Congregational Benchmarking Report

  • 658 views
Uploaded on

 

More in: Spiritual , Business
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
658
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
14
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNINGA Benchmarking Report of Innovative Capability in New York Congregations A PROJECT OF THE COLLABORATION TO SUSTAIN INNOVATION: SPONSORED BY
  • 2. The Collaboration to Sustain Innovation brings together the complementarycapabilities, insights, and experiences of The Jewish Education Project(formerly BJENY-SAJES), the Experiment in Congregational Education(an initiative of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, Hebrew Union College/Los Angeles) and the Leadership Institute (a joint program of HUC and theJewish Theological Seminary).The three organizations first formally came together in 2008 to embark on anew joint strategy to sustain innovative Jewish education for the 21st centuryaimed at creating Jewish learning that makes a demonstrable difference inthe lives of children and families. The joint strategy encompasses a coordinatedseries of programmatic initiatives designed to build congregational capabilitiesfor innovation (the focus of this report); disseminate, resource, and fosteradaptation of high impact models of Jewish education; weave rich communalnetworks; and assess learner impact.
  • 3. Table of ContentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2INTRODUCTION 6 PURPOSE 7 BACKGROUND 7 DEFINITIONS: CAPABILITIES TO SUPPORT INNOVATION 9 SCORES 9USING THE REPORT ON “SURVEY OF EDUCATION IN NEW YORK CONGREGATIONS” 10 AUDIENCES 10 STRUCTURE 10 WHAT TO DO WITH THIS REPORT 10 SOME APPROACHES TO WORKING WITH THE REPORT 1 1 TERMINOLOGY 1 1CAPABILITIES TO SUPPORT INNOVATION VISION FOR EDUCATION 12 COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP 16 CULTURE OF EXPERIMENTATION 20 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & CRITICAL COLLEAGUESHIP 24 RESOURCES COMMITTED TO EDUCATION 30SOME FINAL WORDS OF THANKS 33
  • 4. Executive Summary
  • 5. The world around us is changing at high speed. The economy, technology,the nature of families and children, and learning itself are significantlydifferent than they were just a decade ago. Rapid change presents demandsand opportunities for educational leaders seeking to create Jewish learningthat is accessible, relevant and meaningful for today’s learners. Data abouthow well congregations design and implement innovation can be especiallybeneficial to an educational team ready to meet today’s challenges.This report is designed to help your congre- Education Project (formerly BJENY-SAJES),gation use data to advance innovative Jewish the Experiment in Congregational Education,education that makes a positive difference in the and the Leadership Institute of Hebrew Unionlives of learners. Small changes in program or College & The Jewish Theological Seminarycurriculum have not proven powerful enough (the Collaboration to Sustain Innovation) asto address the needs of today’s learners. Rather, part of their work funded by the Jewish Com-current thinking indicates that new models munal Education Task Force of UJA-Federationof Jewish learning that, in some combination, of New York. Susan Bloom of Bloom Associatesengage the family, attend to the individual, and Jim Meier of Arete Corporation designedprovide lived experience, build relationships and and implemented the survey and analyzed thecommunity and redesign the role of the teacher results. The Jewish Education Project identifiedare required. The data in this report enable your for inclusion in the study 122 Jewish congrega-team to reflect on the capabilities that are neces- tions in New York City, Westchester and Longsary to launch Jewish learning models that can Island that have part-time educational programs.engage and nurture 21st century learners. Directors of education in 94 congregationsThe research in organizational change coupled in the New York area completed the survey,with over a decade of work with congregations yielding a completion rate of 77%.in the greater New York area demonstrates The survey measured the congregations’ open-that, in order for congregations to make signifi- ness to educational innovation and capacitycant change in their models of Jewish educa- to initiate powerful and innovative learningtion, particular capabilities are required. They experiences that have positive impact on theinclude: Vision for Jewish Education, Collabora- Jewish identity of their learners. The findingstive Leadership, a Culture of Experimentation, serve as a quantifiable benchmark of currentProfessional Development, and Committing status. Using responses to questions in theResources to Learning. This report explains survey, congregations were assigned scores forthese capabilities and details where New York four of the five capabilities. Average scores werecongregations stand in relation to each one. calculated for congregations overall and forThe data in this report stem from a survey subgroups of congregations by size—small/conducted in the spring of 2010, commissioned medium/large – and by engagement withby a partnership comprised of The Jewish innovation. CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 3
  • 6. Key findings from the survey include PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CRITICAL COLLEAGUESHIP the following, grouped by congrega- tional capabilities for innovation. • Almost three-quarters of the congregations build time for professional development into VISION the teachers’ contracts. • Most congregations have a written vision • A higher percentage of innovating congrega- statement; most of these were developed in the tions require professional development. past 3-4 years. • Teachers at innovating congregations work • Most respondents report using a collaborative more collaboratively. process to develop their vision. • Large congregations and innovating congrega- COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP tions collaborate to a greater extent with other • Educators at innovating congregations are Jewish organizations. much more likely to collaborate with their COMMITTED RESOURCES rabbis and lay leaders. • More than half of the congregations report CULTURE OF EXPERIMENTATION space constraints on their ability to offer • The majority of respondents report that their educational programs. Innovating congrega- congregations have an atmosphere where inno- tions are more likely to find space to be vation is encouraged and believe there is much a constraint. to learn from both failure and success. • Congregations appear to have similar per- • Large congregations and innovating congrega- student expenditures at all sizes and levels of tions are more open to change and somewhat engagement with innovation. more likely to evaluate their educational On average, larger congregations demonstrated initiatives. greater strength on each of these capabilities than medium congregations, and medium con- gregations than small ones. Innovating congre- gations—congregations engaged in the work of implementing new models of Jewish learn- ing—also scored higher on average than other congregations. Many of the innovating congregations are large congregations, but the group of innovating congregations includes many small and medium congregations, as well. Although a number of them are large, it is significant to note that size does not determine the ability of a congregation to innovate.4 CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT
