Paideia Takes a Look at Itself

Meyers-JDC Brookdale Institute has released a new research report, The Paideia European-Jewish Leadership Program: Graduate Views of Program Contributions and Impacts.

from the executive summary:

Paideia – the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden was created in 2000 through grants from the Swedish government and the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation as an academic and applied institute of excellence, with the mandate of working for the rebuilding of Jewish life and culture in Europe, and educating for active minority citizenship. It does this through offering an intensive one-year educational program in Jewish Studies directed at future leaders of Jewish life and inter-cultural work. Each year 20-25 participants attend the program, from both Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds and a variety of European countries. In addition to the one-year Jewish Studies Program, Paideia has also developed activities for its graduates including alumni conferences, educational weekends and Project-Incubator, a two-week summer program to support projects and social innovation across Europe. Project-Incubator was introduced as a follow-up program for alumni, but has expanded its target group beyond graduates. Since its introduction in 2006, the program has developed over 100 different projects.

Key findings include:

  • Program alumni reside in more than 20 countries: 31% in various European post-communist countries, 20% in the Former Soviet Union (FSU), 33% in Sweden, the Netherlands or Germany, 7% in the UK or the U.S., and 9% in Israel
  • Two-thirds (66%) reported greater involvement in Jewish community life due to their participation in the program, while 34% reported no change
  • More than half (57%) reported that their participation in the program had impacted on their professional life/career to a very great or great extent
  • Two-thirds (66%) reported involvement in activities related to Jewish culture or the Jewish community (24%, as very active and 44%, as active)
  • The majority (78%) reported current volunteering for Jewish related activities (31%, regularly and 47%, occasionally)
  • Half (51%) reported current work in a Jewish organization or in an organization concerned with Jewish issues. There were no differences by year of graduation or religion

The complete report, including the Executive Summary, can be found here.