PEJE Announces New Challenge Award: Driving Increased Revenue Through Innovation

Providing a high-quality Jewish day school education to current and future generations of Jewish children is vital to a vibrant and enduring Jewish future. And in today’s economic climate, attaining sustainability and affordability for our day schools is the most essential factor in meeting this goal. Designed to increase revenue through innovation, PEJE is launching the 2011 Challenge Award for North American Jewish Day Schools. The award is intended to motivate day schools to embark on new and creative initiatives to boost financial sustainability.

PEJE will award $625,000 in gifts of $25,000 to 25 schools that implement within 2011 new initiatives achieving one or more of the following goals: 1) increasing key revenue streams of either tuition, annual campaign, or endowment and legacy; 2) creatively responding to the middle-class affordability challenge resulting in increased dollars invested in school or increased enrollment; or 3) or mounting a strategic advocacy campaign that successfully reduces attrition or increases inquiries, applications, or enrollment.

Types of initiatives might include: launching an alumni campaign that results in new gifts to the school; demonstrating a shift from event-based to relationship-based fundraising; securing endowment gifts through a donor match program; or creating a social networking initiative that drives increased applicants and tours for prospective students and families. Additional ideas will be posted on the website; PEJE will host two webinars in March to guide schools in this process.

In order to be eligible, schools must:

  • Be directed by an active, voluntary, local board of directors or trustees whose sole function is the stewardship of the school and that establishes and monitors the implementation of appropriate financial standards.
  • Be located in North America.
  • Serve a minimum of three grades (K-12) with a minimum of 50 students above kindergarten.
  • Actively pursue standards of excellence in Judaic and general studies programs.
  • Value the State of Israel by attesting to the following statement: “The creation of the State of Israel is one of the seminal events in Jewish history. Recognizing the significance of the State and its national institutions, we seek to instill in our students an attachment to the State of Israel as well as a sense of responsibility for its welfare.”
  • Have tax-exempt status.

A submission form will be available for download on April 1, 2011. The deadline for submission is November 1, 2011 and award recipients will be made on December 21, 2011 – the first day of Hanukkah. For more details, call 617.367.0001 x162 or email

about: The Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) believes that day schools are essential for fostering an engaged Jewish people for an enduring future. PEJE connects and empowers Jewish day schools and major stakeholders in the Jewish community across the denominational and geographic spectrum and offers unparalleled knowledge and resources to foster financial sustainability and affordability. PEJE is dedicated to impacting the field through bold initiatives to stimulate the core revenue streams of annual campaign, legacy, endowment, and tuition and to broaden the market for day school education. PEJE is uniquely positioned to advance the field through strong advocacy, strategic convenings, coalition building, and thought leadership. For more information visit or email us at