  • 7. Although many of the innovating congregations CONGREGATIONAL DIFFERENCESare large, a significant number are small and Compared to other congregationsmedium congregations, as well. It is significant innovating congregations, regardless of size...to note that size does not determine the ability • involve a wider group of stakeholders to developof a congregation to innovate. their vision statements and are more likely to use their visionsWHAT DISTINGUISHES THE WAY • have educators more likely to collaborate withINNOVATING CONGREGATIONS WORK their rabbis and lay leadersFROM OTHERS? • focus on how to identify and measure learningInnovating congregations involve a wider group outcomes at a much higher rateof stakeholders to develop their vision state- • require professional development among teachersments and are more likely to use their visions. at a higher rate • spend more professional learning time on involvingTheir educators are much more likely to col- parents in support of their children’s educationlaborate with their rabbis and lay leaders as • have teachers who work more collaboratively oncompared to others. Innovating congregations planning student learningfocus on how to identify and measure learn- • are more likely to have family educators and teacher leadersing outcomes at a much higher rate than othercongregations. A higher percentage of innovatingcongregations require professional developmentamong teachers. Almost half (as compared toless than a third of others) spend professionaldevelopment time on involving parents in sup-port of their children’s education. Their teacherswork more collaboratively on planning studentlearning. Family educators and teacher leadersare most common at innovating congregations.The Collaboration to Sustain Innovationencourages you to use this report to understandthe congregational capabilities that contribute toinnovation, to learn about your own congrega-tion and those in the New York area, to identifyareas of strength and for growth in your congre-gation, and to plan for the future. Ultimately, wehope this report provides information you willfind useful in your endeavors to provide Jewisheducation that makes a positive impact on thelives of Jews in the 21st century. CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 5
  • 8. Introduction
  • 9. PURPOSE BACKGROUNDThis report is designed to help your congre- In the spring of 2010, directors of educationgation use data to advance innovative Jewish in congregations in the Greater New York areaeducation that makes a positive difference in the completed a survey commissioned by the Col-lives of learners in the 21st century. Learning laboration to Sustain Innovation – a partnershipthat makes a positive difference in learners’ lives comprised of The Jewish Education Projectrequires new models of learning. Through or- (formerly BJENY-SAJES), the Experiment inganizational and educational change literatures Congregational Education, and the Leadershipand the work of The RE-IMAGINE Project, we Institute of Hebrew Union College & The Jew-have learned that launching new learning models ish Theological Seminary (the Collaborationrequires particular capabilities on the part of to Sustain Innovation) – as part of their workcongregations: Vision for Jewish education, funded by the Jewish Communal EducationCollaborative Leadership, a Culture of Experi- Task Force of UJA-Federation of New York.mentation, Professional Development, Commu- The survey measured the congregations’ open-nicating Success, and Committing Resources to ness to educational innovation and capacity toLearning. This report will help you understand initiate powerful and innovative learning experi-each of these capabilities more deeply and will ences that have positive impact on the Jewishprovide you with information about where New identity of their learners. The findings serveYork congregations stand in relationship to as a quantifiable benchmark of current status.those capabilities. Using the information and This report presents overall results of the survey.discussion questions included in the report, the We present it to congregations as an opportuni-professional and lay leaders of your congrega- ty to learn about the status of Jewish educationaltion will be able to consider how to develop or innovation in New York, and to consider futuredeepen your capabilities and extend your capac- directions in their synagogues.ity to plan Jewish education that has a powerfulimpact on your learners.Our hope is that this report will stimulateconversation and action among professional andlay leadership in the months ahead and will leadto furthering quality educational experiences. Asmembers of the New York Jewish community,we invite you to join this powerful conversation! CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 7
  • 10. CONGREGATIONAL CAPABILITIES INNOVATING CONGREGATIONS VS OTHER CONGREGATIONS Vision Collaborative Leadership: With Rabbi Collaborative Leadership: With Lay Leaders Collaborative Leadership With Both Rabbis and Lay Professional Development: Resources Professional Development: Content Critical Colleagueship Culture of Experimentation 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Innovating Congregations Other Congregations The Jewish Education Project identified for Engagement in Innovation — The survey inclusion in the study 122 Jewish congregations includes a small group of 20 congregations that in New York City, Westchester and Long Island have a track record of innovation in Jewish edu- that have part-time educational programs. The cation. These are congregations that have been survey completion rate was 77%. The ninety- engaged in Jewish educational innovation over four participating congregations have the follow- a period of years, have successfully piloted and ing characteristics: implemented new educational models, are creat- Denominations — Reform congregations ing professional learning communities among comprise 53% of the participants, Conservative their faculty in support of those new models, are synagogues- 32%, Reconstructionist- 5%, and measuring the impact of the learning on learn- unaffiliated or nondenominational- 9%. ers, and are documenting and sharing those in- novations with others. The report provides data Size of Congregation — Participating that allows comparison between these so-called congregations vary in size from 110 to 2000 “innovating congregations” and “other” congre- member units. They are grouped into three cat- gations whose efforts fall at many points along egories for analysis: Small (under 400 member the path toward innovation. units)- 53 congregations (or 56% of the total), Medium (400-750 member units)- 26 (28%), Many of the innovating congregations are large and Large (over 750 member units)- 15 (16%). congregations, but the group of innovating Many of the responses vary according to the size congregations includes many small and medium of the congregation. congregations, as well. Although a number of them are large, it is significant to note that size Geographic Regions — Survey participants does not determine the ability of a congregation include 24 congregations in New York City, to innovate. 46 in Long Island, and 24 in Westchester.8 CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT
  • 11. DEFINITIONS: CAPABILITIES TO SCORESSUPPORT INNOVATION Using responses to questions in the survey, con-The survey sought to measure five capabilities gregations were assigned scores for four of thethat the Collaboration to Sustain Innovation five capabilities. Average scores were calculatedidentified based on experience in The for congregations overall and for subgroups ofRE-IMAGINE Project and research in the congregations by size—small/medium/large—literature on organizational and educational and by engagement with innovation.change. This experience and research identified Each capability is scored on a 4-point scale.those institutional capabilities that are needed to Scores were assigned by giving equal weightachieve educational innovation and transformation. to each of the component survey questionsHere are the five capabilities: regarding that capability. For example, Vision• Vision for Jewish Education – Commitment contained four components each of which was to a shared congregational vision of learning accorded one point. Culture of Experimentation and learner outcomes. contained eight components each of which was• Collaborative Leadership – Collaborative accorded one-half point. Whatever the number working relations among clergy, lay leadership of component questions, scores were arithmeti- and educational director. cally converted to a four-point scale. As you read the report, keep in mind that there is not always• Culture of Experimentation – A culture a one-to-one correspondence between the total that supports and guides innovation through possible score and the number of component ongoing experimentation and continual im- survey questions that contributed to the score. provement, involving a three-step educational design and delivery process of access to new Please keep the following cautionary note in ideas, adaptation and assessment. mind while examining the scores. The survey results are based on the responses of a single• Professional Development & Critical individual in each congregation—the senior Colleagueship – Learning together with educational professional at the time the survey colleagues, in and from their practice, that was conducted. It is possible that other people addresses teaching and learning of Jewish in the congregational community would have content. had different perspectives and responses to the• Committed Resources – Prioritizing the survey questions. resources (financial, physical and human) of the congregation to support the work of innovation. CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 9
