SHEVET is the Jewish Family Education Exchange. They are the new central address for Jewish educators committed to reaching, engaging and strengthening Jewish families through education, and fortifying and growing community into the next generation. SHEVET is the national collective for Jewish family educators, offering multiple platforms on which to share best practices, generate ideas, create collaborative programming, develop curricula, find resources, seek collegial support, engage in professional development and learn from each other and leaders in the field.
Through an online community of practice, social media channels and regional conferences, SHEVET is a true exchange, learning from one another and contributing to the growth and robustness of the field.
SHEVET takes its name from the Hebrew word for tribe or clan, as they grow a cohort of educators who are enabling Jewish families to grow and learn together.
The SHEVET site will be a private meeting place, providing members of the SHEVET Virtual Community of Practice (CoP) with a shared calendar, discussion forums, member profiles, photo gallery, file storage and more. The CoP is intended to widen the discussion around what Jewish family education means. We will collaborate in developing themes and creating programs that will advance our professional practice. Together, we will reflect upon how the changing demographic trends and technological developments impact our work today and tomorrow. It is our collective laboratory.
Prior to becoming SHEVET: Jewish Family Education Exchange, this organization was known as The Consortium for the Jewish Family. It began as a group of Family Education practitioners, working in parallel paths but unknown to each other, brought together at the (then) University of Judaism to share their knowledge and experiences. It turned out that this small group eventually created the field of Jewish Family Education (JFE). This team became the primary address for family education training and programming, not only in North America but also in Israel and around the world. In 2005, a second generation team, with the help of the Whizin Foundation and later the Kripke Institute, became an “institution without walls” working in a series of partnerships with such organization as CAJE, Sesame Workshop, Cleveland College and the BJENY-SAJES to move family education to the next level.
In January 2010, with a Covenant grant and support from other funders, the group of existing consultants, along with some new voices, gathered in Los Angeles to consider the future of the Consortium and of the field of Jewish Family Education.
At that gathering, the faculty identified three focus areas for its future work:
- support the field of JFE as it now exists,
- reestablish the Consortium as the central address for JFE,
- grow the Consortium in its six primary areas of concern:
(a) Advocacy, (b) Research, (c) Literature, (d) Professional Development, (e) Curriculum Development, and (f) Consulting so that the field can grow, develop and enrich the Jewish lives of our constituent families.