Learning about Learning

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, Brandeis University

Tag: funding

Better Teacher Training and Support Lead to Better Teachers

Renee Rubin Ross, program officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation and former Mandel Center post-doctoral fellow, contributes today’s guest post.

Through the Jim Joseph Foundation’s investments in Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC), The Jewish Theological Seminary, Yeshiva University, the Day School Leadership for Teaching (DeLeT) program, and the Jewish New Teacher Project, the Foundation has invested millions of dollars in educator training and support. The rationale behind this is straightforward: more well-trained and supported teachers and educators will lead to more effective and compelling learning experiences for young Jews, the central goal of the Foundation.

Strengthening teacher training and support has a number of elements, as two presentations at last month’s annual conference of the Network for Research in Jewish Education (NJRE) suggest. Continue reading

A Time to Act and a Time to Tell

Today’s blog post is by Jonathan Krasner, who is a visiting scholar at the Mandel Center this year.

commissionjewishedNA“When do contemporary events become history?” my eighteen-year old nephew asked me as we were walking together in Jerusalem one evening during my recent research trip to Israel. The question was more relevant to my work in Israel than he could have realized. And it has been very much on my mind since my return. Continue reading

NRJE and CASJE: Laying the Foundation for Successful Jewish Education Research

Today’s guest post is by Renee Rubin Ross, a program officer at the Jim Joseph Foundation and a former post-doctoral fellow at the Mandel Center.  This piece originally appeared on the foundation’s blog.

In early June, I attended the Network for Research in Jewish Education (NRJE) conference, held at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. It was a great opportunity to hear about different research projects and catch up with colleagues. In the early morning hours before the meetings started, I even had the chance to go running in Central Park, very sentimental for me since I used to run in Central Park frequently when we lived in Manhattan a few years ago.

My primary purpose for attending the conference was to participate in discussions about the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE), an effort to bring together funders, researchers, and practitioners for the purpose of improving Jewish education.These individuals work collaboratively to address CASJE’s three primary areas of focus (termed “panels”): Israel Education, chaired by Mitch Malkus and Alex Pomson; Jewish Educational Leadership, chaired by Ellen Goldring, Joe Reimer and Lee Shulman; and Educational Sustainability, chaired by Ari Kelman and Rachel Friedberg. At the conference, I saw several indicators that portend well for CASJE going forward. Continue reading

Can Jewish organizations really work collaboratively? Early lessons from Nadiv

Today we hear from Josh Miller, Steven Green, Leah Nadich Meir and Joel Einleger about Nadiv, a collaboration between the Jim Joseph and AVI CHAI foundations. Nadiv is a pilot program to create six senior experiential educator positions to be shared by overnight camps and Jewish day/synagogue schools.

Collaboration and partnership have become the buzzwords of our time. The business world as well as the nonprofit sector heralds the advantages of collaboration: sharing resources, bringing multiple perspectives to address difficult issues, eliminating duplication, learning from one another and pooling assets.

The Jim Joseph and AVI CHAI Foundations, as funders interacting with multiple organizations across sectors, have a bird’s-eye view of what can result when organizations function from within their own separate silos: duplicate efforts on the one hand and unaddressed needs on the other. This led us to ask: can we, as funders, use our resources and influence to catalyze collaboration? And taking that one step further: can we, as funders, collaborate to more effectively advance our common goals? Continue reading

How to Fix Our Approach to Evaluation Research in Jewish Education—and Why We Need To

The Jewish community is blessed with lay leaders, philanthropists and professionals committed to creating vibrant and innovative Jewish learning opportunities for learners of all ages. Their relentless efforts have resulted in many exciting new educational initiatives. DeLeT alumni surveyStill, it is no secret that while we all have great hopes that each one of these initiatives will become a great success and have lasting impact on the field, not all do. Identifying the most effective initiatives is a daunting task, one for which solid evaluation research becomes a must for policymakers and funders. Continue reading

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