  • 12. Using the Report on “Survey of We recommend that synagogue staff and lay Education in New York Congregations” leaders use the results of the report, the ques- tions, the vignettes, and the resources to struc- AUDIENCES ture conversations. The Jewish Education Project This report, or sections of it, can be used in staff and LOMED consultants are available conversation with your: to help you facilitate discussions and planning • Education Committee based on the report—please get in touch with • Task Force on Education them. Alternatively, you may choose to have your • Executive Committee of the Board own staff and/or lay leaders plan and facilitate • Board such discussion and planning. • Faculty WHAT TO DO WITH THIS REPORT • Education Cabinet (lay and/or professional) • Staff Leadership Team • Understand the five congregational capabili- ties that contribute to educational innovation STRUCTURE and transformation; The report is divided into sections according to the five capabilities for innovation. Each section • Analyze the findings of the report in each of includes: the categories: What is happening in New York area congregations regarding educational • A definition of the capability; innovation and transformation?; • Results from the survey • Compare and contrast your congregation with What is a benchmarking report? about that capability across averages for particular capabilities for congre- This report is a benchmarking all participating congrega- gations of similar size; report. A benchmarking report tions; provides information to help • Consider the stories of success in the vignettes congregations determine where • A report of average scores for and what you can learn from them for your they stand vs. similarly situated sub-groups within the survey congregations. It is designed to own work; population with charts that help congregations set goals for their own growth and development. display the information in • Identify your congregation’s areas of strength; visual form; • Identify areas for potential growth for your • A vignette about a congregation that has dem- congregation; onstrated success with that capability; • Prioritize areas to strengthen in your • A set of discussion questions; and congregation; and • A list of resources to extend your learning. • Determine a plan for strengthening those areas. As a benchmarking report, one of the report’s purposes is to allow for comparisons. We urge you to compare your congregation to others of similar size, rather than to congregations of other sizes.10 CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT
  • 13. We imagine that congregations will dream Data-Inspired Leadership: Using data, alongof other ways to use this report beyond these with consideration of values, context and politi-suggestions. Please let us know what you come cal issues, to deliberate, plan, and take action.up with! Score: A number assigned to measure a par-SOME APPROACHES TO WORKING ticular capability, calculated by tallying pointsWITH THE REPORT assigned to each component of the capability.Zoom Lens: Select a capability of particular in- Mean: The average of a set of scores (total scoresterest (a weakness, a strength, something that in- divided by the number of scores).trigues people). Have the group read the vignetteand respond to it. Consider the findings andcompare your congregation to the congregationalaverage and to the average for congregations ofsimilar size. Use the discussion questions toexamine your own practice.Wide-Angle Lens: Have the group examine theintroduction and the definitions of the capa-bilities. Ask the group for their opinions onthe congregation’s strengths and weaknesses/areas for potential growth on each of thesecapabilities. Then select an area to target, anduse a “zoom lens” approach (see above) for thatcapability.TERMINOLOGYHere are definitions/explanations of terms usedin the report that may be useful:Data: Data is the Latin plural for datum, whichmeans a given. Data (the plural) are pieces ofinformation, generally gathered in a systematicway. We are more accustomed to numeric data,but some data are qualitative, which means thatthey can be communicated in words.Benchmarking Report: A benchmarking reportprovides performance information to help orga-nizations determine where they stand in com-parison similarly situated organizations. Suchreports are designed to help organizations setgoals for their own growth and development. CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 11
  • 14. Vision for Education
  • 15. DEFINITION SCORECongregations need to have a clear and com- The summary score is based onpelling vision of the desired future for Jewish the presence of a vision state- CALCULATING SCORESlearning in their congregation, including the ment in a congregation, whether Score for Vision (0-4) is calculated by giving equal weight for each ofpurpose(s) of Jewish learning, the nature of the the vision was developed collab- the following elements:learning experiences they wish to foster, who oratively by professionals and lay 1. Does your congregation have athe learners and teachers will be, and the desired people and the extent to which written statement of its vision or mission for education?outcomes of the learning for the learners and the vision is used in making de- 2. Was the vision submitted tothe congregational community. Without such cisions in the congregation. On the researchers?a vision, efforts may lack direction, energy, and average, congregations scored 2.3 3. What was the extent ofimagination. The process of establishing a com- out of a possible 4 points. In- collaboration on developing the vision?mon vision also helps create capacity to bring novating congregations scored an 4. To what extent is the visionabout educational change. average of 3.5 out of 4 possible used to make decisions?RESULTS points, compared to 2.0Most of the congregations that responded to the for other congregations.survey (82%) say they have a written educationalvision, and most report that it was developed in VIGNETTEthe last three to four years. Innovating congrega- While participating in The RE-IMAGINEtions reported involving a wider group of stake- Project, Temple Beth Sholom of Roslyn (TBS)holders in developing their vision statements. brought a team together to develop an educa-They were more likely than other congregations tional vision for the congregation. Thirty-sixto include rabbis, cantors, lay leaders, teachers, people from across the congregation, represent-and students in the process. ing all ages and stages, interests, professional andCongregations reported most widely the follow- lay leadership, participated in the visioning pro-ing uses for their vision statements: cess, dedicating TBS to the pursuit of lifelong• To choose new curriculum; Jewish learning. Writing the vision like a page of Talmud, the team included community, mitzvot,• To monitor or evaluate educational programs; family involvement, learning opportunities, and• To create new models or structures for Shabbat as pillars of their vision. education. The vision acted like a compass for the congre-Although the majority of congregations also gation’s work and they used it regularly to guidereported using their visions to make hiring and their work. TBS proudly posted the vision on itsbudgetary decisions, these uses were much less website for all of its members and the world tocommon than the practices listed above. This see. They returned to the vision to explore howis a surprising finding given that budgets are a they might restructure their congregational andconcrete expression of an educational vision. educational systems to make the vision a reality. Following the visioning process, TBS created a new position – Director of Lifelong Learn- ing – to help them fulfill their vision. The director oversees all education at TBS, ensuring CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 13
