University Access

Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative's University Access | The Jewish Federation of Greater LA

Welcome to the Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative’s (LAJTI) University Access!


Teen Experiential Jewish Educators: University Access offers you opportunities for highly-subsidized university courses to help build your skills to most effectively work with teenagers. All of the courses offered through University Access address core skills a Jewish Teen Educator needs to succeed, ranging in content from Education, Adolescent Development, Jewish Knowledge, Management, Marketing, and Design Thinking/Strategic Planning.

Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative's University Access, provided by BJE: Builders of Jewish Education is a feature program of the Janet and Jake Farber Teen Experiential Educator Network. The LAJTI is co-funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Jim Joseph Foundation, and supported by a generous grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.

How to Participate

Below is a menu of approved courses, grouped by institutional provider. All pre-approved courses offered through University Access are subsidized 75% of tuition. Once you have perused and identified the course you would like to take, complete the Course Subsidy Approval Form and submit it to David Lewis, BJE Director and Head Consultant, Jewish Education Services, at Questions? Call David Lewis at 323-761-8618 or email him at

Want to receive an additional $100 subsidy for your class?

If your employer agrees to put $50 toward your class, University will match it! How do you get this extra subsidy? Click on the Course Subsidy Approval Form link below, and on the bottom are instructions.

Course Subsidy Approval Form

Based on feedback from LA Jewish Teen Experiential Educators, you want a course option that is online, 4-6 sessions, which discuss concrete topics specific to the needs of your work.  We are proud to announce three online courses offered through Gratz College's NEXT program.  Classes begin in the Fall, are 4-6 weeks long and asynchronous.  The cost of each class through University Access...$25!!!  Find out more about three courses offered by Gratz below, and enjoy learning in these concentrated practice-focused workshops.

Gratz College

The course begins the week of February 27, 2017. All sessions are asynchronous. Go to or call Rabbi Erin Hirsch at (215) 635-7300 ext. 135 for additional information.

Cost of course:$150
Subsidy provided:$125
Cost to Teen Educator:$25


Jews and Politics — How Can We Best Engage Our Teens? (8th – 12th grades)
Course begins February 27, 2017 and will be four weeks long. All sessions will be asynchronous. Plan to spend two hours a week on the course, although you may choose any two hours that suit you.

Instructor: Mikah Berg, MA in Government with an emphasis on Political Communication; former Program Manager for Panim el Panim, a Jewish Service-learning program for teens.

In this course, we will discuss exactly what we are always told not discuss to at parties and family gatherings — religion and politics! No matter which candidate our teens supported in our recent election and regardless of where we teachers fall on the American political spectrum, we know that our teens are trying to understand what is happening in our society. This course will explore how to create and sustain a Jewish context in which to explore and respond to those feelings and questions. We will delve into civics education, how to engage teens locally and nationally, what it means to be an Upstander, and how to move forward in the current political climate — all with a Jewish spin, of course!

Click here for Application



California State University Northridge (CSUN)

CSUN offers many options to continue your learning through their "Open University" program housed in Tseng College. CSUN is located at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330 All CSUN courses begin the week of January 23rd, 2017 and conclude during the week of May 12th, 2017.

Cost of course:$1,020
Subsidy provided:$750 (75% of cost!)
Cost to Teen Educator:$265


JS 151: Natural Environment & Judaism
An examination of teachings on the natural environment found in Jewish literature and oral teachings, with an emphasis on values and practices related to respect for natural life and environmental conservation. Arranged wilderness field trips are required.

This unique 'hands-on' course is taught by expert experiential educator Micah Goldman and Prof. Kassandra Wilsey. This course is offered in conjunction with AJU. This course meets initially on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2017, from 8:45-9:30 PM. Future dates and time TBD between instructor and enrolled participants.


CADV 150: Foundations in Child & Adolescent Development (online option available)
Surveys typical and atypical child and adolescent development. Readings and coursework provide basic grounding in the major theories/theorists of human development, an overview of major topics in cognitive, social and physical development as they relate to the culture in children's development, and develop basic competencies for child observation as a study methodology.

This course meets either on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-1:45 PM; or on Mondays from 12:30-1:45 PM. Both sections begin the week of January 23rd and conclude the week of May 12th. An online option is available.


JS 200: Intro to Judaism (online option only)
Study of the elements of religion; especially myth, ritual, concepts of the sacred and profane, types of religious authority and how these are expressed within Judaism. Judaism's concepts and practices are examined historically, with a focus on their interaction with other religions and with the secular, pluralistic culture of the modern world. This course is available online only – TBA.


