News & Events

Why CASJE? - Mitchel Malkus

July 19, 2017

In this new feature, members of the CASJE Advisory Board write about why they got involved in Jewish education and how they see CASJE as contributing to the field.

Rabbi Mitchel Malkus has served as Head of School at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School of Greater Washington, D.C. since August 2013. Previously he was Head of School of the Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles, CA for twelve years. Rabbi Malkus also served as Instructor of Jewish Education at the Wm. Davidson Graduate School, and was on the faculty of the Solomon Schechter High School of New York. Rabbi Malkus was awarded the first Ed. D. from the Wm. Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), where he also completed Rabbinic Ordination and an M.A. in Judaic Studies. Rabbi Malkus writes extensively on curriculum, instruction, and educational leadership. Rabbi Malkus is an advisory board member of the Schechter Day School Network and MERCAZ USA. He was co-chair of the Israel Education Panel and currently sits on the advisory board of the CASJE.
 
I became involved in Jewish education because I believe that a deep understanding of Jewish history, texts, culture, Hebrew language, and Israel is the best way to ensure a vibrant Jewish future. When I completed my doctoral work and opted for a position in a Jewish day school sixteen years ago, research played a large role in my thinking about education, school leadership, and in the various initiatives I began. Most of the curricular materials and school programs I gravitated to were university-based and researched-based. My professional practice has always been informed by research.
 
I always wanted to keep one foot in the world of academics and another in the world of practice. I see myself as a scholar-practitioner and seek out opportunities to engage my own research interests as well as be a consumer of educational research. I jumped at the invitation to co-chair one of CASJE’s first expert panels on Israel education and have continued my engagement with CASJE since that time. 
 
CASJE can play an essential role in enriching the entire field of Jewish education by bringing together practitioners, funders, and researchers around applied research and a more focused research agenda. My involvement in CASJE has enriched my own educational practice, influenced my school, and led me to new meaningful and fruitful relationships.