Source: The Jewish Week
The Schechter Day School Network, recently announced that it has secured $1.7 million from the Avi Chai Foundation and “a substantial challenge grant” from an anonymous foundation. Currently a department within the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Schechter is in the process of becoming an independent nonprofit.
Elaine Cohen, the network’s executive director and its lone professional, will retire in 2014, to be replaced by Jon Mitzmacher, currently head of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, Fla. Mitzmacher, who is 41, is best known for spearheading EdJewCon, a series of day school conferences to share best practices in educational technology.
Going forward, the Schechter network plans to expand its staff, offering regional consultants, networking opportunities and curricular and professional development resources for its member schools.
The plan, according to Mitzmacher, is not only to strengthen existing schools, but also potentially to seed the growth of new ones.
Mitzmacher’s bold talk is striking given that Schechter schools have in recent years been battered by the recession, the waning popularity of Conservative Judaism (indeed, of all non-Orthodox denominations) and increased competition not just from pluralistic Jewish schools, but also from tuition-free alternatives like Hebrew charter schools.
Read the entire story in the Jewish Week.