From Our Blog

When Experiments Go Well: How a New Investment from the Jim Joseph Foundation Will Help Moving Traditions’ National Expansion

By Deborah Meyer and Jeff Tiell on June 28th, 2017

The teen years have always been a challenge. Figuring out who you are; navigating complex social systems; being pressed to succeed academically; a body that changes from day to day—almost no adult would willingly return to adolescence. In our intense modern world, with a 24/7 fishbowl of social media and a heated and polarized public debate, it is no wonder that levels of anxiety and depression are increasing, even for the most successful teen children. Fortunately, we continue to learn more every day about how to best help teens. Years of research have identified the factors that support teens to grow and thrive: adult mentors; supportive peer groups; the safety to explore difficult and personal issues with depth and honesty; and a ...More

Continuing Conversations on Leveraging Educational Technology to Advance Jewish Learning

By on June 28th, 2017

"Continuing Conversations on Leveraging Educational Technology to Advance Jewish Learning" is a project of Jewish Funders Network, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the William Davidson Foundation, and is cross-posted in eJewishPhilanthropyFor an in-depth look at opportunities in Jewish Ed Tech and digital engagement, read Smart Money: Recommendations for an Educational Technology and Digital Engagement Investment Strategy. Later this year, Jewish Funders Network will launch a new website to help advance the field of Jewish educational technology. Read all the blogs in the series below: Ubiquity, Access, & Availability: How EdTech Can Transform Schools, Homes, & Anywhere In Between, Michael Cohen, The Tech Rabbi Jewish EdTech: If You Build It, Will They Come?, ...More

EdTech Training: Up, Up and Away

By Smadar Goldstein with Stan Peerless on June 28th, 2017

This is part 4 of the series in eJewishPhilanthropy, Continuing Conversations on Leveraging Educational Technology to Advance Jewish Learning. The series is a project of Jewish Funders Network, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the William Davidson Foundation. For an in-depth look at opportunities in Jewish Ed Tech and digital engagement, read Smart Money: Recommendations for an Educational Technology and Digital Engagement Investment Strategy. Later this year, Jewish Funders Network will launch a new website to help advance the field of Jewish educational technology. There are many professions that require practitioners to participate in ongoing professional development, and rightfully so. After all, for example, we would not want a patient ...More

A Crash Course on Releasing an RFP

By Barry Finestone on June 27th, 2017

Just before Passover this year, the Jim Joseph Foundation released two open Request for Proposals (RFP)—one addressed Educator Professional Development (PD); the other addressed Leadership Development. This marked the first time the Foundation embarked on this process, and is another new development among a year of changes for the Foundation. Designing, releasing, and reviewing Letters of Interest (LOI)—we recently contacted the 146 organizations that submitted LOIs to let them know if they were selected as finalists—has been inspiring, challenging, and ripe with learnings both for the Foundation and, we believe, the field. While we clearly are still in the midst of this process, here’s a quick take on some interesting observations. What we see in the field:

  • Newsflash! Lots of different ...More

Digital Promise: Learning Jewish, Online

By Chana German on June 20th, 2017

This is part 3 of the series in eJewishPhilanthropy, Continuing Conversations on Leveraging Educational Technology to Advance Jewish Learning. The series is a project of Jewish Funders Network, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the William Davidson Foundation. For an in-depth look at opportunities in Jewish Ed Tech and digital engagement, read Smart Money: Recommendations for an Educational Technology and Digital Engagement Investment Strategy. Later this year, Jewish Funders Network will launch a new website to help advance the field of Jewish educational technology. A century ago, when my bubbe sat in her fifth grade classroom in a Chicago public school, with 30+ classmates sitting row after row, listening to her teacher lecture, it would have been hard, probably ...More

“That was the most myself I’ve ever been” – Teens reflecting on new models of summer programming

By Alex Pomson and Melanie Schneider on June 15th, 2017

Some of the most powerful memories from childhood are associated with summer: the riotous sound of crickets at night; a first sighting of the Milky Way; the hot sensation of a campfire on one’s face; or for those not able to get out of town, the intrigue of long hours left to one’s own devices. These moments gain their special force from breaking with the chores and routines of the school year. For many Jewish adults, summer is associated with their childhood experiences of overnight camp. For six weeks or even longer, their foremost task as campers was to release the stress and constraints of school in the company of peers. Such programs might have recruited only a small portion ...More

A History of the “Future of Jewish Education”

By Russel Neiss on June 13th, 2017

This is part 2 of the series in eJewishPhilanthropy, Continuing Conversations on Leveraging Educational Technology to Advance Jewish Learning. The series is a project of Jewish Funders Network, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the William Davidson Foundation. For an in-depth look at opportunities in Jewish Ed Tech and digital engagement, read Smart Money: Recommendations for an Educational Technology and Digital Engagement Investment Strategy. Later this year, Jewish Funders Network will launch a new website to help advance the field of Jewish educational technology. In 1911, William Inglis, writing for Harper’s Weekly profiled Thomas Edison’s latest invention that he guaranteed would, “make school so attractive that a big army with swords and guns couldn’t keep boys ...More

PREPARING TO DEEPEN ACTION: A Funder Collaborative Finds its Way

By on June 13th, 2017

The formation of the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative was the result of a process begun by the Jim Joseph Foundation in 2013. At that time, in an effort to spawn innovative, locally sustainable teen engagement programs, the Jim Joseph Foundation brought together an array of funders to explore various approaches. The first 24 months of this deliberate process in which ten local and five national funders undertook to educate themselves, build relationships and co-invest in community-based Jewish teen education and engagement initiatives was thoughtfully documented in a case study issued in January 2015 by Informing Change, entitled, Finding New Paths for Teen Engagement and Learning: A Funder Collaborative Leads ...More

Sharing Early Insights: Lessons Learned from the Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Funder Collaborative

By Sara Allen on June 13th, 2017

Four years ago, Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens was released, a report that brought to the fore promising models and practical ways for communities to engage teens in Jewish experiences that enrich their lives and help them grow. On the heels of the report, national and local funders representing ten communities took action, coming together to study the findings, commission additional groundbreaking reports, and to design responsive local teen engagement initiatives. Ultimately, the group evolved into a robust community: the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative. The Funder Collaborative is an innovative philanthropic experiment – a network of funders working together to develop, fund, support and grow new teen initiatives that ...More

Procuring the Proper Software, Hardware and Teacher Training for Successful Educational Technology Integration – A Funder’s Perspective

By Amy Amiel on June 7th, 2017

This is part 1 of the series in eJewishPhilanthropy, Continuing Conversations on Leveraging Educational Technology to Advance Jewish Learning. The series is a project of Jewish Funders Network, the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the William Davidson Foundation. For an in-depth look at opportunities in Jewish Ed Tech and digital engagement, read Smart Money: Recommendations for an Educational Technology and Digital Engagement Investment Strategy. Later this year, Jewish Funders Network will launch a new website to help advance the field of Jewish educational technology. When you care about successful technology integration in your local Jewish school, what is the most effective way to provide support? For today’s school leadership and school or community funders, the pathway forward ...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.