CASJE (The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education) has launched a project supported by the William Davidson Foundation and the Jim Joseph Foundation for comprehensive research on the pipeline and “career arc” of educators working in Jewish education. The two-year project is supported by generous grants totaling $1.5 million from both foundations, and will yield findings to be shared broadly with the field of Jewish education and engagement.
Rabbi Mitchel Malkus, CASJE co-chair and Head of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, said, “This data will be of significant value to the places at which these educators work. Moreover, we hope to help the field understand the needs of educators to recruit and retain the most talented people.”
Earlier this year, the William Davidson Foundation supported a CASJE-facilitated “Problem Formulation Convening” (PFC) with a group of educators and researchers, which generated high-priority research questions. The group identified challenges relating to the professional culture in many segments of the Jewish education sector, opportunities for advancement, and the condition of educator compensation. The PFC helped identify the three questions central to CASJE’s new project: 1) Entry: What does it take to launch a career in Jewish education? 2) On the Journey: Why do educators stay in this field and how do they grow? And 3) Mapping the Marketplace: Where are personnel shortages and saturation?
The research will be overseen by CASJE and will be conducted initially by Rosov Consulting in three linked studies. First, researchers will study the career plans of people currently in the settings from which Jewish educators have tended to come, such as summer camps, longer-term programs in Israel, and college fellowships. The second study will involve a comprehensive mapping of those who work in the field of Jewish education today to understand why they stay in the field and how they grow. The third component will focus on problems faced by employers and training providers coping with personnel shortages and/or saturation.
About: CASJE is a community of researchers, practitioners, and philanthropic leaders committed to sharing knowledge to improve Jewish education. In addition to the William Davidson Foundation and Jim Joseph Foundation, CASJE receives support from The AVI CHAI Foundation and The Crown Family, among others. The George Washington University serves as the administrative home for CASJE, enabling the specific goals of CASJE to be enriched by the academic and intellectual resources of a global, comprehensive, research university. Along with this new project, CASJE’s areas of inquiry include Jewish educational leadership, Jewish early childhood education, Hebrew language education, and Israel education.