The following is a guest-post from Naava Frank, one of the Assembly bloggers. She is the director of continuing education and professional development at the Yeshiva University Institute for University-School Partnership.
“I was dreading it — four hours, assigned to a room with people I don’t know, talking about case-studies… but I was so surprised — it was amazing.”
Listening to the talk in the hallways of the PEJE Assembly in Baltimore, I hear the echoes around me as participants reflect on the time they spent discussing the newly published multi-episode case study published by PEJE. IKAR LEV V’NEFESH: A Case Study of Day School Leadership and Communal Leadership.
The case deals with the very real life challenges of new schools opening in a community, community politics, leadership succession and leading change in a school and includes charts of enrollment data. It embodies the Assembly’s central theme of harnessing our collective power. The case also includes questions and guides that allow you to use this case back at home. If you were not here, go onto the PEJE website (www.peje.org/shop) and purchase a copy.
“It was fascinating, it was so rich, I never experienced anything like it before.” And the plenary speaker this morning referred back to the case. What we know about promoting collaboration is that a shared text, a shared experience and a shared language are all important elements for building a sense of community and a sense of collaboration. The sharing of the case-study experience produced a shared language thereby moving the assembly participants toward a sense of community and heightening the potential for collaborations to emerge.
To try to introduce 1,000 lay leaders and professionals to a new way of thinking is a daunting task to even tackle – yasher koach to PEJE for the guts to try it. To realize that goal is even more impressive. Chazak Ve’ematz – having achieved your goal, may you move onto important new challenges. We are with you.