Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Entrepreneurs Initiative

In 2008, Hillel embarked on an experimental path designed to dramatically increase the number of Jewish students involved in Jewish campus life. By launching the Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Entrepreneurs Initiative as two complementary initiatives, Hillel piloted a cohort of educators who work in tandem with student engagement interns on ten campuses. Together, the interns and educators were charged with meaningfully connecting significant numbers of students to Jewish life and learning.

This report offers findings from a two-year evaluation of the Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Entrepreneurs Initiative as well as lessons learned from five years of experimentation on campus.

Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Entrepreneurs Initiative Two Year Evaluation Summary Report
Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Entrepreneurs Initiative Grant Information

Foundation for Jewish Camp, Inc. Specialty Camps Incubator

In 2009, the Jim Joseph Foundation launched a five-year investment in the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC)’s Specialty Camps Incubator to support the creation of five new specialty camps to increase the number of middle school and high school youth experiencing Jewish summer camp.

To assess how and the extent to which the Incubator is achieving its intended outcomes, the Foundation commissioned BTW Informing Change to evaluate the Incubator. BTW worked with Incubator and Jim Joseph Foundation professionals to develop an evaluation framework and key research questions. The report presents findings of the 2010–11 evaluation.

FJC Specialty Camps Incubator 2010-2011 Evaluation Executive Summary
FJC Specialty Camps Incubator Grant Information

North Shore Teen Initiative

Beginning with a Planning Grant in 2007, the North Shore Teen Initiative (NSTI) has designed, developed, launched, implemented, and sustained community-based teen education and engagement in 23 towns and cities north of Boston. Summation Research conducted an initial evaluation of NTSI, including a review of the program’s scope and content, and interviews with seven North Shore Jewish community leaders who provided an “on-the-ground” perspective regarding NSTI’s impact and effectiveness.

Overall, Summation Research found the scope and diversity of NSTI programming to be impressive, while community leaders had extremely favorable perceptions of the NSTI initiative and its leadership. These leaders were consistent in their sentiment that NSTI has become a leading force of “blossoming Jewish activity” in the North Shore, and that it has largely succeeded in building strong relationships with congregations and other local organizations.

North Shore Teen Initiative Evaluation – September, 2011
North Shore Teen Initiative Grant Information

Moishe House

Founded in 2008, Moishe House is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to provide meaningful Jewish experiences for young adults around the world by supporting leaders in their twenties as they create vibrant home-based Jewish communities.” The organization supports an international network of resident-managed houses that build peer-based Jewish communities for post-college young adults.

To help Moishe House better assess and improve upon its innovative work, as well as to help sustain current achievements and maximize the chances of successful and sustainable growth, the Jim Joseph Foundation, in collaboration with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and Moishe House, engaged TCC Group, in a three year engagement to develop and pilot an evaluation system. This report presents findings from the first year of evaluation.

Moishe House Evaluation Report – August, 2011
Moishe House Grant Information

UpStart Bay Area Innovation Retreat

Since 2004, UpStart has been listening to and working with innovators in Jewish life. UpStart supports social entrepreneurs dedicated to reaching some of the 80% of Bay Area Jews who have no connection to existing Jewish institutions, with a focus on reaching teens and young adults. These initiatives, ranging from volunteering to bring Jewish life to children with disabilities, to happy hours that also serve Jewish philanthropic causes, are spearheaded by individuals with the passion, dedication, and skill to engage this community.

This report provides an evaluation of the first UpStart Innovation Retreat held in Alamo, California in October 2010. Twelve professionals and one lay leader representing eight Bay Area Jewish communal organizations attended the retreat.

UpStart Bay Area Innovation Retreat Evaluation ReportFebruary, 2011

Foundation for Jewish Camp JWest Campership Program

From 2008 – 2011, the JWest Campership program worked to engage Jewish children in a first-time Jewish summer camp experience at 23 camps across 13 western U.S. states.

The program was evaluated annually and demonstrated positive results, as a total of 3,309 first-time 6th – 8th grade campers were enrolled in camp — 720 in 2008, 653 in 2009, 1047 in 2010 and 889 in 2011. The program also focused on retaining campers, broadening the ethnic and socio-economic camper profile, and building Jewish identity. The evaluations present findings in those areas from 2009 and 2011.

Foundation for Jewish Camp JWest Campership Program – June, 2011
Foundation for Jewish Camp JWest Campership Program – June, 2009

Birthright Israel NEXT Communities Initiative

Birthright Israel NEXT (NEXT) builds on the social connections made by Taglit-Birthright Israel trip alumni (BRI trip alumni) during their trips to Israel, and connects them to other young Jewish adults who share their social, cultural, and educational interests. The Jewish Community for the NEXT Generation Initiative (the Community Initiatives) combines locally developed activities with national programs to develop peer communities for young Jewish adults to become more involved in Jewish life and more connected to Israel.

The evaluation, conducted by SRI International, focuses on the first five metropolitan areas in which the NEXT Community Initiatives program was fully operational—Denver, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, Miami-South Florida, and Philadelphia—during the period of January 2009 through March 2010. The evaluation was designed to assess program implementation; identify the factors that support and hinder program implementation, participation, and outcomes; and provide evidence about program effectiveness.

Birthright Israel NEXT: Communities Initiative – June, 2010

March of the Living Los Angeles Delegation

The March of the Living is an annual, international program that brings Jewish teens from 60 countries to encounter two sites of fundamental importance to the Jewish people: Poland and Israel. The 2009 Los Angeles delegation of 136 teens was among the nearly 2,500 high school students from North America. Every year, along with Jewish educators, Holocaust survivors, and community leaders, participants spend a week visiting concentration camps and former sites of Jewish life and culture in Poland.

This evaluation is an ethnographic study of the 2009 Los Angeles March of the Living experience: from the application process to students’ perceptions of the trip’s initial impact on their attitudes, knowledge, and behavior. Utilizing multiple research methods – including participant observation, qualitative interviews, and examination of program related documents – the study examines events, activities, and relationships and explores participants’ and staff members’ perceptions of the trip.

March of the Living Los Angeles Delegation – September, 2009