From Our Blog

Leveraging Networks for Jewish Engagement & Learning

By on September 5th, 2012

During the past six years, Jim Joseph Foundation grantees have demonstrated that peer relationships and the networks supporting those relationships create value.  This month, the release of a two-year evaluation summary report of Hillel’s Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Entrepreneurial Initiative (SJE-CEI) will further evidence the correlation between networks, educators, and effective Jewish engagement.  Funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, the report points clearly “to the value of relationships -- with peers and authentic teachers -- as well as the power of Jewish learning that is contextual and relevant in the lives of young Jews today.” There is no question that relationship-based networks play an increasingly prominent role in the lives of Jewish youth and young adults, as they do ...More

New Media in Jewish Studies Collaborative

By on September 4th, 2012

Last week, I attended parts of a two-day work session of the New Media in Jewish Studies Collaborative. The Collaborative, headed by Columbia Jewish Studies Professor Jeremy Dauber and documentarian Sam Ball of Citizen Film, is a recently funded Jim Joseph Foundation grant program that is engaging a cohort of ten Jewish Studies professors from around the country to incorporate new media and digital storytelling into their teaching, student assignments and scholarship. Bringing new media into Jewish Studies could be a game-changer: A recent study found that almost half of Jewish college students took at least one Jewish studies course by the time they were seniors. Other studies demonstrate the deep impact that New Media has on ...More

Learning From and About Evaluation

By on August 16th, 2012

"The utility of evaluation must stretch beyond accountability and translate into learning and active exchange across the field of Jewish education and beyond." As my colleague Adene Sacks reflected upon leaving the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Foundation approaches evaluation in the spirit of being a learning organization. Evaluation was identified as a priority in the Foundation’s first strategic plan in 2006. The Jim Joseph Foundation’s program of evaluation already has yielded useable knowledge to benefit the Foundation’s philanthropy, even as the Foundation seeks to improve the process of conducting evaluations and expand the evaluation portfolio. Evaluation results instruct and support the Foundation in the following ways:

  • Responsible stewardship of grants
  • Data for understanding success (or lack of it) and to assess the Foundation’s ...More

The Jim Joseph Foundation invests in promising Jewish education grant initiatives. We partner with effective organizations that seek to inspire young people to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives.