Evaluations of Grants

The Hard Work Behind the Magic of Camp: Results & Learnings from the FJC Specialty Camps Incubator II

With a $10.2 million combined investment from the AVI CHAI Foundation and the Jim Joseph Foundation (the funders), the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) incubated four new Jewish specialty camps from October 2012 through November 2016, turning ideas into actual, functioning camps. The funders engaged Informing Change in October 2012 to design and implement a five-year evaluation of this second cohort of FJC’s Specialty Camps Incubator (the Incubator). Informing Change evaluated the extent to which the new camps developed the capacities needed to run ...More

Moishe House Peer-Led Retreats – Interview Highlights and Insights

The purpose of this qualitative research project was to understand the Moishe House Peer-Led Retreat Program and to gain insight into further improvements to be made to the existing model.  The Peer-Led Retreat Program currently recruits and equips Jewish young adults with the skills to lead a weekend Jewish retreat for a group of their peers. Data for this research were gathered during the 2016 calendar year through review of nine responses to a written feedback survey designed and administered by Moishe House, ...More

New York Jewish Teen Initiative

The four-year, nine million dollar New York Teen Initiative is a jointly funded investment of the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jim Joseph Foundation. With The Jewish Education Project serving as lead operator, the Initiative seeks to redesign and redefine the area’s Jewish teen engagement through the creation of compelling summer experiences. The Initiative builds on UJA-Federation of New York’s historic and current efforts to support programs that attract teenagers to Jewish life and experiences. The Initiative is part of a national ...More

PREPARING TO DEEPEN ACTION: A Funder Collaborative Finds its Way

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 ...More

INITIAL OUTCOMES ACROSS COMMUNITIES: First Fruits from the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative

The formation of the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative began in 2013, when more than a dozen local and national funders of Jewish teen programming were brought together by the Jim Joseph Foundation for an ongoing series of discussions about expanding teen involvement in Jewish life. Over the next two years, this group developed into a more formal Funder Collaborative, with the expressed aim of making grants to support comprehensive, innovative, and sustainable new community-based initiatives in ten communities across ...More

Smart Money: Recommendations for an Educational Technology and Digital Engagement Investment Strategy

The Jim Joseph and William Davidson Foundations have been working diligently over many years on the demanding and pressing issues of Jewish engagement and learning. It is universally accepted that digital media engage youth and adults and can deliver educational outcomes. Yet the Jewish community can do much more to harness these powerful, ubiquitous, engaging Ed Tech tools efficiently in the service of Jewish engagement and learning. Lewis J. Bernstein and Associates present the following report advising the Foundations on making strategic ...More

Expanding the Circle of Teen Education & Engagement: Evaluation of Year 1 of the Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative

The Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative (LAJTI or Initiative) is a collective effort among organizations across the greater Los Angeles Jewish community to enhance the opportunities for teens to engage positively in Jewish life. The LAJTI launched in 2015 after several years of planning with a broad base of community stakeholders. Cofunded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (the Federation) and the Jim Joseph Foundation (the funders), the LAJTI includes three main strategies, each with multiple components working toward shared ...More

Vision in Action: Evaluating JDC Entwine’s Continuum of Service and Engagement

In 2014, Entwine received a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation to support the continued expansion of select programs, to track and evaluate Jewish identity and service learning outcomes produced by the programs, and ultimately to develop Entwine’s internal capacity for ongoing self-assessment and learning. In April 2015, Rosov Consulting was commissioned to carry this evaluation and capacity building efforts. The study included three separate, but closely related, components: • An alumni study of Entwine trip and fellowship participants who were involved in the program ...More

Evaluation of the B’Yadenu Demonstration Project: Executive Summary of Final Report of Phase 1

The B’Yadenu (“In our Hands”) Demonstration Project was created because, historically, students with special learning needs (SLNs) have had difficulty succeeding in Jewish day schools (JDSs). Under-enrollment has been due to a variety of school conditions such as lack of skills, strategies, and resources to serve these students, resistance to change, insufficient professional development (PD), and limited experience addressing SLNs. The five-year model demonstration project (Phase 1), funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation, was designed and implemented ...More

Connection, Not Proficiency: Survey of Hebrew at North American Jewish Summer Camps

About a century after the first Jewish overnight summer camps were established in North America, Hebrew remains an important component of the camp report-coverexperience. Some camps use very limited Hebrew, such as blessings and a few terms like Shabbat shalom and tikkun olam. Others incorporate Hebrew in activity names, announcements, and theatrical productions. To understand better how and why camps use Hebrew, Sarah Bunin Benor, Jonathan Krasner, and Sharon Avni—a sociolinguist, a historian of Jewish education, and an educational linguist—conducted this study. This ...More

Education Initiative Year 5; Hebrew Union College, Jewish Theological Seminary, Yeshiva University

The Jim Joseph Foundation created the Education Initiative to increase the number of educators and educational leaders who are prepared to design and implement high-quality Jewish education programs. The Foundation education-initiative-cover-imagegranted $45 million to three premier Jewish higher education institutions--Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and Yeshiva University (YU)--(each institution received $15 million) and challenged them to plan and implement programs that used new content and teaching approaches to increase the number of highly qualified Jewish educators serving the field. The grant covered program ...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.