  • 16. Large Congregations 3.3 All Congregations 2.3 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores VISION VISION BY CONGREGATIONAL SIZE INNOVATING CONGREGATIONS VS OTHER CONGREGATIONS Small Congregations 1.9 Innovating Congregations 3.5 Medium Congregations 2.6 Other Congregations 2.0 Large Congregations 3.3 All Congregations 2.3 All Congregations 2.3 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores that learners at all stages of life have learning QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION Innovating Congregations opportunities available to them. Additionally, 3.5 Has your congregation articulated a vision for the congregation created a new model of Jewish Jewish education? Other Congregations education called the Moreh Derech Beth Sholom 2.0 IF YES: Project. In this project, families are linked to 1. When was your vision written? Who was 2.3 RESULTS All Congregations Jewish life coaches – trained involved in writing the vision statement? • Most congregations0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 the congregation – to have a members of 3.0 3.5 4.0 2. Does the vision reflect your congregation’s written vision statement; mostAverage help them navigate their Jewish Congregational Scores were developed in the past collective imagination about a future for Jew- journeys. 3-4 years ish education that is better than the present? • Most respondents report Temple Beth Sholom is a large Conservative synagogue on Is it expressed in a way that is easily under- using a collaborative process Long Island. Learn more about stood and inspires enthusiasm and commit- to develop their vision them at www.bethsholom.org. ment? Does it clarify direction and engender hope? In what ways might your vision be revisited? Who should be involved? 3. For what purposes do professionals and lay leaders in your congregation use the vision? For what other purposes could/should they use the vision? IF NO: 1. Who in your congregation makes decisions about education? Who else should be in- volved in making educational decisions? 2. What do you want education in your con- gregation to look like? Who will the learners be? Where and when will learning take place? What will be the nature of the learning expe- rience? What impact will it have on learners? 3. What are first steps you can take to begin a visioning process for education in your congregation?14 CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT
  • 17. ADDITIONAL RESOURCESNanus, Burt, Visionary Leadership(San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995).Fox, Seymour, Israel Sheffler, and Daniel Marom, Visionsof Jewish Education (Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress, 2003).Kotter, John P. and Dan S. Cohen, “Step 3: Get the VisionRight” in The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of HowPeople Change their Organizations (Boston: HarvardBusiness School Press, 2002).Aron, Isa, Steven M. Cohen, Lawrence Hoffman and AriY. Kelman, “The Visionary Congregation: Images of WhoWe Are and Who We Want to Be” in Sacred Strategies:Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary(Herndon: The Alban Institute, 2010).http://ccarnet.org/_kd/Items/actions.cfm?action=Show&item_id=1919&destination=ShowItemSynagogue 3000: http://www.synagogue3000.org CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 15
  • 18. Collaborative Leadership
  • 19. DEFINITION In about half the congregations, they reportCollaborative leadership refers to collabora- collaboration on preparing budgets, learningtive working relationships among professionals together about pedagogy, studying texts, and(education director and clergy) and between using evidence to monitor what students learn.professionals and lay leaders. It can help foster A majority of educators meet with lay lead-an institutional environment that is beneficial to ers to discuss or decide about each of the eightinnovation by encouraging cross-fertilization of topics listed. Similarly, 80% or more of themideas and by building engagement, buy-in and meet with groups of members (committees, taskcommitment to change. Decision-makers who forces, boards) to think together about newlead collaboratively align their goals and direc- directions for education, discuss administrativetion so that key players unite in working to real- issues, and review or revise educational policy.ize the vision. Both congregants and staff take a What’s more, educators and lay people are muchmore systemic view and eliminate silo thinking more likely to collaborate on budget than arewhich tends to inhibit or limit the scope of educators and clergy.innovation to one isolated area. A collaborative SCORES CALCULATING SCORESculture is not an end in itself, but rather a valu- Within the Collaborative Lead- Scores for the three types of Collaborative Leadership (withable means that enables innovation. ership capability we report three Rabbi, with Lay Leaders and with BOTH Rabbi and Lay Leaders) (0-4)In congregations with high capacity for collabor- summary scores that reflect the are each calculated by giving equalative leadership, the director of education meets number of actions and decisions weight to the following activities:with the rabbi and/or lay leaders for purposes made collaboratively: one for 1. Think together about new directions for educationsuch as: collaboration between educators 2. Address individual student• Thinking together about new directions for and rabbis, one for collabora- issues education; tion between educators and lay 3. Discuss administrative issues leaders, and one for collaboration regarding education• Discussing administrative issues regarding 4. Review or revise educational with both rabbis and lay leaders. education; policies On average, congregations scored 5. Prepare or review budgets• Reviewing or revising educational policies; 2.8 on collaboration with their 6. Learn together about pedagogy• Preparing or reviewing budgets; rabbi and 2.9 with lay leaders. 7. Study texts Congregations average somewhat 8. Use evidence to monitor• Addressing individual student issues; lower (2.4) for collaboration with what students learn• Using evidence to monitor what students both the rabbi and lay leaders. learn; Educators at innovating congregations are more• Learning together about pedagogy; and likely to collaborate with their rabbi and lay• Studying texts. leaders. The results show a greater pattern of collaboration at innovating congregations on allRESULTS 8 measures (see below), especially in terms ofIn more than 80% of the participating congre- joint text study with the rabbi and with groupsgations the director of education and the clergy of lay leaders.meet together to discuss new directions for edu-cation, to address administrative and individualstudent issues, and to review educational policy. CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 17
  • 20. Large Congregations 3.4 All Congregations 2.8 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores EDUCATOR WITH RABBI EDUCATOR WITH RABBI BY CONGREGATIONAL SIZE INNOVATING CONGREGATIONS VS OTHER CONGREGATIONS Small Congregations 2.4 Small Congregations 2.8 Innovating Congregations 3.4 Medium Congregations 3.0 Medium Congregations 3.1 Other Congregations 2.6 Large Congregations 3.4 Large Congregations 3.2 All Congregations 2.8 All Congregations 2.8 All Congregations 2.9 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores EDUCATOR WITH LAY LEADERS EDUCATOR WITH LAY LEADERS BY CONGREGATIONAL SIZE INNOVATING CONGREGATIONS VS OTHER CONGREGATIONS Small Congregations Innovating Congregations 2.8 3.4 Small Congregations Innovating Congregations 2.2 3.3 Medium Congregations 3.1 Medium Congregations 2.6 Other Congregations 2.6 Other Congregations 2.8 Large Congregations 3.2 Large Congregations 3.0 All Congregations 2.8 All Congregations 2.9 All Congregations 2.9 All Congregations 2.4 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 1.0 1.0 1.5 1.5 2.0 2.0 2.5 2.5 3.0 3.0 3.5 3.5 4.0 4.0 0.0 0.00.50.5 1.0 1.0 1.51.5 2.0 2.0 2.5 2.5 3.0 3.0 3.5 3.5 4.0 4.0 Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores EDUCATOR WITH BOTH RABBI AND LAY LEADERS EDUCATOR WITH BOTH RABBI AND LAY LEADERS BY CONGREGATIONAL SIZE INNOVATING CONGREGATIONS VS OTHER CONGREGATIONS Small Congregations Innovating Congregations 2.2 3.3 Innovating Congregations 3.0 Medium Congregations 2.6 Other Congregations 2.8 Other Congregations 2.3 Large Congregations 3.0 All Congregations 2.9 All Congregations 2.4 All Congregations 2.4 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores Innovating Congregations 3.0 Other Congregations 2.3 All Congregations 2.4 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores18 CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT
