In the mid-1970's, the Joint Commission on Jewish Education of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (now the URJ-CCAR-NATE Commission on Lifelong Jewish Learning) began to explore the question of standards for professionals in Reform Jewish education. Because there was no tradition of either specific academic degrees of prerequisite training for the profession, as there is for rabbis and cantors, Reform Jewish educators at that time reflected diverse backgrounds.
However, the growing complexity of the reform educational enterprise, the increasing number of positions for full-time professional educators and emergence of programs designed specifically to train Reform Jewish educators, increased the concern over a lack of clearly articulated standards for such educators. In order to address this issue, a committee of representatives from the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), the Commission on Jewish Education, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), and the National Association of Temple Educators (NATE), deliberated for two years and, in 1982, announced criteria for a new title: REFORM JEWISH EDUCATOR (RJE). These criteria established academic and professional standards required for all educators while recognizing the diverse backgrounds of the men and women currently in the field of Reform Jewish education.
For further information concerning the Reform Jewish Educator title, or to obtain an application, please contact:
Richard M. Morin, RJE
Registrar, RJE Title Granting Commission
707 Summerly Drive
Nashville, TN 37209-4253
Julie A. Vanek, RJE
Chair, RJE Title Granting Commission