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