Source: HaYidion – Fall, 2018
This issue of HaYidion tells the story of the diligence and ingenuity that Jewish day schools employ to catalyze resources in support of their students. The term “resources” are often equated with funds, money. Of course, financial resources are essential for running anything, but they are only one part of the larger tapestry that comprises the potential and actual resources of a school. And financial resources cannot be raised, saved, summoned, spent—“catalyzed”—outside of the totality of capital, especially human and social, that makes of a school a living organism.
When the authors in this issue talk about “catalyzing” a school’s resources, they have in mind two different ways of supporting and raising their schools. The first is to bring new resources into the school, resources that exist outside of the school: financial, intellectual, educational, artistic and many other forms of resources. The second is to work with the resources that already exist in the school and to make greater use of them. A school’s resources are not infinite, but they are fungible, renewable; the more that we look for them, the more resources we find.
The first section explores ways that schools tap into resources from the circles of communities in which they are embedded. Ahlstrom and Pollin recount the stirring story of the Jewish community’s support for their schools’ resurgence in the wake of devastating hurricanes. Laufer, Starr and Weiser share their experiences in making the most of their schools’ relationships with host synagogues. Two articles describe ways that federations can catalyze resources for schools across the community: Grauer, Held and Petersen on Toronto’s collective fundraising campaign, Rogozen and Winn on Los Angeles’ extensive program in professional development. Across the ocean, dozens of schools in the United Kingdom are joining forces for reasons of economy and development, as explained by Capper and Jowett, while Litwack and Rosenberg discuss ways that US day schools can tap into government support. The next articles describe specific partnerships that have supported day school learning and growth: hospitals and homeless shelters (Kinman-Ford); senior living facility (Keces); camps (Gerstl); university (Peters and Quient).
Our spread from schools showcases lasting resources that students created for their schools. The next section is devoted to methods that day schools have found to maximize resources within the school. Marcus provides a comprehensive primer on school rentals. Christensen describes a method to increase enrollment and revenue. The next two explore innovative symbiotic relationships within the same space: an Orthodox school and a non-denominational shul (Segal); a day school and school with extra learning support (Cashman and Scheinberg). Margrett presents a new platform for sharing lessons in Jewish studies. Leibowitz suggests a way for administrators to support teachers most effectively, and Levine offers considerations for teachers who share the same classroom space.