BUS 104: Intro to Business (Online Option)
For non-Business majors only. Designed to provide an introduction to the American enterprise system, its economic foundation and basic concepts of business organization and the nature of business activity.

There are 3 Sections of this class available:

Monday & Wednesday 2:00–3:15 PM
Thursday 9:30 AM-12:15 PM
Online: TBD

JS 210: The Jewish People
Study of the Jewish People from their beginnings in the ancient near east to the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

This course meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30-1:45 PM.

Click here for Application


University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA offers many options to continue your learning through their Extension Program (UCEX). Courses are offered at the UCLA Westwood campus, as well as courses Downtown, at El Camino College in Torrance, the Port of Los Angeles, and other locations.

Winter quarter 2017 registration for UCEX is currently open. Winter Classes begin the week of January 9th, and end the week of March 30th. Please look at each individual course for specific start dates for classes, location, and duration of course, as all of these factors can vary over the Winter quarter. Enrollment deadline for Winter quarter courses is 5 business days prior to the start date of the course you select.

Cost of courses: ranges from $600-750/course
Subsidy provided:ranges from $450-565, depending on course (75% of cost!)
Cost to Teen Educator:ranges from $150-185, depending on course


PSYCH XL 130 - Developmental Psychology
This course covers the developmental aspects of physical, mental, social, and emotional growth from birth to adolescence and is offered in the Fall 2016.

This course meets on the main UCLA Campus at 3178 Bunche Hall on Thursdays from 7:00-10:00 PM.



MGMNT X 443.4 – Leadership and Human Element in Project Management  - ONLINE
Effective leadership skills are perhaps the greatest determinant of project success. Project managers must demonstrate leadership effectiveness throughout each phase of the project life cycle. Review and recognize specific leadership styles in the context of real-world examples. Participative assignments help both current and future project managers enhance their own leadership effectiveness. Course content covers project communication, motivation, conflict resolution, negotiation, stress management, and effective leadership in the project management context. Participants identify the leadership challenges unique to the project environment; identify their own leadership strengths and weaknesses; identify 5 conflict resolution modes and when to use them; and learn to differentiate between position power and personal power.

This course is offered Winter 2017 and is offered online only.


MGMNTX 490.996 – Leadership Communication Strategies
This course is designed to improve interpersonal behaviors and communication skills for those in leadership roles with the goal of improving relationships, productivity, and the quality of work. Topics include a review of basic communication skills: listening, self-disclosure, and methods of expression; more advanced skills: nonverbal communication, influencing behaviors, addressing hidden agendas, and male/female communication in the workplace; conflict management skills; assertiveness; and responding to criticism. Experiential exercises, role-playing, and small-group activities provide opportunities to practice different behaviors and integrate these skills into personal strategies.

This course is offered Winter 2017. This course meets on the UCLA main campus at the Gayley Center on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00-4:00 PM.


ART X 481.55 – Design Thinking 1
Design thinking is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your insights, thinking skills, and ability to innovate as a designer. Informed by Stanford's, this multi-disciplinary process strengthens familiar skills that are often undervalued. You learn to launch successful and innovative design solutions across the spectrum of media, including web, print, and packaging.

Class topics include prototyping and testing, rapid iteration, radical collaboration, empathetic observation, interviewing for empathy, persona mapping, assuming a beginner's mindset, introduction of complex problems, and testing and observation. Weekly assignments encourage you to learn by doing, and take you through a series of hands-on exercises. The goal of design thinking is not simply to innovate, but to create innovators. By the end of the class, you will see solutions that would otherwise be invisible, which become what we call "innovation." Internet access required to retrieve course materials.

This course is offered Winter 2017. This course meets at 1010 Westwood Center on Wednesdays from 7:00-10:00 PM.

Click here for Application


Pierce College (Online Only)

Pierce College offers many online courses to continue your learning through their Pierce Extension Program. Each course is a compact six-week experience. All of the six-week online courses below have three different start dates during the semester.

Courses begin the week of January 18, February 15, and March 15.

Cost of courses: $119/course
Subsidy provided:$89/course (75% of cost!)
Cost to Teen Educator:$30/course


Fundamentals of Supervision and Management
If you have recently been promoted to a supervisory or management position or want to learn how to become a more effective manager, this course will help you master the basics of business by learning the language of management. You will learn how to make a successful transition from employee to manager and you'll learn how to manage your time so that you can deal with the constant demands of a managerial job. You will learn the skills required to delegate responsibility and motivate your employees. A large part of a manager's job involves getting things done through other people, and this course will help you understand how to influence and direct other people's performance. Finally, you will learn how to solve problems and resolve conflicts so you can accomplish your job more effectively.


