This strategy summary builds on what the Foundation has learned since its inception. As an established grantmaker, the Foundation is well positioned to continue some of its previous work while also proactively helping to shape the field of Jewish education today and for the future.
The Foundation’s mission honors the legacy of Jim Joseph, who identified educating Jewish children, youth, and young adults as key to the Jewish future.
compelling, effective Jewish learning experiencesCompelling and Effective Jewish Learning Experiences
The Foundation defines these 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. Effective learning experiences have long-term influence on the ways learners think, feel, and behave. They empower learners to integrate the learning with their varied interests and identities. Compelling learning experiences enable learners to wrestle with topics of relevance to them in new and nuanced ways. They incorporate diverse voices and perspectives into the conversation. The available array of Jewish learning experiences must constantly evolve and expand to serve current and future audiences of learners. They can take place in a wide range of settings including classrooms, homes, offices, camps, campuses, synagogues, retreat centers, community centers, service and travel experiences, and other public spaces. They are facilitated through various forms of interactive activities and content both online and offline, through cohort-based group learning experiences, and through one-on-one conversations and relationships. For learning experiences to have deep and enduring impact, the learners must have a seriousness of purpose and dedicate time over days, weeks, months or longer.
young JewsYoung Jews
The Foundation’s core audience for Jewish learning is all young Jews from the United States, recognizing that it is increasingly important to purposefully include the families and friends of these young Jews—whether they are Jewish or not—to create the most meaningful Jewish learning experiences for all.
Intention (kavanah כַּוָנָה)
The Hebrew phrase chaz-keim v’am-tzeim חַזְּקֵם וְאַמְּצֵם means strengthen and encourage. It is a reference to God’s words to Moses in Deuteronomy 3:28: “Give Joshua his instructions, and imbue him with strength and courage, for he shall go across at the head of this people, and he shall give them the land that you may only see.” This phrase highlights the Foundation’s ongoing intention to elevate the work of others in realizing its mission.
Long-Term Outcomes:Long Term Outcomes
The Foundation’s timeframe for achieving its long-term outcomes is ten years. The Foundation will apply broad strategies to measure these outcomes over time. Each long-term outcome is mapped to a set of shorter-term outcomes and specific indicators of progress that will be measured more closely.
Culture: Throughout the field of Jewish education, a growing culture of excellence, risk-taking, and continuous listening and learning is infused into the values and practices of organizations, communities, and funders
Experiences: Modern manifestations of Jewish-inspired ideas, practices, and experiences emerge and gain widespread recognition for being essential to addressing the pressing needs of young people at
key inflection pointsKey Inflection Points
The Foundation recognizes that Jewish learning can be especially relevant as a way to help young people navigate through key inflection points in their lives. These may include, among others:
• Passages to adulthood – development of individual identity, moving out of a childhood home, getting a first job, moving to a new city
• Early parenthood – planning a family through pre-school
• Lifecycle moments – weddings, rite of passage / b’nei mitzvah
• Moments of ‘seeking’ – searches for spirituality, mindfulness, wellness, meaningful ways to serve / volunteer
in their lives
Talent: Increased numbers of dynamic, pioneering Jewish leaders and educators are the driving force behind Jewish learning experiences that inspire young people throughout their lives
Learners: A more diverse and growing number of young Jews, their families, and their friends are participating in powerful Jewish learning experiences that inspire them to lead more connected, meaningful, and purpose-filled lives
This statement articulates the Foundation’s vision for how the world will look when it has fulfilled its purpose. There is no timeframe for this vision. It cannot be achieved only by the Foundation’s efforts, yet the Foundation intends to make a meaningful contribution to realizing it.
Inspired by Jewish learning experiences, all Jews, their families, and their friends lead connected, meaningful, purpose-filled lives and make positive contributions to their communities and the world