Gratz College by the Forward

Age Is Just a Number: At 125, Gratz Is a Vibrant College On The Cutting Edge

For much of its 125-year history, Gratz College has been known for training Jewish educators and strengthening teens’ knowledge of Judaism. However, Gratz College should also be known for transforming the landscape of Jewish education through its creation of new and innovative programs. Gratz is the only school to offer an M.S. in Camp Administration and Leadership, Ph.D. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and M.A. in Interfaith Leadership. These programs are not only unique, but accessible to everyone because they are offered online.

Camp Administration and Leadership

It isn’t enough to just “love camp” in order to successfully lead one. In today’s world of increased expectations, there is a greater emphasis on administrative skills, management training, and knowledge of compliance and legal obligations in almost every industry. Running a summer camp is no exception. Many camps require their leaders to hold advanced degrees, and relevant credentials are essential. Gratz College meets this need with the nation’s only M.S. in Camp Administration and Leadership.

Gratz graduate students study with top professionals in the field covering operations and logistics, budgeting and finance, programming, marketing, law and ethics. The degree has been deemed so necessary to prepare camp leaders, that AM Skier, the largest insurer of American summer camps, and the American Camp Association of NY and NJ have joined Gratz as official partners. Funding for qualified students in this program is available through the Norman Friedman Scholarship Fund and the Gratz Midcareer Fellowship.

The Camp Administration and Leadership program culminates with a practicum where students plan and implement large-scale projects at their camps. These projects empower students to apply their new skills in a very practical way, allowing their camps to immediately reap the benefits of their education.

Holocaust and Genocide Studies

The fastest growing department at Gratz College is Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Unique and highly specialized degrees are offered to a host of professions that are growing in demand— Holocaust educators and scholars, museum curators, genocide researchers, and humanitarian activists addressing contemporary crises. Gratz College is proud to be the first to offer online M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in this critical field of study. While other universities have offered doctoral-level programs through their history or sociology departments, the Ph.D. program at Gratz is the only doctoral Holocaust and Genocide Studies program to be a discipline of its own.

As an online program, Gratz attract experts from around the world to teach rigorous academic courses within this multidisciplinary field. Each semester, Gratz offers 8-10 online courses on such diverse topics as “Rescuers and Righteous Gentiles,” “The Warsaw Ghetto,” “Nazi Germany and Corporate Collaboration,” and “America’s Response to the Holocaust.” Other modern genocides are also taught, including genocides in the Balkans, Cambodia, and Armenia, as well as the Ukrainian Holodomor and Native American genocides. Courses on “The Underpinnings of Genocide,” “Gender and Genocide,” and “Genocide Prevention” address universal issues across the field. Scholarships specifically for this program are available to qualified students.

Interfaith Leadership

In our post-9/11 world, interfaith relations are increasingly important, but perhaps also more fragile than ever. Controversies such as the “Muslim ban” and tragedies, such as recent synagogue, church, and mosque shootings raise concerns and reinforce fears. It is imperative that those standing on the front lines of these issues have the skills necessary to be effective community leaders and role models. Gratz is leading the way in this field with the M.A. in Interfaith Leadership.

The Interfaith Leadership program offers students both leadership skills and interfaith understanding. Each course includes approaches and responses for the three Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Through this format, students learn to identify key similarities and differences between the religions and formulate effective ways to educate their communities to raise intercultural understanding, appreciation and support.

Gratz College’s Biggest Secret

Did you know Gratz College also offers secular education programs? Building on its legacy of Jewish education, Gratz College has expanded its offerings to include a master’s degree, master’s plus certificate, doctoral degree (Ed.D), and professional education credits for educators in public, private, and parochial schools. Special concentrations in Jewish Instructional Education and Jewish Educational Administration are still featured options supported by the Midcareer Fellowship.

“Preserving our legacy; leading into the future”

Throughout its history, Gratz College has continuously aimed to strengthen American Jewish life through programs in Jewish Studies, Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service. More recently, Gratz has added programs in Nonprofit Management, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Camp Administration and Leadership, and Interfaith Leadership to keep pace with the changing needs of Jewish professionals. 125 years ago, Gratz College began educating generations in Jewish texts, traditions, language, and culture. Today, Gratz College looks forward to another 125 years of innovation and commitment to cutting edge online education for all.

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Age Is Just a Number: At 125, Gratz Is a Vibrant College On The Cutting Edge

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