Community Hebrew High Schools: Lessons Learned from Research and Evaluation in the Field


Source: Making Jewish Education Work - Report 1

This report contributes to the growing body of knowledge about community Hebrew high schools. The insights included in Making Jewish Education Work: Community Hebrew High Schools are based on key findings from sources originating from JESNA and its Berman Center for Research and Evaluation. In total, information from 26 community Hebrew high school programs is included in this report. By synthesizing findings about community Hebrew high school programs nationwide, this report offers insights that are grounded in the field. These lessons are offered as recommendations to policy makers, educators, educational professionals, lay leaders and parents.

The community Hebrew high school programs in this report are as different as the communities they serve. Yet, commonalities emerged as key factors that enabled these schools to successfully attract and retain students. What was learned about community Hebrew high schools falls into four broad topics. 

The first section, The Learners, includes lessons about students’ motivations to attend and recruitment efforts.

The section called, The Teachers, includes insights about effective teaching, qualifications, recruitment of faculty, and professional development.

The Subject Matter section focuses on educational goals, curriculum, and the nexus of integrating informal and formal education, assessment, and impact.

Next, The Milieu section covers lessons about school culture and reputation as well as insights about effective modes of governance.

Lessons learned from each section are summarized in the section on Conclusions and Recommendations.

Updated: May. 29, 2008