Creating the Future of Complementary Education: a Series of Convenings for Changemakers


Source: Creating the Future of Complementary Education


The world of part-time Jewish education is changing rapidly. New models are emerging, both within congregations and beyond. A growing number of communities are engaged in initiatives to foster broad-scale improvement. And, national actors are accelerating their efforts to seed innovation and support local change. What can we learn from and what will be the impact of all this activity? Will today's alternative models become tomorrow's norm? What will this mean for children and their families, for institutions and communities, innovators and funders? JESNA is holding a series of three convenings for professional and lay leaders involved with complementary education to discuss these important questions.


About The Convenings:


  • To explore and assess current efforts to dramatically strengthen and transform complementary education
  • To envision the next steps in this process
  • To build a network of activists throughout the complementary educational systems committed to change and to coordinating their efforts with one another.

Target Audience: Professional and lay leaders involved with complementary education


Convening #1: Alternative Models of Complementary Education

January 29th, 2012 - 2:00pm – 4:30pm EST

JCC Association: 520 8th Ave., 4th Floor, New York

Over the past several decades, a growing number of alternatives to the conventional religious or Hebrew school model for complementary education have been developed and implemented. This convening will examine a number of these alternative models in order to better understand:

  • Their rationales and conceptual underpinnings
  • How they seek to alter the "commonplaces" of education (learners, educators, content, method, milieu)
  • What we know about their effectiveness, and
  • The opportunities and challenges involved in "Scaling" (replicating and adapting) these models and their elements.

Please note, this convening will be webcast for those unable to attend in person.

Convening #2: Community Change Initiatives in Complementary Education
March 19th, 2013
Los Angeles

Alongside (and at times stimulating) the development of new models, recent decades have also seen a number of community-wide initiatives to strengthen and transform complementary education. This convening will examine a number of these initiatives in order to better understand:

  • Their visions for and assumptions regarding complementary education,
  • Their theories of change,
  • Their strategies and tactics,
  • The challenges they have faced and how these have been dealt with,
  • What we know about their effectiveness and impact, and
  • How lessons from these initiatives can be applied to future efforts

Convening #3: Putting the Pieces Together: Building a Network for Change

The richness of today's landscape with regard to efforts to strengthen and transform complementary education presents the field with an opportunity and a challenge to move beyond the current situation in which multiple endeavors operate in parallel, but with little structured communication. This greatly diminishes the chance for systematic learning, transfer of knowledge, coordination of efforts, and collective impact. It also impedes efforts to draw new resources into the field to support more ambitious change efforts. This convening will examine how the community of activists and interested funders engaged in complementary educational change might establish more robust frameworks for communication, shared learning, and collaborative planning. The convening will consider:

  • The goals and potential value of enhanced networking around complementary educational change
  • Models for coordinated action in other domains,
  • How these might be applied to the unique circumstances of Jewish education,
  • What resources would be needed to effect enhanced networking and how these should be deployed, and
  • Inhibiting factors and cautionary concerns that need to be recognized and addressed

See the JESNA website for additional information and registration.

Updated: Dec. 31, 2012