Hadashot V'Hidushim
Last Month on the PEJE Blog

PEJE BlogClick the links below to read each post, and be sure to leave your reactions, suggestions, and thoughts in the comments:
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If your school has a blog, let us know and we'll add it to our list.

Apply to "Build Your Own Board"

PEJE's Build Your Own Board program trains school leadership teams (at least one professional and one volunteer leader) to fill their boardrooms with the right leaders and strengthen their board's ability to govern strategically. The program provides a one-day, interactive seminar and 16 hours of tailored, follow-up coaching. Led by PEJE Senior Consultant Cheryl Finkel, Board Leadership Strategy Manager Jill Goldenberg, and Board Leadership Senior Program Manager Linda Simansky, BYOB positions schools to create a culture where board members understand and embrace their responsibilities to sustain their school through careful leadership development.

Participation in BYOB is by application only. Schools will be selected based on eligibility requirements.

Sunday, April 18, 2010
Chicago, IL

Apply by February 24

Budget Now for the PEJE Assembly

The PEJE Assembly is only nine months away, October 24-26 in Baltimore. We are working hard to keep the Assembly as affordable as possible so that key school leaders can attend. Look for details on registration fees in March. To help with your budgeting in the meantime, note that hotel costs are estimated to be $199/night. Baltimore is accessible via many affordable airline carriers, as well as by Amtrak (for those on the East Coast). We also anticipate discounts for multiple participants from the same school. We know you won't want to miss the PEJE Assembly.

Order The Leader's Compass

Copies of The Leader's Compass are available for purchase with discounted rates for bulk quantities. The publication contains the responses of a broad group of influential thinkers and practitioners--from both within and beyond the day school field--to 12 provocative quotations relating to board and professional leadership and financial sustainability. Tami Weiser, head of school at Heschel West Day School in Agoura Hills, CA, ordered copies to share with other administrators, and even brought her copy to read on vacation. The feature article to the right demonstrates ways in which you may want to consider using this publication. Print out the order form to pay by check, or use your credit card over the phone by calling Communications Program Associate Matt Brown at 617-367-0001 x137.

January PEJE Podcast
The January PEJE Podcast builds upon this month's feature article with an in-depth discussion of The Leader's Compass by PEJE staff Jill Goldenberg, Bonnie Hausman, and Matt Brown.

PEJE at the Jewish Day School Leadership Conference

If you are attending the North American Jewish Day School Leadership Conference next week, be sure to look for PEJE:
  • Stop by the PEJE Booth to pick up your complimentary copy of the PEJE Guide to Coaching and update your school profile to enter a drawing for a discount to the PEJE Assembly.
  • Listen to Executive Director Rabbi Josh Elkin address conference attendees at lunch on Monday with a talk entitled "The Present Moment for Jewish Day Schools".
  • Given the importance of inspiring professional leadership to PEJE's mission, if you are a head of school new to your position since June 2008, come to a special reception on Monday evening.
  • Attend one of the sessions organized by PEJE and focused on our three strategy areas: How Every Head Can Create A Culture of Philanthropy and Raise More Money, Headship Competencies: What Does It Take?, and The Head of School as Board Leader, Builder, and Futurist.

Strategic Board Governance Program Helps Build School Financial Sustainability

PEJE has partnered with the Houston BJE to bring the Strategic Board Governance (SBG) program to five of Houston's day schools. Houston is the first community to participate in the program. Through the SBG, local school leaders are learning about achieving financial sustainability through best practices in school governance, the roles and responsibilities of trustees, and the relationship between the board and the head of school. Leaders from each school attended the first seminar on Monday, with the second coming in March. School teams are also working with specially-selected coaches.

Join a PEJE Community of Practice

CoPSince beginning in 2004, the PEJE Communities of Practice (CoPs) have connected over 600 day school leaders to expertise, resources, and best practice, as well to each other. The CoPs provide a forum for practitioners to participate, reflect, share, and implement change in their schools. Contact Kirk Ryan for more information. We invite you to participate in the following calls:

Jan. 27 - Financial Management
Diversify Your School's Revenue: Beyond Tuition & Fundraising

Jan. 27 - Leadership
Fundraising: Whose Job is It and Strategies that Work

Feb. 2 - Development
Embarking on the Voyage: Stewarding the Donor Relationship

Are CoPs a Good Return on Investment?
Have you ever wondered what the impact of a Community of Practice is? Whether you are a longtime member or simply curious about all the fuss, join us on February 23 for a webinar discussing the findings from an external evaluation of the PEJE CoPs, "Are CoPs a Good Return on Investment?" RSVP to Kirk Ryan.

