CAJE, the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, has announced the canceling of its annual conference because of ongoing financial difficulties and now has added that the CAJE organization will be closing its doors at the end of February. The CAJE conference has been the central professional development resource for supplementary and Hebrew school teachers across North America since the organization was founded 33 years ago. CAJE 33 held at the University of Vermont in Burlington last August, was attended by 1500 Jewish educators and administrators.
The economic situation had also forced CAJE to make significant staff reductions as well as other budgetary cuts.
The CAJE administration has begun discussions with The Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) to explore how to continue to realize the CAJE mission and fill the gap for Jewish educators across the country.
Many CAJE members and friends feeling sorrow, mourning and anger have been availing themselves of the CAJEnet social network to share their feelings and thoughts. They have created a group called "The Future of CAJE" within the network to brainstorm new ideas and approaches for continuing the mission of CAJE in the future. (In order to read these posts it is necessary to join the CAJEnet social network by registering at the site).
The Torah Aura Productions blog has responded to the cancelling of CAJE 34 by inviting Jewish educational figures to share their thoughts on the future of CAJE.