command over the broad biblical corpus, and an understanding of the different ways that the Bible has been interpreted.  In the intensive MAT program, we teach these various subjects, preparing future teachers for the difficult challenges that lie ahead, and helping to alleviate the shortage of qualified tanakh teachers."

The Brandeis MAT has a partnership with Gann Academy, an outstanding pluralist Jewish high school in Waltham, MA.  Marc Baker, Head of Gann Academy, writes about this partnership.

"The Brandeis MAT in Tanakh is playing an important role in preparing knowledgeable, sophisticated, passionate teachers of Jewish texts for Jewish day schools.  Students receive the best of scholarship in Jewish Studies and Education from Brandeis, as well as the hands on experience - observing, teaching and mentoring - of spending significant time in a high school.  This combination is a unique and important preparation process that sets future teachers up for success."

Come join us in this program, which is appropriate for new college graduates and mid-career people who have a strong background in Tanakh.  For more information call Professor Joe Reimer at 781-736-2996.