  • 21. QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSIONVIGNETTE 1. In what ways do the educational leaders inAs a community of learners, Community your congregation (director of education,Synagogue of Rye established the Community clergy, and lay leaders) collaborate in ser-Learning Council (CLC), which is made up vice of education? How often and for whatof the rabbi, the director of education, and purposes (e.g. budgeting, planning, visioning,representatives from each of the congregation’s learning)? Who else in your congregationauxiliary groups (such as sisterhood, early child- collaborates for purposeshood committee, teen engagement committee, related to education (e.g. RESULTSand Israel committee). The leadership of the teachers or other staff)? Educators at innovatingsynagogue comes together about five times each congregations are much moreyear to learn from each other around a particular 2. What have been the results likely to collaborate withfocus, such as principles for educational design of their collaborative efforts? their rabbis and lay leadersand educational outcomes for learners. What evidence is there of “silo thinking” in your congregation?The CLC makes policy decisions to guide thecongregation’s programs so that they align to 3. In what ways might learners benefit fromtheir greater goals. While engaging leader- including other voices in your educationalship from across the congregation, the council decision-making and planning? Whatregularly visits the synagogue’s vision and makes additional educational decisions and conver-decisions about how to better achieve that vision. sations would benefit from a more collabora-By gathering together during the year to learn tive approach in your congregation?from each other and explore the different arms ADDITIONAL RESOURCESof the synagogue, the CLC acts as a breathing Duck, Jeanie Daniel, “Managing Change: The Art of Balancing” in Harvard Business Review (November 1993).organism in the congregation, inhaling resources Gottlieb, Marvin R, Managing Group Process (Westport,and knowledge from across the synagogue and CT: Greenwood Publishing, 2003).exhaling the learning back into each of the Kotter, John P. and Dan S. Cohen, “Building the Guidinggroups. By working collaboratively, Community Team” in The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations (Boston:Synagogue works regularly to set and meet goals Harvard Business School Press, 2002).for learners and achieve its educational vision. Lencioni, Patrick, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2002).Community Synagogue of Rye is a medium-sizedReform congregation in Westchester. Learn more Facilitative Leadership: The Imperative for Change:about them at www.comsynrye.org. http://www.sedl.org/change/facilitate CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 19
  • 22. Culture of Experimentation
  • 23. DEFINITION Over a quarter (26%) say their congregationA culture of experimentation enables congrega- is ‘reluctant to make big changes’ and nearly ations to be open to developing new paradigms third (31%) let popular opinion guide them inand ‘transforming’ the system. This kind of deciding what changes to implement. Aboutchange is not simple and doesn’t happen all at three-quarters report that their lay or profes-once—hence the need for a culture of ongoing sional leaders reflect on whether current prac-experimentation. Such an organizational culture tices are achieving their purpose, but fewer thanenables congregations to try a series of changes 60% formally evaluate how well the changesin order to develop and refine new ways to real- they make are working. Large congregationsize their visions for education. Congregations and innovating congregations are more open towith a culture of experimentation display many change and somewhat more likely to evaluateof the following characteristics—they: their educational initiatives.• Maintain an atmosphere in which innovation SCORES CALCULATING SCORES is encouraged; The summary score for this Score for Culture of Experimentation (0-4) is calculated by assigning• Believe that there is much to learn from both capability allots equal weight to equal weight to each of the each of the bulleted characteris- following elements: failure and success; tics. On average, congregations 1. Lay or professional leaders• Include families who see a need for change in reflect on whether current scored 2.6. Innovating congrega- practices are achieving their the educational program; tions scored 2.9 vs. 2.6 by other purpose.• Have professional staff who see a need for congregations. 2. Negative response to “Families change in the educational program; like the education program as is, see no need for change.”• Are willing to make big changes; 3. Negative response to “Profes- VIGNETTE: sional staff like the education• Are open to changes that may not yet be A congregation with a culture of program as is, see no need for popular with their members; experimentation, Temple Israel change.”• Engage lay and/or professional leaders in Great Neck thoughtfully and 4. We have an atmosphere in which innovation is encour- reflecting on whether current practices are purposefully implemented a new aged. achieving their purpose; model of Jewish learning for 5. Negative response to “We are its families, which has evolved hesitant to make big changes.”• Formally evaluate how well changes work to come closer to reaching the 6. We believe there is much to when they are made. learn from both failure and congregation’s educational vision. success.Innovating congregations report a greater open- In the model, families create 7. When we make changes, weness to change and are somewhat more likely to their own journeys by selecting formally evaluate how well theyevaluate their educational initiatives. from among many worship and work. 8. Negative response to “We onlyRESULTS family learning opportunities in make changes that we knowThe majority of respondents report their con- the Passport to Jewish Fam- our members will support.”gregations have an atmosphere where innovation ily Life brochure. The familiesis encouraged, and believe there is much to learn enrich their year-long learning by selecting atfrom both failure and success. Some profes- least 8 worship services and 5 family educationsionals and member families are happy with the programs which they record in their “passports.”status-quo and do not see the need for change. Each family’s passport is a unique record of their CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 21
  • 24. Large Congregations 3.1 All Congregations 2.6 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores CULTURE OF EXPERIMENTATION CULTURE OF EXPERIMENTATION BY CONGREGATIONAL SIZE INNOVATING CONGREGATIONS VS OTHER CONGREGATIONS Small Congregations 2.5 Innovating Congregations 2.9 Medium Congregations 2.6 Other Congregations 2.6 Large Congregations 3.1 All Congregations 2.6 All Congregations 2.6 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores journey through the year, documenting the QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION Innovating Congregations opportunities that best meet 2.9 particular their 1. The survey upon which this report is based needs and interests. was completed by a single individual, thus Other Congregations 2.6 Understanding that experimenta- reflecting one person’s perceptions of the RESULTS All Congregations tion requires reflection, assess- 2.6 congregation. How do different constituents • The majority of respondents report their congregations have ment, and realignment, TIGN in your congregation perceive its culture of 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 an atmosphere where innova- formed 2.5 assessment4.0 2.0 an 3.0 3.5 commit- experimentation? tion is encouraged, and believe Average Congregational Scores tee to design polls and glean there is much to learn from 2. Which of the characteristics listed above are both failure and success feedback after each learning present in your congregation? What evidence • Large congregations and inno- opportunity. The congregation do you have of their presence? vating congregations are more then used data from its learners open to change and somewhat 3. If your congregation believed that there’s more likely to evaluate their to mold its program to better much to learn both from failure and from educational initiatives meet the needs of its families. success, how would people in the congrega- Through experimentation, reflec- tion conduct themselves? How would you tion, and assessment, TIGN has remained com- respond to success and to failure? What mitted to designing meaningful, high-impact processes would you follow to learn from learning to achieve its vision for education. each other? Temple Israel of Great Neck is a large Conservative congregation on Long Island. 4. What was the last thing you tried to change Learn more about them at www.tign.org. that went well? What was the last thing you tried to change that didn’t go well? What did you learn from your success and from your failure? 5. What would it involve for your congregation to formally evaluate change and act on what it learned?22 CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT
  • 25. ADDITIONAL RESOURCESAron, Isa, The Self-Renewing Congregation:Organizational Strategies for Revitalizing CongregationalLife. (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002).Bridges, William, Managing Transitions: Making theMost of Change, 2nd Edition, (Cambridge: Da CapoPress, 2003).Campbell, Dennis G., Congregations as LearningCommunities: Tools for Shaping Your Future (Herndon:The Alban Institute, 2000).Fullan, Michael, Leading in a Culture of Change,(San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001).Senge, Peter M. The Fifth Discipline: The Art andPractice of the Learning Organization (New York:Doubleday/Currency, 1994). CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 23
  • 26. Professional Development& Critical Colleagueship
  • 27. DEFINITIONS tend professional development outside of regularProfessional development and critical colleague- program hours. Few congregations formallyship play central roles in helping congregations evaluate the outcome of their PD (26%) orto adopt new models of education as they strive tie it to learner outcomes (39%).to realize their visions. Such innovative models Content of Professional Developmentrequire new behaviors from teachers. By par- Congregations devote PD time to both teachingticipating in ongoing, high quality professional content and pedagogy. The list below indicatesdevelopment, directors of education and teachers the most popular areas of focus for professionaldevelop their abilities to adapt to new models development and the percentage of congregationsand expand their expertise in teaching Jewish devoting PD time to these areas.content and pedagogy. Congregations that strive • How to teach a particular RESULTSto implement excellent educational programs content area • Almost three-quarters of thebenefit by establishing a culture of critical col- (e.g. Israel or T’filah) (67%) congregations have time forleagueship where educators learn together with professional development builtand from others, both within and outside the • Exemplary teaching strategies/ into the teachers’ contractscongregation. pedagogy (63%) • A higher percentage of inno- vating congregations requireThis capability is divided into three parts; each • Sharing educational resources professional developmentpart focuses on a different aspect of professional (51%) • Teachers at innovatingdevelopment. One examines the resources that congregations work more • How to adapt or implement collaborativelythe congregations devote to professional devel- new curricula (41%) • Large congregations andopment activities , another deals with the con- innovating congregations • How to identify and measuretent of professional development, and the third collaborate to a greater extent learning with other Jewish organizationsfocuses on the collaboration among teachers and outcomes (35%)with others outside of the congregations (i.e. incommunal networks). • How to involve parents in support of their children’s education (34%)RESULTSResources for Professional Development Innovating congregations focus to a muchApproximately three-quarters of congregations greater extent on “how to identify and measurehold professional development (PD) sessions for learning outcomes” than other congregationsgroups of teachers at their own sites, conducted (70% vs. 26%). While almost half (45%) of theby their staff. Almost three-quarters of the innovating congregations report spending PDcongregations have time for PD built into the time on “How to involve parents in support ofteachers’ contracts; virtually all (90%) of the in- their children’s education,” only 31% of othersnovating congregations do so. A higher percent- reported doing so.age of innovating synagogues require PD (80% Critical Colleagueshipvs. 62% of other congregations) for some or all Teachers at innovating congregations work moreof their teachers. Thirty-nine (39) percent of the collaboratively. They are more likely to havecongregations pay their staff extra to at jointly developed a lesson plan (85% vs. 73% for others), jointly developed a whole unit (60% vs. 28%), taught classes together (85% vs. 77%), jointly developed learner CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 25
  • 28. Large Congregations 3.3 All Congregations 2.3 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: RESOURCES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: RESOURCES BY CONGREGATIONAL SIZE INNOVATING CONGREGATIONS VS OTHER CONGREGATIONS Small Congregations 1.8 Innovating Congregations 2.9 Small Congregations 1.1 Medium Congregations 2.8 Medium Congregations 1.8 Other Congregations 2.2 Large Congregations 3.3 Large Congregations 1.9 All Congregations 2.3 All Congregations 2.3 All Congregations 1.4 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: CONTENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: CONTENT BY CONGREGATIONAL SIZE INNOVATING CONGREGATIONS VS OTHER CONGREGATIONS Innovating Congregations 2.9 Small Congregations 1.1 Innovating Congregations 2.2 Small Congregations 1.4 Other Congregations Medium Congregations 1.8 2.2 Other Congregations Medium Congregations 1.2 1.8 Large Congregations 1.9 All Congregations 2.3 Large Congregations 2.3 All Congregations 1.4 All Congregations 1.4 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 All Congregations 1.7 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 Average Congregational Scores 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 Average Congregational Scores 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores CRITICAL COLLEAGUESHIP CRITICAL COLLEAGUESHIP BY CONGREGATIONAL SIZE INNOVATING CONGREGATIONS VS OTHER CONGREGATIONS Innovating Congregations Small Congregations 1.4 2.2 Innovating Congregations 2.2 Medium Congregations 1.8 Other Congregations 1.2 Other Congregations 1.5 Large Congregations 2.3 All Congregations 1.4 All Congregations 1.7 All Congregations 1.7 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores Average Congregational Scores Innovating Congregations 2.2 Other Congregations 1.5 All Congregations 1.7 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 Average Congregational Scores26 CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT
  • 29. outcomes (65% vs. 20%), and observed another CALCULATING SCORESteacher (45% vs. 32%). RESOURCES FOROverall, just 29% of the respondents say that PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (0-4)their synagogue collaborates extensively or very is calculated by giving equal weight to each of the following elements:extensively with other Jewish organizations • Built professional development time into theiror institutions for the benefit of education at teachers’ contractstheir congregation. Sixty-five (65) percent of • Required professional development for at leastparticipants in innovating congregations report some teachersextensive collaboration vs. 19% of other • Either held professional development during regular hours or paid teachers for PD outsidecongregations. of regular program hoursSCORESThree separate scores were calculated for this CONTENT OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (0-4)capability—Resources for Professional Devel- is calculated by giving equal weight to each ofopment, Content of Professional Development the following elements:and Critical Colleagueship. You may notice that • Aligned to specific student outcomesthe scores in this section seem low relative to • Focused on identifying and measuring learning outcomesthe scores for other capabilities. The low scores • Addressed how to involve parents in support ofsuggest that most congregations have room for their children’s educationimprovement in the capability of ProfessionalDevelopment, especially the sub-category of CRITICAL COLLEAGUESHIP (0-4) is calculated by giving equal weight if teachers,Critical Colleagueship. in the past 12 months, have:Resources for Professional Development • Jointly developed a lesson planThe overall average score for congregations was • Jointly developed a whole unit2.3. Innovating congregations scored 2.9 on • Planned their own professional development • Taught classes togetheraverage and other congregations scored 2.2. • Jointly developed learner outcome indicatorsContent of Professional Development • Observed another teacherOverall, the congregations scored just 1.4 out • Engaged in peer coachingof a possible 4 points. The elements includedin the score were not generally the focus of PD.Innovating congregations scored higher (2.2)compared to others (1.2).Critical ColleagueshipThis score summarizes the extent of collabora-tion among teachers. Overall, the congregationsscored 1.7 out of a possible 4 points on criticalcolleagueship. Innovating congregations scored2.2 on average and other congregations scored 1.5. CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 27
