Preparing for Entry: Concepts That Support a Study of What It Takes to Launch a Career in Jewish Education

June 25th, 2020

CASJE is in the midst of a multipronged project to study the Recruitment, Retention, and Development of Jewish Educators (RRDOJE) in the United States. For the purposes of this study, Jewish educators are defined as individuals who work for pay, either part time or full
time, in an institutional setting geared to Jewish educational outcomes. Or, they’re self-employed individuals intending to achieve the same outcomes. They design and/or deliver experiences for the purpose of facilitating Jewish learning, engagement, connection, and
meaning through direct contact with participants.

The Preparing for Entry strand of this inquiry addresses a set of questions that will shed light on what it takes to launch a career in Jewish education and, in turn, what interventions might encourage promising candidates to seek and take up employment as Jewish educators.
These questions include: What attracts people, after they have completed a college degree or its equivalent, to work in the field of Jewish education? What deters them from the field? What pathways into the field are most likely to yield committed and qualified educators? And what might make the field more attractive to promising candidates?

In this paper, Rosov Consulting explores the central terms in this inquiry: What is a career? How different is someone’s perception and experience of their work when it is seen as part of a career rather than a job? What factors and forces are salient in shaping the desire to pursue a career, and specifically a career in Jewish education? What experiences and resources are understood to prepare individuals psychologically and materially to enter a field of work? What do we mean by deterrents and obstacles to pursuing a career?

Preparing for Entry: Concepts That Support a Study of What It Takes to Launch a Career in Jewish Education, Prepared by Rosov Consulting; Principal Investigator Michael J. Feuer, Dean, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, The George Washington University; CASJE June 2020