Making Decisions about Jewish Education Today and Tomorrow
We believe it is necessary to make the distinction between the choices people have, and the decisions that people make. People have choices. People make decisions. Choices are passive nouns but decisions are active verbs. Organizations offer people choices. People make decisions about what they want to participate in. Choice is where you know the options, decisions are where you act upon those options. The Jewish community needs to continue offering people choices, but even more importantly, must assist people in making decisions.
Over the last year, The Jewish Education Project has embarked on several research studies that had their own rationales, objectives and discrete findings. Our presentation at the NRJE brings together four separate research projects commissioned and/or conducted by The Jewish Education Project spanning 3 often distinct age groups in Jewish education (0-5 yrs; youth; and teens).
- Jamie Betesh (2016), Understanding the Landscape of Early Enrichment in New York: Parent Focus Groups
- Danna Rose Livstone (2016), Transitions in Jewish Education: Parents Reflect on the Process of Making Jewish Educational Decisions for their Children
- Susan A. Ticker (2016), Toward Continuous Engagement: Supporting Young Children and Families in Transition in Part-Time Jewish Educational Settings
- David Bryfman (2016), Generation Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teens Today
Together this research will elevate issues surrounding who and why people are choosing Jewish education at various stages of their lives and what Jewish life we should be educating towards in the 21st century.
We also learned that institutions should not deride these decisions because in doing so they only serve to ensure that the next time a decision has to be made that the particular institution will be only further away from that person’s radar.
In that spirit, these presentations are also looking at ways in which an organization (The Jewish Education Project) has designed strategy that reflects the trends that the research has uncovered. In this way, we are also highlighting the often cited tension in Jewish education and engagement between “meeting people where they are at” and guiding people toward a particular educational vision.
Area of Work
- EC - Early Childhood
- FE - Family Engagement
- DS&Y - Day Schools and Yeshivas
- CL - Congregational Learning
- AS&B - After School and Beyond
- T - Teens