AJU School for Jewish Education and Leadership hires full-time lecturer

Adding Erika Bocknek to the American Jewish University faculty addresses the growing need for skilled Jewish educators.

Erika Bocknek. Credit: Courtesy of American Jewish University.
Erika Bocknek. Credit: Courtesy of American Jewish University.

American Jewish University (AJU) announced today that Erika Bocknek is joining the School for Jewish Education and Leadership (SJEL) as a full-time lecturer.

Following last year’s launch of the SJEL’s doctorate in education in Jewish Early Childhood Educational Leadership, the hiring of Bocknek is an investment in the next generation of Jewish education and marks a continued period of growth for the SJEL.

Bocknek is an accomplished professor with more than 12 years of teaching experience and academic and professional specialization in early-childhood development. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Arts in couples and family therapy from the University of Connecticut, a doctorate in human development and family studies from Michigan State University and completed two postdoctoral fellowships.

Using this robust academic background, Bocknek will positively impact the SJEL students and support the professional development of Master of Arts in education and doctorate in education candidates.

“The School for Jewish Education and Leadership is committed to maintaining the high standards of education set by AJU,” said Bruce Powell, dean of AJU’s School for Jewish Education and Leadership. “Dr. Erika Bocknek is a highly effective instructor, and her expertise, compassion and leadership will benefit our students and enhance our expanding early-childhood education program.”

Drawing upon two decades of education and research in the fields of human development, family studies and psychology, Bocknek brings a unique perspective and a wealth of knowledge to her role at American Jewish University. This addition to the faculty addresses the growing need for skilled Jewish educators and strengthens SJEL’s ability to prepare future leaders in Jewish education.

“I am thrilled to be joining the School for Jewish Education and Leadership at American Jewish University,” said Bocknek. “Its doctorate program is fostering educators who are not only knowledgeable but also innovative, and I’m looking forward to building strong Jewish communities through meaningful connections, ensuring a lasting impact in every classroom and student.”

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