Data File From Survey for GenZ Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teens Today

The data file from the survey of more than 17,500 Jewish teens that was conducted for the 2019 report, GenZ Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teens, is now housed on the Berman Jewish DataBank. This “public use” data set is available for anyone to use for future analyses and research.

  • Survey of 17,576 Jewish teens completed in December, 2017 and January, 2018 via an online questionnaire.
  • Study co-planned by The Jewish Education Project and Rosov Consulting.
  • Data collection online by Qualtrics supervised by Rosov Consulting.

Access the data here.

Are Jewish Organizations Great Places To Work?

Leading Edge piloted the first Employee Experience Survey for the Jewish nonprofit sector in 2016. This survey, which gathers feedback from employees about their experiences at work, has now been taken by 234 organizations in the Jewish nonprofit sector over the past four years. These organizations are using this feedback to ensure that their most valuable asset—their employees—are set up to succeed.

At the heart of the Jewish nonprofit sector is an innate desire on the part of 73,000 professionals to contribute to making the world a better place. These individuals are the engines powering the programs and services that strengthen Jewish communities and enrich society every day.

Are Jewish Organizations Great Places To Work? Results from the fourth annual employee experience surveyLeading Edge and Culture Amp, Fall 2019

Cross-Portfolio Research Study: Literature Review on Jewish Leadership

On behalf of the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Center for Creative Leadership is conducting a cross-portfolio research study of leadership development in the American Jewish community to support Jewish learning experiences. The Foundation defines Jewish learning experiences broadly as “experiences that draw upon Jewish wisdom, values, practices, culture, traditions and history to engage people in activities that guide them towards living more connected, meaningful and purpose-filled lives.” The primary research questions guiding this study can be paraphrased as follows:

  1. How have Jewish leaders developed through opportunities and learning experiences?
  2. What are best practices for leadership development in the Jewish community?
  3. How can understanding the learning journeys of Jewish leaders and state of the art practices in leadership development inform strategies to achieve greater impact through investment in leadership development in the Jewish community?

This literature review represents our first step to exploring these complex questions by researching the distinguishing features of Jewish leadership and highlighting the current day challenges faced by Jewish leaders.

Cross-Portfolio Research Study: Literature Review on Jewish Leadership, Executive Summary, Center for Creative Leadership, May 2019

Read the Foundation’s series of guest blogs reflecting on the CCL literature review:


GenZ Now: Understanding and Connecting With Jewish Teens Today

This study is animated by the vision that all Jewish teens in America will see their Jewish heritage as a source of wisdom, inspiration, and strength as they grow and discover their place in the world. Authored by The Jewish Education Project and Rosov Consulting, GenZ Now, Understanding and Connecting with Jewish Teens Today is the largest study of American Jewish teens ever conducted, with 17,576 teens participating. It deepens our understanding of the complexities of being a Jewish teen in the United States today.

Among the key headlines from the report:

  • Participation in Jewish youth movements, youth groups and other organizations – collectively referred to as youth-serving organizations, or YSOs – measurably contributes to teens connecting to being Jewish, and to feeling good about themselves, their relationships, and their ability to make change in the world.
  • Jewish teens get along with their parents and often reflect their Jewish values and practices.
  • For Jewish teens, being Jewish is often about family, holiday celebrations, and cultural practices.
  • Jewish teens share the troubles and concerns of other American adolescents, notably managing anxiety and depression, and coping with academic pressure.

Perhaps the most important message that communities and organizations can take away from this study is that youth-serving organizations are awesome. Teens who participate in a youth-serving organization (or at least the organizations studied in the report) score higher on almost every outcome measured by our researchers, including affinity toward Israel and behaving with the intention of making world a better place.

The findings of this report suggest an imperative to invest further in youth-serving organizations as a model for teen engagement, both to champion the invaluable work that YSOs are already doing, and to imagine new possibilities, including opportunities that appeal to teens who are underrepresented and not yet engaged.

GenZ Now: Understanding and Connecting With Jewish Teens Today, The Jewish Education Project and Rosov Consulting, March 2019

The Future of Jewish Learning Is Here: How Digital Media Are Reshaping Jewish Education

Among the many ways in which the internet has irreversibly changed our lives is how it has enabled access to information with unprecedented speed and ease. By changing how we engage with information, it has also changed how people relate to information and how they negotiate its various meanings. Social media have accelerated this process by creating new ways to connect people through sharing information. These changes have influenced our communities, our politics, our consumption patterns, how we spend our leisure time, and even our definitions of “friend” and “like.”

Learning online does not look exactly like learning in classrooms or schools, summer camps or seminaries. Nor should we expect it to. And yet, people are learning online, and this report makes the case for understanding online engagements as educational. The question it answers is, “How are people learning online?” Combining leading research about secular online learning and new data about Jewish online learning, The Future of Jewish Learning Is Here offers a substantive, richly illustrative, and intimately informed account of Jewish learning online. It accounts for when, where, and how it happens, what people are learning, and how they are engaging with information alone and in relation with others. Jewish educational online media enable learners to:

Jewish educational online media enable learners to:

  1. Connect with others around Jewish learning
  2. Access Jewish knowledge beyond Jewish institutions
  3. Learn in sync with the rhythms of the Jewish calendar
  4. Utilize different platforms for different ends
  5. Integrate online learning and offline practice

Together, these key findings represent a portrait of Jewish learning online, with the understanding that learning online is more diffuse, less coordinated, more generally self-directed than learning in schools and other formal settings. The Future of Jewish Learning Is Here: How Digital Media Are Reshaping Jewish Education offers insights into how and what people learn online, as part of a larger conversation about what Jewish education looks like in the 21st century.

