Expanding the Circle of Teen Education & Engagement: Evaluation of Year 1 of the Los Angeles Jewish Teen Initiative
February 23rd, 2017
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 goals: Expand and create teen engagement programs of excellence; Nurture the teen ecosystem and build community commitment to teen engagement; Support the professional development of educators of Jewish teens.
Informing Change has been engaged to evaluate the first three years of the LAJTI. The evaluation is both process and outcome oriented, with an intention to provide ongoing feedback on the LAJTI’s various components to inform strategic pivots, while also assessing the Initiative’s results.The data collected during the LAJTI’s first year largely serve as a baseline for assessing change over time. The baseline described in this report provides a promising outlook for the years ahead. The LAJTI launched many of its moving parts in Year 1, most notably the Accelerator and efforts to enhance the professional development for Jewish teen educators. These early starts are accomplishments in and of themselves; yet, as with any new endeavor, there have been bumps and requisite tweaks along the way. This report documents the LAJTI’s development and accomplishments in its first year of implementation, along with early lessons learned and recommendations for Year 2.