Ira Wise has been Director of Education since 1995 and works with our Vision Team, Adult Jewish Learning Committee and faculty to keep Jewish learning at B’nai Israel on the cutting edge. He believes that we work as partners with parents in helping them rear children who become literate connected Jewish adults.
Each summer Ira serves on the faculty of the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Eisner and Crane Lake Camps in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains. He has also chaperoned the teens on the NFTY L’dor V’dor trip to Eastern Europe and Israel. In addition, he teaches at Merkaz, the Community High School for Jewish Studies.
Ira is connected to the larger community of Jewish educators in North America and abroad. He serves in the leadership of NATE – the National Association of Temple Educators. He serves as a mentor for other educators, including new graduates of the Schools of Education at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). He often consults with congregations trying to adapt technology in their schools and leads workshops and seminars for teachers and educators around country on a variety of topics.
Ira has published several Jewish educational texts and articles. More recently, he contributed a chapter in Text Messages: A Torah Commentary for Teens, edited by Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin. He received his B.A. in Public Administration from the University of Illinois and his M.A. in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles. In 2016 he became a Doctor of Jewish Religious Education (DJRE), conferred by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
He lives in Fairfield with his wife and two children.
Please visit his education blog, Welcome to the Next Level.