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Test Discussion Post

By on February 16th, 2017

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Internal Exploration of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

By Jeff Tiell on February 6th, 2017

How do we as Jews authentically tell our stories to others and ourselves? How do we as Jews bring the relevance and meaning of Judaism—whatever that may mean to you—in our lives? How do we as Jews show up? These are just a few of the questions I have been asking myself, sometimes more explicitly, sometimes less, over the last few years. The noted novelist and writer, Zora Neale Hurston said, “There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.” The answers to some of these questions have come to me in the form of practice and process; and in both personal and professional ways. Personally, I was privileged to attend my first Moishe House Meditation Retreat in Southern ...More

The Day(s) After: Civil Discourse and Why Genuine Leadership Matters Above All Else

By Barry Finestone on January 24th, 2017

As we wade into uncharted waters as a country, I want to try and step back just a bit to explore what I believe is an especially essential quality for organizations and organizational leaders within our field to exhibit at this moment: genuine leadership. I also want to offer some thoughts about the role and responsibility of Jewish education in fostering and supporting this leadership. Over the last few months, many organizational heads, education leaders, educators, and yes, funders, have been asked in various ways to help make sense of the Presidential election, to formulate “a response,” and to devise some type of path forward about which all can feel positive. Already, in the words written above, I have stepped into a ...More

Professional Preparation: A “Value Add” for Educators and their Employers

By Yael Kidron on January 23rd, 2017

Editor's Note: In October 2016, the Jim Joseph Foundation released the final evaluation from American Institutes for Research on the Education Initiative--the $45 million, six year investment in Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and Yeshiva University (YU) for Jewish educator training. The Foundation and AIR shared some of the key findings and lessons learned from the Initiative. AIR also is releasing a series of blogs that delve more deeply into important findings from the evaluation--the second of which, below, discusses the value of professional preparation programs, and key characteristics that make those programs excellent.  Whether in a classroom, at a camp, at locations in a city, or nearly any other environment, effective Jewish learning ...More

A Taste of the Real World: Lessons Learned from a Community Internship Program for Teens

By Shira Rosenblatt and Stacie Cherner on January 3rd, 2017

The Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative invests, with local funders, in new approaches to Jewish teen learning and growth in ten communities around the country. One strategic element of this endeavor is that each community builds an approach to teen education and engagement custom made for teens in their community. Often, the local partners in the Collaborative work closely with other local organizations to create and run these initiatives and programs. In Los Angeles, the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles partnered to create the multi-faceted Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative (LAJTI), which unifies the geographic and denominational diversity of LA to engage teens, empower educators, provide resources ...More

Welcome

By Barry Finestone on December 22nd, 2016

That seems like the perfect title for this first blog. As I continue to settle into my role as President and CEO at the Jim Joseph Foundation, I feel welcomed by my colleagues, the Foundation Board, and so many of you who have sent congratulatory notes over the last month. For this, I want to express sincere thanks. I have, first and foremost, a deep sense of responsibility—to the Foundation’s grantees, Board, my colleagues, peer funders, and other individuals with whom we interact. Jim Joseph, z”l, left an indelible gift. Working inside (and often outside) these walls is an ongoing reminder of how fortunate we are to carry out the vision that Jim so clearly outlined.  As 2017 approaches, the Foundation continues ...More

Any Given Sunday: San Diego’s Jewish Teen Service Summit

By Jeff Tiell on December 7th, 2016

On a Sunday earlier this month, I witnessed the burgeoning future of Jewish teen education in San Diego. As part of the new Motiv Initiative–the Jewish Teen Initiative in San Diego supported by the Jewish Federation of San Diego County, the Lawrence Family JCC, Jacobs Family Campus, and the Jim Joseph Foundation—hundreds of teens came to learn about, and to do, service at its first Teen Service Summit. The Summit, which was well attended and filled with opportunities to engage in and to create meaningful Jewish service experiences, offers a brief case study of sorts for effective teen engagement. First, a number of workshops throughout the day led by charismatic and passionate adults addressed everything from Passion to Profit: Social ...More

From the Seminar to the Workplace: Programs That Promote Workforce Outcomes

By Yael Kidron and Ariela Greenberg on November 11th, 2016

Editor's Note: In October, the Jim Joseph Foundation released the final evaluation from American Institutes for Research on the Education Initiative--the $45 million, six year investment in Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and Yeshiva University (YU) for Jewish educator training. The Foundation and AIR shared some of the key findings and lessons learned from the Initiative. AIR also is releasing a series of blogs that delve more deeply into important findings from the evaluation--the first of which, below, discusses programs that promote workforce outcomes. Operating successful educational programs requires continually evolving skills and knowledge. With the constant growth of educational research on effective strategies to promote student engagement, motivation, and learning ...More

Reflections on a Big Bet: The Education Initiative with HUC-JIR, JTS, and YU  

By Yael Kidron and Dawne Bear Novicoff on November 9th, 2016

When the Jim Joseph Foundation was founded in 2006, board members and other leaders in Jewish education held a series of meetings to determine a set of “strategic funding priorities.” While the foundation’s generous benefactor, Jim Joseph, z”l, ensured that Jewish education would be the sole focus of grant awards, he did not specify how the Foundation should pursue his vision. Ultimately, the Board identified three funding priorities, one of which is to increase the number and quality of Jewish educators and education leaders. This priority paved the way for the largest bet the Foundation has made to date—the recently completed $45 million, six year investment in Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), The Jewish Theological Seminary ...More

A Reform Camper in Hevruta Study

By Aaron Saxe on October 24th, 2016

I bet my parents are not surprised that I work for a Jewish organization. How could they be? After all, I have been an active member of the Jewish community from my earliest days. Attending Congregational School, spending summer after summer at Jewish day and overnight camp, starring as Joseph in my synagogue’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (I couldn’t resist throwing this one in here), participating in youth group, spending time in Israel, and most recently, working at the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation. Being Jewish has always been an important part of who I am. Yet, reflecting back on these experiences, I note that my participation in Jewish life has never come in the way ...More

The Jim Joseph Foundation invests in promising Jewish education grant initiatives. We partner with effective organizations that seek to inspire young people to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives.