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Dear Friends,

This summer we have all been consumed with the harrowing news from the Middle East. We pray for the swift resolution of the current conflict and the ultimate achievement of an enduring peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Here at Gratz, it has been quite a busy summer. We have just wrapped up two weeks of successful Summer Institutes, with students taking intensive classes at the College. Registration is now ongoing for our fall semester of online and on-campus courses.

But with several weeks of summer still to savor, we present you with this summer issue of The Gratz College Insider. Here you will meet our renowned College commencement speaker, United States Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., as well as remarkable twin sisters who recently graduated from our Jewish Community High School. You will hear about NEXT, the College's rapidly growing professional development program for supplementary school educators. You will also be introduced to the innovative Institute of Southern Jewish Life. Finally, this Insider offers an extensive list of reading suggestions to take you through Labor Day and beyond, as well as a recipe for a seasonal summer dessert from a unique retro cookbook.


Joy's signature
Joy W. Goldstein                                  
Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
Senator Robert Casey Spoke at Gratz College Commencement, Where Pluralism Was Paramount

Gratz College celebrated its 114th commencement this year. The celebration kicked off with a processional of proud students, filing into the auditorium in flowing graduation gowns to the triumphant sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance." As if their movements were choreographed, beaming family members - a few from as far away as Mexico and Brazil - shot up to snap pictures. Adding to the magnitude of the moment, United States Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., of Pennsylvania, served as commencement speaker, and Sandra O. Lilienthal became the second recipient ever of the Gratz College doctorate in Jewish education. Read more.
Julie (left) and Emmy 
The Cohen Sisters: Poster Children for Jewish Education
Emmy and Julie Cohen are accomplished young women who will be heading off to college in the fall. They are also twin sisters who graduated from the Gratz Jewish Community High School (JCHS) in June. Gratz president Joy Goldstein describes them as "poster children for Jewish education." To find out why, read more.


Rabbi Erin Hirsh
Taking the NEXT Step in Jewish Education

What is keeping some Jewish educators up at night? The fact that supplementary school teachers, primarily in synagogue schools, are not receiving needed professional support, despite being responsible for the Jewish education of an estimated 230,000 students in North America alone. Central agencies for Jewish education, which once provided teacher training, are in decline. Gone too, says Professor Saul Wachs, is "the career supplementary school teacher." Instead, many of today's teachers, including those with little formal training, are forced to squeeze teaching and class preparation into their already over-committed lives. But thankfully, Gratz has the perfect solution. To find out what it is, read more.
ISJL Fellows
'Shalom, Y'all!': An Inside Look at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life

In the South, there are Jewish communities of all sizes. In remote rural areas, there are pockets of committed Jews struggling to maintain their religion. Often without rabbis, they hold services in private homes and local churches. In some cases, well-meaning volunteers with minimal resources run religious schools for a handful of children. The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) was born to secure the survival of these small but dedicated congregations by providing them with educational, cultural and rabbinic services. The ISJL has since grown into a regional organization, serving and connecting communities large and small throughout the South. Read more about the ISJL's extraordinary journey and Gratz's unique ability to support the ISJL's mission.
Summer Reading Suggestions 
Looking to dive into a book before the end of the summer? After polling a few Gratz staff members on their reading choices, we created an eclectic list of recommended titles that might just pique your interest. To view these suggestions, 
                               read more
The Gratz Gourmet
The recipe in this issue comes from a unique source: a small paperbound cookbook from the Gratz College library, bearing the battle scars of frequent use in the form of food stains and well-worn pages. Thumbing through the book, "one can just imagine faint aromas of kugel and latkes, depending on which page is open," says Gratz librarian Nancy Nitzberg. The cookbook, which is actually called Crisco Recipes for the Jewish Housewife, is written in both English and Yiddish. To learn its intriguing backstory and try one of its recipes for a delicious summer dessert, read more.