In an unprecedented move designed to improve and re-energize programs and services to the Jewish community and increase operational efficiencies, three major Rhode Island Jewish agencies have agreed to integrate their programs and to operate as one entity. Supporters of the integration plan say that a single entity will leverage resources better, reduce overhead expenses and improve delivery of programs and services, while also being more responsive to the needs of the community.
The boards of directors of the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island (JFRI), the Jewish Community Center of Rhode Island (JCCRI), and the Bureau of Jewish Education of Rhode Island (BJE) all voted to begin a process of integrating their programs, services and operations.
The implementation process is expected to take from six to 12 months.
The agreement follows the release of the recommendations of the Strategic Restructuring Task Force (SRTF) calling for integrating Jewish organizations in Rhode Island. Formed last spring in response to the 2008 Consolidated Plan for Jewish RI, which has as one of its objectives to transform the Jewish organizational landscape, the SRTF was charged with studying the current Jewish communal structure and recommending changes.
The Strategic Restructuring Task Force (SRTF) made four recommendations:
- That the Rhode Island Jewish community creates a new communal entity that fully integrates program delivery and administrative functions to provide a continuum of Jewish Life and Learning programs and services. [Jewish Federation of Rhode Island (JFRI), Jewish Community Center of Rhode Island (JCC), and Bureau of Jewish Education of Rhode Island (BJE)]
- That the new communal entity should engage in discussions with the Jewish Community Day School (JCDS) and the Providence Hebrew Day School (PHDS) to determine how the schools can be part of an educational continuum for our community.
- That the new communal entity make available, as appropriate, operational resources and services to enable partner program and service providers to benefit from the improved operational capacities.
- That in order to better serve the social service needs of our community, there should be a single Jewish social service agency provider for the greater Rhode Island Jewish community. The Task Force urges the boards of Jewish Seniors Agency and Jewish Family Service to rekindle negotiations between themselves and with any other Jewish social service providers that could lead to such a result and the Task Force would advise that whatever reasonable assistance may be requested by those boards necessary to achieve this goal be provided.