How Schools Enact Their Jewish Missions: 20 Case Studies of Jewish Day Schools

Published: 
Mar. 06, 2015

Source: Avi Chai Foundation

 

To understand how day schools are measuring up to their potential as incubators of Jewish commitment, a team of researchers undertook to visit some 19 schools and learn first-hand how they enact their Jewish mission. The eight-member team – consisting almost entirely of former day school heads who now work in other arenas in the field of Jewish education – spent time observing schools between the spring of 2012 and the end of the 2012-13 school year. Usually in teams of two, the observers focused their attention on the ways day schools enact their self-defined Jewish mission. The Case Study team consisted of Michael Berger, Josh Elkin, Cheryl Finkel, Reuven Greenvald, Pearl Mattenson, Alex Pomson, Jack Wertheimer and Tali Zelkowicz.

 

Their work resulted in 20 case studies (one school is the subject of two case studies), all of which can be found online at the AVI CHAI website. Each case takes readers into a school to understand its particular set of circumstances. Appended to each case are questions designed to spur conversation among school leaders, teachers, board members and lay leaders of local Jewish education agencies and Federations, so that they can reflect on the implications of the case for their own circumstances. The open-ended nature of the cases is meant to stimulate discussion about possible take-aways from each case.

 

Some of the questions brought to life by the case studies include:

  • How does your school stay true to its Jewish mission and continue to satisfy all stakeholders?

  • What story does your school tell about its Jewish purpose?

  • What key values and commitments motivate your school’s leadership team?

  • How intentional is your school about learning outcomes in Jewish studies?

 

Dr. Jack Wertheimer will be hosting two upcoming webinars featuring school leaders speaking on the following topics: Monday, April 20, 1-2pm EST What story does your school tell about its Jewish purpose? Wednesday, April 29, 1-2pm EST What key values and commitments motivate your school’s leadership team?

Updated: Apr. 16, 2015
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