Fundamentals of Supervision and Management II
What does a supervisor or a manager need to know? Have you ever felt technically prepared for a supervisor's role, yet felt defeated by all of the people issues that seem to arise? You are not alone; many people feel the same way. In this six-week online course, you will learn how to be a more effective manager or supervisor. You will master the basics of communication, because effective communication is essential in your quest to be a good manager or supervisor. In addition, we will discuss how you can develop your interpersonal skills, by understanding and dealing with the various people issues that arise at work. We are going to show you how you can understand various personality traits--in yourself and in others--and how they impact the ability to get the job done. These traits include emotional intelligence, the need for power, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and more. You will be able to assess your own personality, as well as the personalities of your co-workers and boss, and you'll develop a plan of action to improve both your interpersonal skills and your work relationships.


Achieving Success with Difficult People
Do you know people whose behavior makes completing even the simplest tasks difficult? Would you like to learn how to have more successful relationships with difficult bosses, co-workers, students, neighbors or family members? Join this class and get helpful information for understanding yourself, solving people problems, and improving your relationships and personal and professional productivity.


Leadership skills can help you gain the respect and admiration of others, while also allowing you to enjoy success in your career and more control over your destiny. Contrary to popular belief, leadership skills can be learned and developed. Even if you don't hold a leadership position, this course will teach you how to use the principles of great leaders to achieve success in almost every aspect of your daily life.


Mastering Public Speaking
You can become an effective public speaker! In this fun and hands-on course, you'll find out how to talk confidently and persuasively to both large audiences and small groups. You'll learn how to plan and deliver your presentations skillfully and how to manage one of the most common public speaking barriers — fear. As you build your skills step-by-step, you'll find out how to present a short or long speech, how to handle questions and manage conflict in meetings, and even how to shine in a job interview. You'll get tips for training your voice and learn how to use both verbal and nonverbal communication effectively. By the time you finish this course, you'll have an entire set of skills you can use on the job, in social settings, and in any other situation where you need to communicate with ease and authority. Along the way, you'll explore many real-world examples and have lots of opportunities to practice your new skills.


Marketing Your Nonprofit
Under pressure to increase membership, expand program value, attract media, entice donors, and develop volunteers, all while keeping an eye on the bottom line? In the face of stiff competition, more worthwhile causes, more regulations, more watchdog agencies, and fewer funding opportunities, you need to work smarter — not longer.

This course will show you how to use powerful marketing techniques to compete more effectively for customers, donors, members, and volunteers. You'll also learn how to persuade the media to communicate your organization's message and further its ideals and goals. Instructor Linda Kissam draws on her extensive nonprofit experience to share effective, practical, and easy-to-implement strategies that you can put to immediate use. Before you know it, you'll be ready to improve your market share by learning to evaluate and implement effective promotions, advertising campaigns, and communication techniques. If your organization relies on a diverse mix of fees, events, and/or contributions for support, you're sure to find this information-packed course indispensable.


Project Management Fundamentals
There are more projects occurring today than at any time in history. Organizations initiate projects to create new computer applications, erect bridges and buildings, improve processes, develop new products, and reorganize company operations. Unfortunately, most organizations do not manage projects well, creating an unprecedented demand for project management practitioners. If you're organized, perceptive, detail-oriented, and an excellent communicator, you just might have what it takes to succeed in the fast-growing field of project management.

In this six-week course, an experienced Project Management Professional will help you master the essentials of project management. You'll become an indispensable member of your project team by discovering and mastering the critical concepts you need to plan, implement, control and close any type of project. You'll learn about project politics and ethics, project measurements, and project closure. You'll be able to develop all sections of a project plan, you'll become comfortable with the project management body of knowledge, and you'll develop a variety of powerful techniques to generate project ideas.

If you're new to project management, this course will provide you with the essential information you'll need to prepare for and complete your first project. If you're an experienced project manager, this course will make you more valuable to your employer by increasing your skills and competencies.

Click here for Application



Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative's University Access, provided by BJE: Builders of Jewish Education, is a feature of the Janet and Jake Farber Teen Experiential Educator Network. The LAJTI is co-funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Jim Joseph Foundation, with seed funding provided by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.


Fill out the Application here