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2010 PEJE Assembly for Advancing the Jewish Day School Field

2010_AssemblyThe 2010 PEJE Assembly was planned by several key principles and best practices: First and foremost is an underlying assumption that day schools are precious communal assets that are central to a vibrant, enduring Jewish future. We heard this perspective from you in a recent poll, and we built our program around this fundamental assertion. If day schools thrive, entire Jewish communities will thrive. If day schools do not thrive, the entire Jewish community will be compromised.

Second is the importance of collaboration. Our theme, “Harnessing Our Power,” underscored our field’s potential for enhanced influence as a collective. Realizing this goal requires a sustained focus on relationship building after the Assembly is over—both within and beyond the walls of each institution. A well-functioning and integrated ecosystem of schools, working with each other and in collaboration with federations and central agencies, will help propel new initiatives and effect change.

Third, we need strategic tools to strengthen our capacity. Case-based learning—a powerful, proven methodology—is such a tool. The case study, followed by the afternoon of case-based learning seminars, offered new approaches to problem solving, the ability to understand issues from diverse points of view, and deeper levels of self awareness—all critical leadership skills for today’s complex world.

Fourth is PEJE’s commitment to address the field’s concerns head-on. Sunday’s sessions went right to the heart of the matter, with in-depth presentations on institutional sustainability, the shifting context of leadership, and the relationship of Jewish day schools to the community.

Finally, not only must we adopt a collaborative mindset, but we also need to promote the day school value proposition as vigorous, compelling, and up-to-date. We feel so strongly about this that we devoted all of Tuesday to the advocacy and positioning of Jewish day school education.