Adaptive Change and the Complementary Jewish Education Ecosystem

June 28, 2013

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


Leora W. Isaacs shares her reflections on a series of face-to-face and online conversations convened by JESNA to examine and improve complementary education in North America. She proposes that we build an ecosystem of Jewish complementary education and a network of change activists to energetically work for transformation and change of complementary education.


She writes:

"Coming back from the recent convening in Montreal on the future of complementary education, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it would take to amplify the work that is underway and REALLY transform the field. The Montreal meeting was the third in a series of face-to-face and online conversations convened by JESNA (joined by The Jewish Education Project and our co-sponsors ADCA, the JEA, NATE, RENA, NewCAJE, Federation CJA of Montreal, BJE of Los Angeles and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles). The convenings were a forum for change-makers throughout North America to shine a light on and understand the key elements of current efforts to dramatically strengthen and transform complementary education, to envision the next steps in this process, and to begin to build a network of activists throughout the complementary education system committed to change and to leveraging their individual and joint efforts.


The first convening in New York last January distilled what makes the models ‘innovative’ and identified their key distinguishing features. The March convening in Los Angeles widened the lens to focus on community change initiatives and explored how to move beyond individual models to systemic redesign. The most recent convening in Montreal expanded the discussion further still to posit what it would take to build a continent-wide network for transforming complementary education…."


She concludes her analysis:

"The next steps are clear. We who see ourselves as change-makers in creating the future of complementary education need to build the ecosystem and the network of change activists that crosses the boundaries of role, position, denomination, institutional affiliation etc. and drive change forward collaboratively. Each of us must assume active roles within the ecosystem and consciously seek ways to create, strengthen and interweave the networks that will coalesce as a powerful force for transformation and change."


Read the entire article on eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: Jul. 17, 2013