Four new Jewish learning agencies – Builders of Jewish Education (Los Angeles), Centre for Jewish Education of UJA Federation of Toronto, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (Boston) and the Community Foundation for Jewish Education of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago – have joined Shinui, the Network for Innovation in Part-Time Jewish Education. The expansion coincides with Shinui’s new partnership with The William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary, designed to document successful change and innovation strategies through reflection and research on practice.
“The growth of Shinui is indicative of the continued innovation and evolution of part-time Jewish education,” says Anna Marx, Project Director of Shinui. “New part-time education models encompass dynamic, inspiring, and creative Jewish learning experiences that reflect today’s realities of busy families eager to make Jewish learning relevant to daily life.”
The four new communities join New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Cleveland and Detroit, which have been working together since 2013 to share their approaches to supporting innovation in part-time Jewish education. Each Shinui agency has a manche (coach) who works with local congregations and organizations to spark, nurture, and spread educational innovation. The team of manchim communicate regularly with each other to share ideas, challenges, and the innovations occurring in their local communities. They also share various innovation models with others throughout the country.
Adds David Lewis, BJE Director and Head Consultant Jewish Education Services, “Innovation in part-time education has gained traction in Jewish communities throughout North America in the past decade. Communities seek to offer more compelling opportunities, structures, and models to increase recruitment and retention of Jewish youth.”
Many of the new initiatives launched and shared by Shinui communities include education models centered on project-based learning, new technology, new Hebrew language teaching techniques, learner electives, and flexible schedules, among many other creative new elements. Shinui notes that the majority of families who choose to engage in Jewish education choose part-time Jewish education.
Shinui is generously funded by The Covenant Foundation.