BBYO’s Professional Development Institute
September 2nd, 2015
In 2007, BBYO—the largest pluralistic Jewish teen movement in North America—launched an ambitious program called the BBYOProfessional Development Institute (PDI). The purpose of PDI was to increase the capacity and commitment of talented, early-career Jewish professionals to build a career in Jewish communal institutions. The hope was that PDI would not only help young professionals grow at BBYO and support the organization in engaging teens, but that they would also help create a workforce of highly-qualified professionals for the Jewish communal sector.
PDI assisted participants through a suite of supports and multiple program components. The Jim Joseph Foundation, PDI’s sole funder, underwrote the program with a grant of $7.5 million over seven years. Although the goals and outcomes of PDI are meant to be realized over 15 years—through 2023, as alumni move through their careers—the program activities were time-limited. A total of 35 people participated across PDI’s three cohorts, with the inaugural cohort beginning in 2008 and the final cohort completing all PDI requirements in 2015.
From the inception of PDI, Informing Change worked closely with the Jim Joseph Foundation and BBYO to assess the program. As the program neared its conclusion, the evaluation evolved to focus on post-graduate and longer-term PDI outcomes and lessons learned.