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The Worst Investment of Your Jewish Life (A PEJE Purim Parody by Joel Chasnoff)

In the piece below, Joel Chasnoff sends up our Sustainable Stories  with a wicked bit of JDS parody — a whole new comedic genre in itself! What would happen if, just once, you received a day school communication that begged you to stop writing tuition checks and start exposing your kids to the character-building force of, …

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Focus on the Family*

At PEJE, we think about schools. We think about communities. We think about the field. Each is critical to our work, and essential to support Jewish day schools across North America. But really, we’re trying to help families. In all of the talk of strategy, of flipping forward, of communities as ecosystems, of sustainability, we …

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Day School People MUST Read this Lost Classic by Cynthia Ozick. Now.

You—that is, you Board Members, teachers, Heads of School, parents, prospective parents, development professionals, grandparents, communications people, JDS volunteers, admission officers, marketers, literary high school students, funders, would-be funders, alumni, and curious federation heads—must read Cynthia Ozick’s underappreciated 1983 novel, The Cannibal Galaxy. This slim volume of fiction is perhaps the only work by a major American writer to be set in a Jewish day school. Also: It’s a great way for the day school field to celebrate the outspoken Ozick’s recent birthday on April 17.

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You Are the Future: A Yom HaShoah Insight on Day School Investment

As a parent of two day school students, I’m reminded on a regular basis that not only are my children receiving a best-in-class education, but they are also learning what it means to be a Jew and how to handle the attendant responsibilities. My wife and I are blessed that their day schools provide enrichment to their lives every day. Now our kids also know that they are the future. May our future leaders—my kids and yours—take us from strength to strength!

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How to Bring Israel—and Donors—into Your Day School

When working with Jewish day schools to create compelling value propositions, the topic of Israel naturally comes up. Each of our day schools has its own relationship with Israel. They may focus on Hebrew language, celebration of Yom Ha’azmaut, class trips to Israel, Israeli faculty and staff, courses on the history of Israel, Israeli dance teams, you name it. Articulating your school’s relationship with Israel, and giving donors and friends the opportunity to experience that, is important for building donor relationships.

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No Office Day: Close Your Office and Go Back to the Classroom (At Least for a Day)

I know I’m not the only person who feels the gravitational pull of the office. Many principals and school administrators, when speaking honestly with one another, share similar frustrations. It is from this place of deep commitment that I have embraced No Office Day. It is a day—actually several days, to accommodate different schedules—on which educational leaders close their offices and file into classes with teachers and students. It’s not the only day we’ll be in classrooms. Indeed, the conversations among colleagues about how to spend the day are energizing me to consider ways of having many No Office Days and daily No Office Hours. I’m reconsidering ways to make classroom time more meaningful and effective. No Office Day is an event, but it is also a frame of mind, an ongoing commitment among educational leaders to dedicating the time to be in classrooms and to finding the ways to make that time most valuable for teachers and students.

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Grandparents: A Gift that’s Larger than Life

Day schools have perfected Grandparents’ Day: an event in which we welcome current grandparents to spend a day in the shoes of their grandchildren. These programs are creative, well executed, and demonstrate the direct value of a Jewish day school education. Who doesn’t love a stage full of kindergartners singing “Hinei Mah Tov” or a gallery of sixth-grade Hebrew poetry? But hang on. Once the event is over, what’s next?

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