The Future of Jewish Learning Is Here: How Digital Media Are Reshaping Jewish EducationMarch 2019
(view as single pages)

Read a series of blogs in eJewishPhilanthropy on insights from the report:

Add comments and feedback on the report here:

ON THE JOURNEY: Concepts That Support a Study of the Professional Trajectories of Jewish Educators

This working paper released by The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) and CASJE (Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education) is the first report of a multi-year, comprehensive research project addressing the recruitment, retention, and development of educators working in Jewish settings in North America. “On the Journey” shares preliminary insights on individuals who work as Jewish educators today and by comparison with educators who either transitioned to administrative roles or left the field. Stakeholders focused on quality and impact of Jewish education across the country believe that attracting and nurturing talent is one of the greatest challenges today.

The multi-year research project, being conducted by Rosov Consulting, is funded with grants from the William Davidson Foundation and Jim Joseph Foundation. The concepts reviewed in the “On the Journey” report lay the foundations for additional analysis of relevant data on experiences of working educators, and for other parts of the study, which will continue over the next 18 months.  GSEHD, CASJE, and the researchers welcome comments on the working paper, which can be submitted to Joshua Fleck,

ON THE JOURNEY: Concepts That Support a Study of the Professional Trajectories of Jewish Educators, Rosov Consulting, March 2019

Are Jewish Organizations Great Places to Work?

In May 2018, Leading Edge conducted its third annual Employee Experience Survey. Participants included 7,300 employees from 105 Jewish nonprofit organizations with different missions, budgets, staff sizes, and geographic locations. Leading Edge’s primary purpose is to use the survey to help these willing organizations create even better places to work. For the 52 organizations that have now taken the Leading Edge survey more than once, the commitment to improving workplace culture can be seen in the results — 73% either improved their scores from year to year, or simply started and remained strong on the whole.

Are Jewish Organizations Great Places to Work? Results from the third annual employee experience survey, 2018, Leading Edge and Culture Amp

The iCenter Impact Study 2018

Israel education begins with passionate and knowledgeable educators who can tell their own stories about Israel and ends with learners whose stories live in dialogue with the story of the People, Land, and State of Israel.

To mark the occasion of The iCenter’s 10th anniversary, RMC Research was commissioned to conduct an impact study. It found that The iCenter has made a powerful and comprehensive impact on those who work directly with young people of all ages in all frameworks.

The report details The iCenter’s impact in shaping organizational cultures and supporting educators who directly reach learners.

Full Impact Report, October 2018

Abridged Impact Study, October 2018

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 Investments in Ed Tech and Digital Engagement in service of their missions.

Educational technology (Ed Tech) is broadly defined to include: digital technology, internet connectivity, and digital content in the service of a full range of educational and learning objectives. It is designed for use by teacher/instructors, educational institutions, and student/learners.

This report is a result of months of Ed Tech audits, over fifty interviews, and the Principles’ collective experience in the field. Smart Money is presented in two sections: 1) set of Recommendations for the foundations to consider and 2) a Landscape Report of the trends and tools used in Ed Tech.

Smart Money: Recommendations for an Educational Technology and Digital Engagement Investment Strategy, March 2017

Introductory Blog to Smart Money, by Kari Alterman, William Davidson Foundation, and Josh Miller, Jim Joseph Foundation

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 experience. 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 report is part of a larger study, “Hebrew at North American Jewish Overnight Summer Camps,” including observation and interviews, the results of which will be published as a book (Rutgers University Press, expected publication 2017). The study is a project of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University, with funding from the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) and additional support from the Wexner Foundation, Hebrew Union College, and City University of New York.

Beginning with pilot research in 2012 and culminating in 2015, the study involved several components:

  • observation at 36 camps around north america;
  • interviews and focus groups with about 200 staff members and campers;
  • archival research; and
  • document review.

To complement this qualitative research, the researchers conducted a survey of Hebrew use at camp, the results of which are reported in Connection, Not Proficiency. 103 camps participated in the survey, a response rate of 64%. They represent approximately 45,000 campers at a diversity of camps according to region, religiosity, and orientation toward Israel. For results of the full study, see the authors’ book, forthcoming in 2017.

Connection, Not Proficiency: Survey of Hebrew at North American Jewish Summer Camps, August 2016

Generation Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teens Today

In 2013, the Jim Joseph Foundation commissioned the report Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens. In that report, nine key implications for strategic development regarding Jewish teen education and engagement emerged. These implications provided a good baseline for The Jewish Education Project’s understanding of necessary factors to build programs that engage more Jewish teens in meaningful Jewish life. Following the release of Effective Strategies, the Jim Joseph Foundation began to partner with funders in ten communities to significantly invest further in Jewish teen engagement. The Jewish Education Project has run the National Incubator that has been working closely with these communities, known collectively as the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative, as they design their respective teen initiatives.

Generation Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teens Today — commissioned by the Jim Joseph Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, and The Marcus Foundation—builds on the past and is the result of new research in Jewish teen education and engagement. Funders in the Teen Collaborative identified a need to define shared outcomes in order to pursue their common goals and to effectively aggregate and compare evaluation findings. While this research was intended only to lead to the development of outcomes in this space, it yielded insights that can guide and inform Jewish teen education and engagement more broadly, and can be used by those in the Collaborative as well as others. Generation Now details insights about Jewish teens—from their interests, to their fears, to what brings them meaning in life—along with shared outcomes, indicators, and measurement tools that will gauge Jewish education and engagement among teens participating in Jewish experiences.

Generation Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teens Today, April 2016

Effective Strategies for Education and Engaging Jewish Teens, February 2013