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WOW! Toronto JESNA presentation 2/15/2012

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  • 1. The WOW! ProjectExciting & ImpactfulCommunity-Based Jewish Educationfor Toronto Presented February 15, 2012 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 2. The time is now! Toronto is the place! This is an exciting moment for community-based Jewish education, and an opportunity for the Toronto community to serve as a beacon for innovation in our world. 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 3. JESNA’s Starting Point A vibrant Jewish future depends on impactful, engaging and inspiring Jewish education 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 4. The World is Changing 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 5. The Environment of Jewish Education • Participation in Jewish education today is a matter of choice • There is greater diversity among families and learners • Some families are “settling” for programs they find less than optimal • Increasing numbers of families are opting for alternative programs or arrangements • Substantial numbers of children receive no Jewish education • There is a relative paucity of real alternatives 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 6. A Tale of Two Metaphors “Vaccination” vs. “Wellness”• Prophylactic • Life-enhancing• Professionally administered • Individual works with guides• Passive • Active• Disconnected • Encompassing & embedded• Limited effect • Affects the whole person• Batch approach • Individualized, but social• Not intrinsically rewarding • Intrinsically rewarding 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 7. What is ? is a transformative projectthat seeks to create a wonderfulnew world of community-basedJewish education in Toronto –rather than incrementalimprovement in individualinstitutions 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 8. is based on a vision you create andthat we at JESNA help turn into reality with our expertise andexperience in the field. TORONTO will be built on the solid base you have alreadycreated through your programs and innovations. is an important component of Toronto’s plan to addressthe six priorities proposed by the Community Capacity Building teamfor optimizing the functioning of “the affiliation highway”: – Building “On-ramps” – Creating “Connectors” – Leveraging the power of agencies – Supporting Innovation – Ensuring programmatic excellence – Developing leadershipWe will work together to create a future in which learners andtheir families are more positive & knowledgeable about Judaismand engaged with Jewish life & the Jewish community. 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 9. Design Principles for a Jewish Education Systemto ensure a vibrant Jewish future 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 10. What will it take to create powerfullife-centered Jewish education? • Expanding the venues and settings for Jewish education • Broadening the modes of Jewish learning • Expanding the scope of Jewish education along with strengthening the connections among & pathways through its multiple settings and modes • Recruiting and retaining the “right” people • Respecting & supporting educators’ professionalism • Fostering opportunities for collaboration among educators • Creating a culture of innovation • Incorporating best practices from the broader fields of education and Jewish education in particular 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 11. What will it take to create the Jewish educationeco-system for a vibrant Jewish future? 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 12. The Ecology of Education: Lawrence CreminSchool-Centered Approach to Education Community Approach to Education 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 13. What sort of Jewish education eco-system willproduce powerful life-centered Jewish education? • Meets learners & families’ real needs -- educational, spiritual & practical • Contains experiential & enjoyable experiences -- blending formal & informal • Builds connections and community, often across generations, organizations & institutions • Is guided by professionals and shaped by the interests of the learners • Takes place in a variety of venues – schools & congregations, public libraries, retreat centers, museums, farms/gardens, community institutions, homes • Takes full advantage of the power & potential of technology • Comprises a continuous educational system in which professionals anticipate what the educational needs of learners & families will be in the next stage of their lives, and provide the knowledge & connections they need to fulfill them seamlessly. 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 14. 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 15. What might Toronto’s eco-system look like? • Education programs specially designed to effectively engage hard to reach populations such as children of inter-married families and geographically dispersed families • A cluster of “magnet schools” created by a group of congregations to allow members to select from options that emphasize Hebrew literacy, music and drama, social action, Israel, or family learning • Retreats and other special programs held during school vacation periods to provide concentrated experiential learning for students from a wide range of settings, including those outside traditional venues • Four-day-a-week after-school program developed by the congregations, JCC and day schools that combines recreational, Jewish, and general learning activities • An array of Jewish family education programs that integrate environmental education, social justice, the arts, technology and other modes of learning • A constellation of formal and informal educational experiences for post B’nai Mitzvah for Jewish learning and living and community-building • A “concierge” system to help families and learners identify appropriate learning opportunities and paths 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 16. Road Map to get to Goal: Enabling the Toronto Jewish community to double the enrollment of children ages 4 -17 in exciting, satisfying and impactful community-based Jewish educational experiences by enhancing what exists and expanding the range of program options to meet the needs of 21st century Jewish learners 1. Discover 2. Dream 3. Design 4. Destiny 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 17. Toronto : Project Stages1. Agreement to proceed 2. Community Organization (February 2012)  Conversations with local educational leadership to: • Introduce WOW • Develop common language about innovation and change • Assemble the “Coalition of the Willing”3. Discovery: Information Gathering (February – March 2012)  Community assets  Key stakeholders interviews/surveys  Best practices and innovations in the field4. Dream: Visioning and Planning Summit (April-May 2012)  Summit: May 14-15,2012  Share data and affirm learnings  Begin to dream as a community5. Design and Destiny: Implementation, Engagement & Continuity Planning (Beginning June – December, 2012)  Action step implementation  Communications/engagement  Continuity planning 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 18. Community OrganizationCreating infrastructure for the process: Relationship building » Trust » Investment » Getting to know JESNA Developing & launching communications plan » Steering Committee » Organizational leaders » Community at-large 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 19. DiscoveryAppreciating what is – gathering empirical information to create a clearshared vision of community assets and opportunities: Gathering and reviewing written materials Focus group interviews • Students - current, alumni, “drop outs,” never enrolled, and “in the pipeline” • Parents of those same cohorts of students • Professionals – educators, education directors, rabbis • Lay Leaders Possible implementation of web survey Additional research about existing and promising programs and models 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 20. Dream• Community Summit – May 14-15, 2012 – Review of learnings from Discovery – Discuss recommendations that flow from the learnings related to future Jewish engagement and education opportunities in Toronto – Begin developing consensus around the structure and content of Jewish engagement and education opportunities 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 21. The Coalition of the Willing:Criteria & Expectations• Target population: Jewish children ages 4-17 in GTA• Preparedness to participate in an innovation & change process at this time• Designated Team Leader• Meeting attendance & virtual interaction• Provision of data• Recruitment of participants for Discovery & Dream phases• Participation in change/innovation projects to double engagement and increase participant satisfaction (target)• Dissemination of learnings & experience• Shared values of UJA Federation mission• Acceptance of UJA Federation as primary community fundraising initiative• Acknowledgement of participation in written materials• Identification with the State of Israel and tolerance for diversity• Compliance with relevant public regulations 070511SMR © JESNA 2011
  • 22. FAQs About • How long does the process take? • What is required from the community? • What are some of the challenges we can anticipate? • What are the outcomes to date in communities that are farther along? • What’s in it for me? • What are the next steps? • Your questions… 070511SMR © JESNA 2011