  • 30. QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION VIGNETTE 1. What professional development opportu- While participating in LOMED, Mara nities does your congregation offer to its Braunfeld, Director of Education at Temple faculty? How many teachers take advantage Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, saw the of these opportunities? What might you do need for better collaboration and professional as a congregation to make more time avail- development for her staff. The synagogue has able for teachers to participate in professional a large staff with several teachers at each grade development? level who work on different days of the week. In the past, Shaaray Tefila faculty gathered only a 2. In what ways do the teachers in your con- few times during the year. Understanding that gregation collaborate to design and deliver professional learning and critical colleagueship learning? What other opportunities for col- can lead to achieving learner outcomes, Mara laboration could your faculty take advantage sought to change how professional development of? In what ways can you imagine collabora- was done at Shaaray Tefila. tion improving learning opportunities in your congregation? First, Mara selected teacher leaders from several of the grade levels to make up a Professional 3. When participating in professional develop- Learning Team (PLT). The PLT worked to ment, what do your teachers study and how support teachers in each of the grade levels to do they learn? What are the critical areas for begin coordinating with each other to better education in your congregation? In what ways meet their goals for learners. Having experienced might the professional development for your the benefit of collaboration toward better faculty better align to the educational vision achieving goals, the teacher leaders wanted to of the congregation? model collaboration for the rest of the faculty. 4. How do you know whether professional By working together, the teachers designed development for teachers results in better learning that focused more clearly on the outcomes for your congregation’s learners? congregation’s priority goal for learners: If you do not currently evaluate professional “Learners will be on a spiritual journey rooted development in your congregation, how might in Jewish tradition.” After teaching their lessons, you begin to find out the ways in which and the teachers gathered again to reflect on how extent to which it impacts your learners? If things went and to plan collaboratively again. your congregation currently evaluates profes- Teachers are beginning to see their colleagues sional development, how well is it meeting as resources and sources of support for design- the goals of the congregation? How might it ing learning. They have begun to reach out to be improved? each other for other collaborative opportuni- ties. And the teacher leaders now work to align the grade levels’ professional development and collaboratively-designed lesson plans to achieve the congregation’s priority goal. Temple Shaaray Tefila of Bedford Corners is a large Reform congregation in Westchester. Learn more about them at www.shaaraytefila.org.28 CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT
  • 31. ADDITIONAL RESOURCESDuFour, Richard et al, Learning by Doing: A Handbookfor Professional Learning Communities at Work(Bloomington: Solution Tree, 2006).Kiser, A. Glenn, Masterful Facilitation: Becoming aCatalyst for Meaningful Change (New York: AMACOM,1998).Stoldolsky, Susan S., Gail Zaiman Dorph, and SharonFeiman Nemser, “Professional Culture and ProfessionalDevelopment in Jewish Schools: Teachers’ Perceptionsand Experiences,” in Journal of Jewish Education (August2006): pp 91-108.Learning Forward: http://www.learningforward.org(formerly called the National Staff Development Council.) CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 29
  • 32. Resources Committed to Education
  • 33. DEFINITIONS Nineteen percent (19%) of the respondentsDelivering a program of high quality education report no advanced degree (beyond a bachelors’usually requires the commitment of resources— degree).human (staff), physical (space), and financial. Staffing models for educational programs in theFor the capability called “Resources,” this study congregations differ. The administrative team islooked specifically at educational leadership, broader at innovating and larger congregations.teaching staff, space for education, and budget. Family Educators are most common at innovat-Reporting summaries in this broad area is ing congregations (full or part-time–45%); onlychallenging because resources are not necessar- 16% of all congregations in the sample haveily tracked and reportable in comparable ways Family Educators. Teacher Leaders are mostacross congregations. Therefore, it is difficult to common at innovating congregations (30% vs.make valid statements and comparisons are not 11% overall).easy to interpret. We hope to continue develop- Teaching Staff RESULTSing methods for tracking and reporting results About a third of the congrega- • More than half the congrega-in a standardized way that will allow for valid tions employ teachers who are tions report space constraintscomparisons. Rather than reporting scores in currently enrolled in Jewish on their ability to offer educa-this category, we present findings we believe can tional programs. Innovating education or clergy education congregations are more likelygenerate serious conversation and be useful for programs. Most are found in to find space to be a constraint.learning in congregations. Westchester congregations. Con- • Congregations appear to have similar per-student expendi-RESULTS gregants work as teachers in a tures at all sizes and levels ofEducational Leadership little over half of the synagogues. engagement with innovation.The title most commonly accorded the senior More than half of the congrega-educator is “Director of Education.” In most tions have teachers with credentials in Jewishcases, this person holds the title of “Director education, Jewish studies, or Hebrew. Over 80%of Education” (61%) or Principal/Religious of innovating congregations have at least someSchool Director (23%). A few congregations teachers with such degrees.(5%) refer to the role as “Director of Lifelong Space for EducationLearning.” In some congregations, a congrega- The survey asked whether New York area con-tional rabbi (4%) or cantor (2%) holds addi- gregations are constrained in their ability to of-tional responsibility for overseeing and running fer educational programs by the type or amountthe education program. of space available. We would expect that whetherEducational leaders hold degrees in Jewish the type of space is appropriate will dependeducation, Jewish studies, and general education. upon the type of educational programs that theThirty-one percent (31%) of the respondents congregations are trying to offer. Since mosthold a degree in Jewish education; 30% in Jew- congregations’ educational facilities consist of aish studies; 42% in general education; and 36% school building, congregations seeking to use in-hold a degree in some other field. These catego- novative (non-school) models of Jewish learningries are not mutually exclusive; some educators are more likely to feel constrained by the naturehold multiple degrees. Seventeen percent (17%) of their current space.are ordained rabbis and two percent are cantors. CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT 31
