Ready to Experiment with Your Congregation’s Educational Program? Open The Toolbox!

June 7, 2016

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


In a bid to encourage and equip as many congregations as possible to innovate and transform their approach to Jewish learning, the Experiment in Congregational Education (ECE) is launching The Toolbox: Resources to Experiment in Congregational Education.  The Toolbox makes available to you and your team a vast collection of resources from 24 years of the ECE’s work in the field of education-based synagogue transformation. These resources will make easier the challenging task of changing an educational approach, applying the tools and methods of those who have gone before.

Our goal in sharing this rich collection of resources is simple: we are eager to empower as many congregations as possible to experiment and innovate in congregational education … again and again and again. Some congregations like to follow a deliberative visioning and planning process; if you are from one of those you’ll find fully developed Guidebooks with meeting plans, facilitation guides, handouts, text study guides, and more that will equip you to go through such a process with a collaborative task force of professional and lay leaders working together.

Other congregations don’t have an appetite for process; they want to find an intriguing educational design or pedagogical idea from elsewhere, adapt it, and try it out for a year with a small group of learners. If yours is one of those congregations, you’ll find sample model descriptions, vision statements, and change management tips in the “What to Change” section of website, to inspire and spark creativity to try something new. Through hands on trial and learning, these congregations will see what works, adapting it further to their needs, goals, and culture. Over time, we hope, they will modify and grow their initial experiments to become progressively more systemic. Our experience shows that both paths can lead to transformative results.

We designed The Toolbox to be as accessible and relevant for as many congregations as possible, regardless of your knowledge about this process and whether or not you have implemented anything like it before. Whatever the approach, if your congregation believes it’s time to try a new approach to educating the children and families in your community, please take full advantage of The Toolbox’s resources; use them wisely and with care.

My fervent hope is that, by making all of these tools and resources available in The Toolbox, we will catalyze a new explosion of experimentation, an influx of innovation, and a chain of change. Let us continue to share these experiences and learn together.

Read the entire post at eJewish Philanthropy

Updated: Aug. 03, 2016