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Five New Year’s Resolutions for the Jewish Day School Field

It is that time of year. Secular New Year’s resolution time. Since I spend most of my waking hours managing the PEJE Atidenu Recruitment & Retention and Governance & Fundraising Academy programs (generously co-funded by The AVI CHAI Foundation), my New Year’s thoughts tend to be about day school sustainability. Not as stimulating as resolving …

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What a Charleston Fundraiser Teaches Us

This past weekend, I was in Charleston with three friends from college. I had never been there, and, until three weeks ago, Charleston evoked images of quaint homes and Prince of Tides marshland. With the horrors inflicted on a Bible study group in the Emanuel AME Church on June 17, that all changed. Arriving in …

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Into the Clouds (and the Cloud): The Lessons of PEJE’s Migrations

PEJE has ascended. We recently sojourned from Broad Street, in Boston’s Financial District, up to the 16th floor of CIC Boston, a building that describes itself as “much more than office space; it is an innovation ecosystem.” We’re now settled in this cutting-edge atmosphere, high in the sky, surrounded on all sides by entrepreneurial energy. …

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Montreal Takes Communal Day School Capacity Building to the Next Level

The good news: Jewish day schools remain an extremely good investment. Knowledgeable community leaders understand the high return that Jewish day schools provide by graduating Jewishly literate, passionate, proud, highly educated, socially conscious Jews. Thus they make great efforts to support Jewish day schools. That support has traditionally taken the form of per capita funding …

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Admission: We Are Not Alone

The following is a guest post by Ariella Siegel, Partnership/Admissions Coordinator at Temple Sinai/Jacobson Sinai Academy in North Miami Beach, Florida.   I was not born a Jewish day school admission professional. Before taking my job, the only experience I had of Jewish day school was, well, attending JDS as a child. I began my current …

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Endowment: The Security Blanket You Weave for Your Grandchildren

The Jewish day school field may have come late to the endowment party, but they are quickly catching up (and they brought chips!). Through programs like Generations—PEJE’s partnership with the AVI CHAI Foundation to help communities and schools build day school endowments—day schools are getting the training and support they need to think about development …

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Need Some Free, Private, Helpful, Encouraging JDS Advice? Get on Line: The Leadership Line!

Do you recognize the name Shulamith Elster? The name might seem familiar—if you’ve ever rung up the Leadership Line (LL), PEJE’s coaching service. The LL provides the day school field with a free one-hour phone call with an experienced day school coach. She’s one of those who answer the Leadership Line calls, and she’s walked …

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Your Invitation to a Celebration of JDS Innovation

One of the things PEJE learned from poring over 141 Challenge Award applications—Yes: 141!—is that there’s a considerable amount of innovation in the Jewish day school world. Schools are pushing themselves like never before to rethink their approach to development, admissions, and advocacy, with a clear eye on long-term financial sustainability.Reading all the great work you’ve done, we thought, “Why aren’t schools doing more to make this public?” And then we realized: We can help publicize your efforts!

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Hashtags and Twitter and Advocacy, Oh My!

While PEJE has always been in the business of day school advocacy, it is only now that we are beginning to hashtag it (try #jdsadvocacy). We are now naming advocacy as a discrete category of day school administration and we’re committed to transforming the way communities advocate for day school. Like we’ve done with development and admission, we are creating a toolkit that will provide the field with best practices and expertise around effective advocacy. We are also bringing this advocacy conversation to our blog to highlight best practices.

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Harnessing the Power of the Power Animal

As Jews, we worship only Hashem but we can still learn lessons from nature. In the Book of Job, we read “Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.” (Job12:7-8) So I wonder if Jewish day schools can learn from our pals in the animal kingdom. After all, people and animals both evolve to survive and grow. That is precisely what we’re looking to do with our focus on day school sustainability.

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