The Need for Rest-and-Digest Philanthropy: Strengthen Jewish Education by Tending to Jewish Educators

January 22, 2015

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


Philanthropists committed to the vibrant future of the Jewish people have a responsibility to ensure that our education leadership can rest-and-digest in order to face the inevitably long stretches of fight-or-flight that accompany responsibility for the physical, spiritual, emotional, and social well being of their learners. Lay leaders encourage rest-and-digest when they ensure their professionals take personal time off to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

  1. Claim opportunities for personal Jewish experiences

    Jewish education is an emotional endeavor, and professionals are at their best when they can draw on their own encounters with Judaism. Those that champion Jewish educators have a responsibility to ensure that they experience prayer, text, Israel, Shabbat and other holidays, and a wide array of Jewish cultural expressions.

    There are great benefits to enabling Jewish educators with explicit opportunities for Jewish living and learning:

    They are likely to maintain their own passion to promote Jewish living and learning    for others

    These experiences trigger concrete ideas for their work with learners

    Educators serve as role models for their learners in the instances where the learner sees  the educator immersed in their own Jewish journey

  2. Secure time and space to pursue new ideas with colleagues and mentors

    As stated earlier, most Jewish educators can identify areas in need of improvement, and many even have innovative solutions. Few can find the time and support needed at their workplaces to design, implement, and assess these ideas. The need for sacred spaces and relationships to enable this process is critical.

    Our field needs more visionary philanthropists who will partner with national providers to ensure they remain accessible to local communities and professionals. On a local level, philanthropists and lay leaders can partner with their professionals to identify the interventions that will most behoove the professionals and carve out pockets of time for rest-and-digest within the constantly busy rhythm of the year. “If not now – when?”

    Read the entire post at eJewish Philanthropy

Updated: Jan. 28, 2015