Sharing Early Insights: Lessons Learned from the Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Funder Collaborative

Published: 
June 13, 2017

Source: eJewish Philanthropy 

 

Concurrent to the community-based education and engagement initiatives, the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative embarked on a process of enhanced research into teen Jewish engagement, learning and education. Outcomes for experiential and immersive Jewish education, as well as other research, informs our view of programming toward the whole teen. With a commitment to openness and transparency, the Funder Collaborative shares its hard-won lessons with others to increase knowledge and tools which may advance the entire field of Jewish teen education and engagement.

Today marks the launch of a new website designed to become a vital resource for anyone seeking to benefit from these lessons, models and research. Here we will share highlights of the work in each of our communities, as well as the deep research and rigorous evaluation that helps shape our efforts. We will also house detailed model documentation on specific initiatives exploring the structures, partnerships, risks, and more that have led to successes and “fail forward” moments for learning.

While we are excited to share these resources, we also recognize we don’t hold all the answers to the challenging and complex issues surrounding meaningful Jewish teen engagement. Yet together – as we learn from and build on the knowledge of those who been active in this space before us – we are charting a positive course forward, helping to amplify and expand upon the important work of others.

 

We hope, too, to make some new discoveries which contribute to the field. Already we are poised to share the early results of interventions and other evidence-based understandings of:

  • The urgent need to address the whole teen, recognizing that teens often do not delineate between one’s Jewish and “secular” identity;
  • The paradigm of relationship-based engagement that places the teen at the center where we contribute and respond to them, not vice versa;
  • The critical role of developing the talented professionals and adult volunteers who engage teens and who advocate for supporting teens’ increased involvement in Jewish life and learning;
  • Local communities’ role in weaving and publicizing a tapestry of meaningful opportunities for teens;
  • And the desire of teens to feel empowered to create experiences for themselves for their peers, and to grow through leadership and skill development.

Now, around the country teens are benefiting from new and diverse models of meaningful learning and engagement that address the ‘whole teen’; communities employ better prepared and more well-trained and connected youth professionals; and there is a rising sense that teens themselves hold a special place on our communal agenda.

We invite you to be a part of this growth; to explore what we share; and to question, learn and experiment with us. Please be in touch with your thoughts and feedback, and visit The Teen Funder Collaborative website to sign up for our quarterly newsletter.

Read the entire post at eJewish Philanthropy

Updated: Jun. 19, 2017
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