Change Happens in Complementary Jewish Education

August 9, 2012

Source: eJewish Philanthropy 


Jane Slotin, Executive Director of PELIE, (Partnership for Effective Learning and Innovative Education), writes about what PELIE has learned from closely surveying and listening to the field of Jewish complementary education along with the corresponding strategies PELIE has adopted for impacting the field.


Among her major observations:

  • Complementary Jewish education is no longer a monolithic model. There is no “one size fits all”. Some kids are educated in classrooms, others in the woods, and others online. Communities are building learning environments and curricula to meet their consumers’ needs, and our consumers span a wide spectrum. PELIE funds both the adaptation of non-congregational and congregational models to various cities throughout the nation and spends significant time connecting innovative models with communities who are seeking new strategies for Jewish education.
  • Without the use of technology, there is no future of Jewish education. Technology is not simply a tool. Technology is the culture of our children, and technology is shaping a new Jewish future. Therefore, PELIE in partnership with The AVI CHAI Foundation funds regional one-day Kadima conferences for complementary and day school educators to build skill sets and mindsets about technology integration in Jewish education. PELIE also sponsors Technology Fellows each summer who attend the secular ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference, the largest conference about education and technology in the world. These fellows return to their communities as informed and enthusiastic champions for technology integration.
  • While incentivizing and valuing professionals is an extremely important element of Jewish education, improving the quality of this alone will not improve an overall Jewish education system. The alignment of lay leadership, professional leadership, curriculum, assessment, family involvement and yes, professional development is essential, and improvements in each of these areas need to be based on the mission and vision of the institution (or non-institution) providing the education.

    Read her entire post on eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: Aug. 28, 2012