Boundary Crossers: Adult Jewish Learning Summit Explores Collaboration

By Judy Mars Kupchan and Dr. Bernice Lerner In a spirit of exploring opportunities for collaboration and learning, nineteen providers of adult Jewish learning gathered recently in Newton, MA. Co-sponsored by Hebrew College and the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, the Summit for Leaders in Adult Jewish Learning opened a long-overdue conversation about how to advance the place of adult learning in today’s Jewish communal landscape. Forty leaders crossed the boundaries of their own silos to consider common challenges, learn from respected faculty, and discuss the role of adult learning in building our Jewish future. Veteran organizations represented by Drisha Institute, Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, Hebrew College’s School of Adult Learning, Florence Melton School of Adult … [Read more...]

The Lippman School and The Northern Cheyenne Nation – a Paradigm-shifting Educational Partnership

By Sam Chestnut and Rabbi Lee Moore What do the Jewish community of Akron, Ohio and The Northern Cheyenne have in common? We each struggle with how to transmit our cultural heritage - and a sense of peoplehood - to our young people. When Jewish students from The Lippman School visit the Northern Cheyenne Nation in their homeland, they witness a people determined to remain in the land that is sacred to them. Northern Cheyenne prophets and leaders built a great nation there, have survived genocide and persecution, and are beginning to thrive again - seemingly against all odds. Sound familiar? When Northern Cheyenne students visit the Jewish community of Akron, they learn about the ways in which a people in diaspora have developed mechanisms to maintain cultural identity, and yet continue to … [Read more...]

Kohelet Foundation Launches New School

The Kohelet Foundation announces the creation of the Yeshiva Lab School (YLS). Rooted in a constructivist model of education, YLS hopes to advance the Jewish day school field by employing replicable, empirically supported and developmentally appropriate methods of pedagogy. To meet the needs of the growing Orthodox community, this school will also be the first philosophically Modern Orthodox elementary school in the Philadelphia area. … [Read more...]

Making Philanthropic Investments Last: The Role of Financial Sustainability

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[eJP note: This is the first in a series of pieces on the Jim Joseph Foundation’s Education Initiative. This piece shares insights and lessons learned about the institutions’ financial sustainability plans for programs supported through the Education Initiative. See below for more.] By Dr. Mark Schneider Dr. Yael Kidron American Institutes for Research Launched in 2010, the Jim Joseph Foundation’s Education Initiative has supported the development and expansion of 18 degree and certificate programs as well as leadership institutes at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion (HUC-JIR), The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and Yeshiva University (YU). The Jim Joseph Foundation provided the resources needed for program development, staffing, student tuition assistance, and … [Read more...]

New Census of US Jewish Day Schools Released

Day School Census 2014

The fourth census of Jewish day schools in the United States conducted by Dr. Marvin Schick has been released by The AVI CHAI Foundation, which sponsored the research. Conducted at five-year intervals, beginning with the 1998-99 school year, this research provides a clear picture of trends in the day school system over an extended period of time. The statistics were self-reported by every known Jewish day school in the US. “The participation rate of 100% for known schools is a remarkable accomplishment,” says Yossi Prager, North American Executive Director of The AVI CHAI Foundation. “Anyone interested in the Jewish day school field benefits from this achievement. We are indebted to Dr. Schick for his dedication to this project.” This census demonstrates an overall increase in day school … [Read more...]

How Hybrid Learning Can Transform Jewish Education

Hybrids: Not Just a Car How hybrid learning can transform Jewish education  By Lesley Litman and Michael Zeldin [In the second of two articles on the learning from our experience with the four-year old Executive MA program in Jewish Education at HUC-JIR, we focus on how “hybrid” (online and in person) learning at the graduate level can build relationships and result in impressive and profound professional growth.] When serious Jewish educators know that passion and instinct are not enough for them to make the kind of impact they desire, they may seek to deepen and enhance the understanding, knowledge and skills related to the work they do. For many that means seeking out learning opportunities enabling them to stay in their jobs and hometowns. So they often turn to online higher … [Read more...]

A Three-Pronged Approach to Boosting Day School Enrollment in a Low-to-Slow-Growth Market

3 prong approach

By Dr. Harry Bloom Jewish day school growth is getting harder and harder to come by these days. According to a 2006-2010 survey of 50 cross-denominational schools across nine communities, enrollment declined by 14% in non-Orthodox schools and was virtually nil in Modern and Centrist Orthodox schools. 2012 enrollment research by The AVI CHAI Foundation directionally supports these findings. In a low- or no-growth context, schools face an inexorable rise in costs-per-student despite attempts to hold down spending, which further pressure enrollment. In this environment, some innovative approaches are emerging as savvy Heads of School and Boards recognize that remaining passive in the face of these pressures will surely lead to decline. What are they doing? An increasing number of these schools … [Read more...]