  • 34. More than half the congregations report space VIGNETTE constraints on their ability to offer educational Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North programs. Overall 16% percent feel somewhat Shore (RSNS) was facing the same challenge as limited and 35% say that their programs are every other synagogue: limited resources. What limited to a great extent by the type or amount is unique about RSNS is that they found a way of space. Innovating congregations more often to redistribute time and money to meet their report space limitations. This may reflect the needs. The faculty was trying to find time for fact that they have different expectations in professional development, but the synagogue did terms of the type of space that would be not have additional money to pay teachers for conducive to create the learning experiences that extra hours of work. At the same time, RSNS they envision. Surprisingly, despite current eco- was looking for opportunities for families to nomic conditions, approximately one-fourth of gain authentic Jewish experiences outside of responding congregations are considering or plan- the classroom. To meet both challenges, RSNS ning the addition of space in the next five years. launched a pilot where 3 times during the year Budget for Education families attended congregational celebrations The amount of money that congregations (e.g. Purim) instead of attending the regularly- commit to education is a tangible measure of scheduled learning sessions. In addition to the priority that they assign to this aspect of giving families authentic Jewish experiences, the congregational life. This information should be synagogue was able to free up 3 afternoons for informative about the current financial status teachers to engage in professional development. of educational budgets in the congregations, At the end of the year, RSNS learned through as well as an important baseline for assessing a survey that families were excited to celebrate future developments. holidays with the congregation. Because of the People who responded to the survey calculated pilot’s success, the following year the congrega- their budgets in different ways, making compari- tion included 6 days of congregational celebra- sons difficult. We appreciate the considerable tions in its calendar for families. The director, effort that respondents made to report budget Rabbi Jodie Siff, explained that the congrega- figures within the framework of questions we tion, like others, had limited resources. She said, provided. Despite our best efforts to frame “You have to figure out what is essential.” As the budget questions in a way that would yield a small congregation, RSNS turns to its vision comparable data, tracking and reporting meth- and values when determining how to use its ods vary sufficiently to make valid comparisons limited resources. difficult to achieve. It appears from the survey Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore that the median expenditure on education on a is a small congregation on Long Island. Learn more about them at www.rsns.org. per student basis is quite similar for all sizes of congregations and for innovating congregations and others.32 CREATING HIGH IMPACT JEWISH LEARNING: A BENCHMARKING REPORT
  • 35. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS resources would better support education in1. Make a list of the educational profession- your congregation (e.g. providing professional als in your congregation and their areas of development, recruiting staff with particular responsibility. Where does the bulk of the qualifications)? responsibility lie? In what ways does the 3. In what locations does learning take place current staff structure support your congre- in your congregation? How do these spaces gation’s vision for education? What other support education in line with your vision? In supports could your congregation employ what ways does the space limit the quality or or access to support education? (Some ideas nature of the educational experience? Where include empowering teachers to take leader- else might learning take place within or out- ship roles, bringing skills and talents from side the walls of your congregation? congregants into the staff, hiring additional ADDITIONAL RESOURCES administrative staff, or leveraging outside Aron, Isa, “Realism as the Key to Excellence in Congrega- resources from a local agency.) tional Education” in Agenda: Jewish Education 17 (Jewish Education Service of North America, Spring 2004).2. What human resources (with what skills, Ulrich, Dave and Dale Lake, Organizational Capability education, and experience) currently sup- (New York: Perseus Books, 1997). port your congregation’s vision for educa- Wertheimer, Jack, Learning and Community: Jewish Supplementary Schools in the Twenty-first Century tion? What other resources have not yet (Lebanon: Brandeis University Press, 2009). been aligned to support your congregation’s The Alban Institute: http://www.alban.org vision for education? What other humanSome Final Words of Thanks Collaboration to Sustain Innovation We encourage you to use the also extend thanks to Cindy Reich report to understand the congre-The Jewish Education Project of the Experiment in Congrega- gational capabilities that contrib-(formerly BJENY-SAJES), the tional Education and Anna Marx ute to innovation, to learn aboutExperiment in Congregational of The Jewish Education Project your own congregation and thoseEducation, and the Leadership for their contributions to the entire in the New York area, to identifyInstitute of Hebrew Union College process from research design areas of strength and growth in& The Jewish Theological Seminary through report production. your congregation, and to plan for(The Collaboration to Sustain In- the future. Ultimately we hope thisnovation) gratefully acknowledge a The survey upon which this report report provides information yougrant from UJA-Federation of New is based grew out of a desire to will find useful in your endeavorsYork that made this study possible. learn about and to improve con- to provide Jewish education thatOur thanks go to Susan Bloom of gregational education in the New makes a positive impact on theBloom Associates and Jim Meier of York area. We, the Collaboration lives of Jews in the 21st century.Arete Corporation for designing, to Sustain Innovation, extend ourimplementing and analyzing the thanks to all the directors of edu- Please let us know how you use thesurvey of New York congregational cation who took time to complete report, what kind of conversationseducational leaders. The data they the survey; all of us have benefited it stimulates, and what action itgathered, their analysis, and their from your efforts. We expect to inspires.subsequent report created the repeat the survey to learn aboutfoundation for this report. We ap- change over time, and to discoverpreciate their patience, persistence how our Jewish educational initia-and keen insights. Members of the tives and yours make a difference.
  • 36. The Jewish Education Project (formerly BJENY-SAJES)Cyd B. Weissman, Director of Innovation in Congregational Learning • www.TheJewishEducationProject.orgThe Jewish Education Project connects forward-thinking educators to powerful ideas and resourcesso we can create new models of how, what, and where people learn. We pioneer new approachesin Jewish education and impact more than 200,000 Jewish children in 800 institutions including Congregational Schools, Day Schools and Yeshivot, Early Childhood Centers and Teen Programs. Together with our partners, we’re transforming Jewish education for today’s ever-changing world and helping to shape the future of the Jewish people.The Experiment in Congregational EducationDr. Robert M. Weinberg, Director • www.ECEOnline.orgThe Experiment in Congregational Education (ECE) is an innovative initiative with over 18 years ofpioneering experiencee in synagogue transformation through Jewish learning. The ECE works throughregional partnerships and national advocacy, guiding congregations and communities to revitalizethemselves by re-imagining Jewish learning, bringing it into every aspect of congregational life. The Leadership Institute Dr. Evie Levy Rotstein, Director • www.Leader-Institute.org The Leadership Institute is guided by the vision of the New York School of Education at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). This opportunity enables HUC-JIR and JTS to join together to further the leadership capacity, pedagogic skills and Judaic knowledge of congrega- tional school educators. This program is open to candidates from all denominations in the New York, Long Island, Westchester and the greater metropolitan area. For more information please contact: LONG ISLAND: Suri Jacknis, SJacknis@TheJewishEducationProject.org, 631-462-8600 NEW YORK CITY: Abby Pitkowsky, APitkowsky@TheJewishEducationProject.org, 646-472-5351 WESTCHESTER: Susan Ticker, STicker@TheJewishEducationProject.org, 914-328-8090