From Our Blog

Measuring Outcomes Across Grantees and Over Time

By Stacie Cherner on March 10th, 2016

When the Jim Joseph Foundation’s evaluators’ consortium met last November, the overall focus was on the long road ahead towards developing a common set of measures—survey items, interview schedules, frameworks for documenting distinctive features of programs—to be used as outcomes and indicators of Jewish learning and growth for teens and young adults. Consortium members and the Foundation were especially excited to learn about the work led by George Washington University to develop a common set of long-term outcomes and shared metrics to improve the Foundation’s ability to look at programs and outcomes across grantees and over time. A key part of this endeavor will be an online menu—developed in consultation with evaluation experts and practitioners—from which grantees can ...More

Experimentation with a Purpose: The Evaluators’ Consortium

By Chip Edelsberg on December 21st, 2015

As we approach the end of any year, I customarily take time to reflect on the Foundation’s efforts over the previous twelve months. In 2015, with dedicated grantee partners, the Foundation continued to pursue its vision of “increasing numbers of Jews engaging in Jewish life and learning.” There were landmark new grants; grants that concluded with goals exceeded; and evaluations that both offered key lessons and demonstrated outcomes achieved. 2015 also marked our tenth year of grantmaking, which the Foundation celebrated by honoring our founder and highlighting the important work of grantees and evaluators over the decade. In this, my final blog of the year, I want to share some exciting developments ...More

A Different Kind of Risk-Taking: Improving Evaluation Practice at the Jim Joseph Foundation

By Cindy Reich on September 16th, 2015

A version of this blog originally ran in Philanthropy News Digest “We’re in the business of risk-taking,” is a frequent refrain of Chip Edelsberg, Executive Director of the Jim Joseph Foundation. Generally speaking, Edelsberg’s notion of risk-taking refers to the investments the Foundation makes in its grantees and their programs. The Jim Joseph Foundation is a foundation with assets in the range of $1 billion whose mission is to foster compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for young Jews.  Between 2006 and June, 2014, the Foundation granted over $300 million to increase the number and quality of Jewish educators, to expand opportunities for Jewish learning, and to build a strong field for Jewish learning (Jim Joseph Foundation, 2014). Rarely ...More

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at an Evaluators’ Consortium

By Sandy Edwards, Stacie Cherner on April 9th, 2015

In the midst of its tenth year, the Jim Joseph Foundation has created what might be called “a family of beneficiaries.” There are young Jews who have, as an example, traveled to Israel on Birthright, lived in a Moishe House, enrolled in HUC-JIR, Mechon Hadar, or other education institutions, and perhaps earned credentials as expert Israel educators as part of a program with the iCenter. All of these exceptional institutions and organizations are grantees of the Foundation. Now, a new “family” is developing. And while these family members often operate behind-the-scenes, we believe they are equally as important to the Foundation’s pursuit of its mission. This family is comprised of a small number of highly skilled evaluators and researchers, which the ...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.