Paideia U.S.

Supporting the work of PAIDEIA, The European Institute for Jewish Studies

Paideia - The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden is a non-denominational academic framework that was established in 2000 with funding from the Swedish government. Dedicated to the revival of Jewish culture in Europe, Paideia educates leaders for Europe - academicians, artists and community activists - towards fluency in the Jewish textual sources that have served as the wellsprings of Jewish civilization.

In renewing interpretation of Jewish text, Paideia is reviving a European Jewish voice long silenced by Communism and post-Holocaust trauma - a voice that can contribute to a culturally rich and pluralistic Europe.

About Paideia

Paideia, The European Institute for Jewish Studies is dedicated to empowering a new generation to be the architects and innovators of Jewish life, providing knowledge and leadership skills and sustaining them with Paideia's community of scholars, seekers, and the global Jewish community.

Paideia was originally founded in Sweden in 2000 as a combined academic and applied institute dedicated to the renewal and reinvigoration of Jewish culture that had been decimated by the compound traumas of the Holocaust and Communism. Today, Paideia's 12 years of experience with over 400 graduates from 40 countries has demonstrated that the need for knowledgeable and effective Jewish leadership is not limited to Europe - it is, in fact, worldwide. Across the globe Jewish communities are engaged in formidable challenges such as advancing the virtue of Jewish ideas in an open society, anti-Semitism, assimilation, intermarriage and cross-cultural exchange that call for dynamic leadership and vigorous activism. By combining authentic Jewish knowledge with effective social engagement and communal networking, Paideia has become a premier institute for higher Jewish education, leadership, and activism, with virtually 100% of its graduates describing themselves as professionally and/or socially active in Jewish life.

Paideia's unique contribution to the continuity and betterment of global Jewry is achieved through an innovative combination of classic Jewish learning techniques, intercultural programming, leadership training, networking, and entrepreneurship, applied within a non-denominational framework. Graduates return to their respective communities with authoritative knowledge of resources, strong leadership skills, a honed activist sensibility, an extensive support system, and the cultural fluency to access and establish networks of Jewish individuals, organizations and communities to support Jewish causes and reinforce the bonds of Jewish peoplehood across language, history, custom and culture.

Paideia presently functions with Six Constellations:

I. The One-Year Jewish Studies Program
The One-Year Program is a high-caliber interdisciplinary study of the texts that represent the wellsprings of Jewish civilization combined with an applied dimension in which fellows learn from each other and from international faculty and guest speakers. Read more...

Students are immersed in the Jewish culture's compelling contributions to contemporary issues and to their particular areas of competence. Each year, 20-25 selected international participants come to this unique Jewish Studies program to experience a combination of traditional textual study methodology (Chevruta), an academic and critical approach to interpretation, and an applied dimension directed toward addressing contemporary needs. World-renowned faculty from Israel, Europe and America provide full-time English language instruction in the breadth of Jewish texts in a curriculum organized as a Jewish History of Ideas: Bible and Talmud; Medieval Jewish Philosophy and Responsa writings; Modern Jewish Philosophy and Literature. To facilitate these studies, the program includes a Hebrew Ulpan equivalent to one semester of exclusive full-time study. Fellows also explore avenues of practical application of their studies to nourish their specific fields of competence as they return to their respective communities. These students arrive as a class and leave as integral members of the Paideia community, versed in the major areas of Jewish traditional sources, informed on contemporary aspects of Jewish life, calendar and holidays, and prepared to impact their communities and the wider Jewish world.

Master of Arts Degree: Paideia and the Hochschule fuer Juedische Studien Heidelberg now offer a joint Master's program in Jewish Civilizations using the Paideia studies as the first year of the program.

Fellowships and Additional Programming:
• Through The One-Year Program, Paideia offers The Fellowship for Jewish Educational Activism, sponsored by the Rothschild Foundation, focusing on informal Jewish education paired with project development and mentoring in Jewish educational activism.
• Paideia's Fellowship for Community Development sponsored by the European Jewish Fund is geared towards educating Jewish activists and professionals for the communities of the European Jewish Fund and includes the full One-Year Program, workshops and seminars on Jewish community and project development in Jewish community life. Show less...

II. Project Incubator
Since its establishment in 2006, Project Incubator has cultivated and empowered over 170 young entrepreneurs and Jewish activists through workshops, networking, peer review, mentoring and individual tutoring. Read more...

This intense 10-day program, a true "boot camp" of Jewish social entrepreneurship, focuses on concretizing project ideas, building skills, and establishing personal networks, including continued mentorship throughout the program year. Participants hail from America to Azerbaijan and represent both established institutions and inspiring grass-roots initiatives in areas such as community service, the arts, journalism, finance, law, and education. Project Incubator has fostered more projects for Jewish Europe than any other program. Show less...

III. The Paradigm Program
The newest of Paideia's program initiatives is The Paradigm Program, an innovative intercultural model aimed at fostering Jewish knowledge and connectedness through the shared articulation of the fundamentals of Judaism in today's multicultural context. Read more...

The program is based on two premises:
1) The bonds of peoplehood must be strengthened among American, Israeli, and European Jewish communities; and
2) The forum should be the exploration of essential Jewish ideas and values -- this intense week-long program assembles distinguished contemporary thinkers and promising participants from diverse cultures and professions to collaboratively examine and strategize responses to issues of Jewish life, community, and a global Jewish ethos.

A pilot study was successfully conducted with 20 Europeans, Americans, and Israelis who traveled to Stockholm to engage with four renowned speakers (Ruth Calderon, Tova Hartman, Fania Oz-Salzberger, and Jonathan Rosen) in an exploration of what it means to be Jewish and how to communicate and reinforce that shared heritage through knowledge and activism. Participants have already begun networking with their international counterparts to multiply and refine their personal and professional commitments to their own communities and to the Jewish people as a result of their Paradigm experience. Show less...

IV. The Rothschild-Paideia Program for Directors and Curators of Jewish Museums
In 2014, in conjunction with The European Association of Museums and under the sponsorship of the Rothschild Foundation Europe, Paideia will jointly offer a program for directors and curators whose purpose is to delve into the future roles of Jewish museums in Europe. Read more...

The 5 day seminar, held in Amsterdam in March 2014, will examine challenges of Jewish museums in the decades to come and will husband the potential of Jewish museums throughout Europe to function not only as repositories of Jewish material heritage but also to develop as portals for intercultural exchange in dynamically changing environments. Show less...

V. The Alumni Network
With more than 400 graduates in 40 countries, and with a vision of Jewish activism based upon content, the alumni network is a necessary and important component of a shared dream. Read more...

The Paideia Alumni Association is an incorporated foundation with its own board, and an alum representative who sits on the Paideia's Board of Directors. Yearly there is a conference of alumni held in various cities: thus far in Krakow, Kiev, Toledo, Uppsala, and Venice in May 2014, each conference organized by local graduates, where shared practices and case studies help to foster new projects and contacts. The Alumni have an independent web network, and monthly updates on employment opportunities and shared plans. The alumni have this year initiated a Paideia Alumni Think Tank where major issues and analyses can be systematically addressed. Show less...

VI. Intercultural Relations
Since 2012, Paideia has been on the steering committee of the One Sweden Network and as of 2013 is in charge of the project together with Kista Folkhoegkolsa, the premier Muslim Community College in Sweden. Read more...

One Sweden is a network of Swedish organizations, with the common aim of utilizing and developing the power and potential of young people through creating meetings and dialogue between different parts of society for a more democratic, inclusive and successful Sweden. One Sweden combats polarization and extremism by mobilizing a wide spectrum of civil society organization to empower young people to realize their potential to create change: in their community, in society and in politics.

Concretely, One Sweden aims to act as a nexus where organizations can engage in dialogue and cooperate, runs educational programs for project development and leadership, and poses relevant questions to society through conferences, meetings and fora. Show less...

Today, Paideia is a nexus of Jewish cultural, academic, and communal renewal, providing individuals with the knowledge, language, networks and skills necessary to become educated and contributing leaders in their communities and to experience and reinforce their connectedness with the Jewish people. Paideia is creating a growing network of knowledgeable and dynamic Jewish leaders who will draw on their shared heritage and improved cultural fluency to foster understanding and inclusiveness within and beyond the Jewish world. Each year we find that the number of applicants to our programs exceeds by multiples the available openings, testifying to both the need for and the success of Paideia. However, each rejection represents an unfulfilled potential for the renewal of Jewish culture and the strengthening of Jewish solidarity and activism in communities around the world. The tremendous relevance and impact of Paideia's superb programs are apparent: If the doors to the full panoply of Jewish knowledge and community are opened, intelligent and professionally capable individuals will enter; and if minds are opened to the stunning kaleidoscope of Jewish cultural heritage and tradition, the future of the Jewish people will be richer, more inclusive, and more secure. Paideia fulfills the unique needs of accomplished and motivated adults seeking the tools, confidence, and connectedness to participate in the global conversation and to take their rightful place as much more than a remnant of what was - but as the seeds of what will be.


Paideia US
570 Lexington Ave, Suite 1600
New York, NY 10022