April 20, 2015
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It was thrilling to see so many of you at this year’s NAJDSC. At the opening of the conference, we announced the exciting news that the five Jewish day school intermediaries are engaged in serious conversations about deep collaboration in order to better serve the field. During the announcement, we informed you that we would be extending our stay in Philadelphia to meet together, and promised to share a summary of that meeting within approximately one month. It has been a busy and productive month for all of us, and we are pleased to share some highlights and updates.
First, our organizations have engaged La Piana Consulting to guide us through our process. La Piana is among the most recognized national non-profit consulting firms with expertise in strategic planning and organizational collaboration and restructuring. We are confident that we have found the right team to help us identify effective strategies for serving the field and new ways to work together towards that end.
Second, each organization has committed to an intense and structured process that will bring the best of what we have to offer to the table and draw on the wisdom and energy of the field. We will meet regularly and expect to convene in person every two to four weeks over a six to eight month period. We have begun to vision the possibilities for what might be different and better, and are energized by the potential to strengthen and expand the level of support provided to our schools and to ensure that the collective voice of Jewish day school education is part of both the national Jewish conversation and the national conversation on education.
Finally, we want to assure you that our continued commitments remain with all of you – the administrators, teachers, board members and donors at our schools. As we move forward in this process, we will be working with La Piana to develop methods for engaging schools (professionals and lay-leadership), service organizations, and community and national funders in an inclusive process. These opportunities for input and feedback will ensure that the result of our work truly meets your needs and amplifies the impact of the work already being done across the field. In the meantime, we invite you to contact any of us to share your thoughts, opinions, ideas, or concerns.
Thank you for all that you do in our Jewish day schools every day. At this year’s NAJDSC, we were once again reminded of the power of our movement and the potential impact we can have on our children and communities. We are excited by what our five organizations might accomplish together.
We look forward to sharing updates as the process unfolds and of learning from you soon so that we all might go from strength to strength.
Amy, Bradley, Idana, Jane, & Jon
Dara, Jodi, Joey, Michael, & Scott
Members of the Intermediary Agency Collaboration Working Group:
Jodi Hessel, Board Chair
Rabbi Bradley Solmsen, Director, Campaign for Youth Engagement, URJ
Michael Bohnen, Board Co-Chair
Amy Katz, Executive Director
Joseph Steiner, Board Member
Dr. Idana Goldberg, Co-Executive Director
Dara Yanowitz, Board Chair
Dr. Jon Mitzmacher, Executive Director
Scott Goldberg, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Yeshiva University
Jane Taubenfeld Cohen, Executive Director
AVI CHAI Foundation
Yossi Prager, Executive Director
Susan Kardos, Senior Director, Strategy and Education Planning