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For 48 years – from 1970 until 2017 – Jerry served as Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and as the head of the URJ’s Youth Department for the Great Lakes Region. He was a member of the Brandeis University Professional Advisory Committee on Informal Education and has authored numerous works relating to Jewish education, self-esteem and youth. As an early Co-chair of the URJ National Committee on Youth Program Education, he worked with program development for youth throughout the Reform Movement. 


Jerry was recognized as the Alexander Dushkin Distinguished Educator and is a Life Fellow of the American Orthopsychiatric Association. Jerry takes special pride in having been selected as the first recipient of the Guardian of Hope Award from Keshet, an organization of families with children with special needs. In May of 2000, he received the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters  honoris causa from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. 


Jerry holds a Master’s degree in Counseling and completed post-graduate studies at the Chicago Medical School/University of Health Sciences. His professional and scholastic honors include membership in Blue Key, Pi Kappa Delta (Degree of Special Distinction), and Phi Delta Kappa, Professional Education Society. 


Jerry Kaye is best known, however, as a storyteller. Now, through visual storytelling and photography he presents an entirely new aspect of sharing peoples lives. He served as the host and moderator of Sanctuary, a Chicago television series focused on communal issues, for which he received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement for Informational Programs.


Jerry and his wife Paula have two daughters, Michelle, an occupational therapist and Leora, a rabbi, from whom Jerry believes he has really learned everything he knows about youth. 

Jerry Kaye Storytelling
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