Only a Few Parent Survey Subsidies Left

Have you been interested in participating in the Jewish Day School Peer Yardstick® Parent Survey but didn't have the budget? Measuring Success has been able to secure funding for five grants of $5000 for schools that have not participated in the past, cutting the price to a total of only $3500! (Travel costs for consultations are not included.) This package includes several days of consulting support and a full-day onsite consultation with your leadership team to use the data to create a mini-strategic plan. Plus, you'll receive full administration and support of the survey (which has averaged an 80% response rate for the 40 prior participating schools) by Measuring Success. Compare your data to your specified peer group. In order to participate, you must submit an application to Measuring Success. The survey will launch on February 1, but the timeline for applications has been extended. Apply now!

View the complete timeline of the Parent Survey.

For more details, please email parentsurvey@yardsticksuite.org.

Day School Voices

Over the summer, PEJE solicited a number of essays from day school alumni who chose to send their own children to day school. They are available on the PEJE website for your school to use in "making the case" for day school education.

UlmanSo Done Being a Day-School Parent
By Jane Ulman

"Will you miss being a day-school parent?" asked the head of school at Milken Community High School of Stephen S. Wise Temple, the largest non-Orthodox high school in the United States. This was last June. My youngest son, Danny, was about to graduate.

"I am so done," I replied. The words flew from my mouth, like those pillow feathers in the Chassidic tale that have been scattered to the winds and can't be retrieved and restuffed.

Read More

Jane Ulman is a freelance writer in Encino, CA.
January 2010 · Tevet 5770
Last Month on the PEJE Blog
Apply to "Build Your Own Board"
Budget for the PEJE Assembly
Order The Leader's Compass
PEJE at the Jewish Day School Leadership Conference
Strategic Board Governance Program Helps Build School Financial Sustainability
Join a PEJE Community of Practice
Only a Few Parent Survey Subsidies Left
Day School Voices
Day School Growth and Excellence: Finding Your Way with The Leader's Compass
Day School Growth and Excellence:  Finding Your Way with The Leader's Compass
The Leader's Compass: Journeying with Vision, Wisdom & Focus was designed for heads of school, board chairs, and development directors to engage with provocative ideas about leading a Jewish day school. Each page of The Leader's Compass contains one quotation and responses from three thinkers or practitioners. We've taken this opportunity to demonstrate ways we hope you will apply learning from this publication, with page 18 as an example.
The central quote on the page is from Jim Collins' Good to Great in the Social Sectors:
"Do whatever you can to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people into the right seats. ... Greatness flows first and foremost from having the right people in the key seats, not the other way around."
There are three respondents to this quote:
  1. Hal M. Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies in Chicago, suggests that leaders "worry less about filling a particular job description and more about finding individu­als of character and competence who are fully aligned with the vision."
  2. Shawn Landres, co-founder and CEO of Jumpstart, on the other hand, pushes a broader understanding of the task at hand: "But [those on the bus] must be free to rebuild the engine, change the fuel, redesign or rip out the seats, replace the tires, even retire the bus if it no longer can make the journey."
  3. Among other points, Marjory Kaplan, President and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, notes that "getting the right people on the bus is possible only when you have the right person driv­ing the bus."
Applied to day schools, the quote and the responses address issues of board makeup and staffing. Collins suggests that board members and professionals must be suited for the positions they hold and contribute to the betterment of the school, and that there be a well-defined pipeline to plug gaps as needed.
Proactive succession planning is a key element of "getting the right people on the bus." For boards, this requires a functioning Committee on Trustees (sometimes called a Governance or Nominating Committee). The Committee on Trustees manages the board year-round and prepares for the future by cultivating potential board members and officers, among other duties. To learn more about building a strategic board, consider applying to PEJE's Build Your Own Board program.
Boards are also charged with succession planning for the head of school. Mechanisms should be in place to begin the search process at a moment's notice. The feature article in the January 2009 e-Newsletter covers head of school transitions. Heads of school can also make sure other administrators have opportunities for professional development. In The Leader's Compass, Kaplan suggests that "leaders ask others to drive the bus occasionally and then gradually turn over the wheel."
Collins' quote also makes mention of making sure the "wrong" people are off the bus; for example, a board member may not longer align with the school's vision, or a development director may not have the skills to address the school's current needs. Last year's economic webinar series "From Challenge to Opportunity in Today's Changing Economy" addressed the issue of staff restructuring.
The Leader's Compass contains 11 more pages of quotations on leadership and financial sustainability with responses from over 30 thinkers and practitioners within and beyond the day school field. Bulk copies are available for purchase.

Rachel Lewin, head of school at Temple Israel of Hollywood Day School in Los Angeles, ordered extra copies for her board and leadership team, as have other schools. Lewin said in response to the text, "Studying the g'dolei hador (greats of our generation) on leadership along with the greats of previous generations is part of our heritage--study those who came before you."

In this month's PEJE Podcast, PEJE staff members Jill Goldenberg, Bonnie Hausman, and Matt Brown discuss Collins' quotation and the responses from Lewis, Landres, and Kaplan.

Related Resources
The Jewish High School: A Complete Management Guide
Paul Shaviv, the Director of Education at Toronto's TanenbaumCHAT, has just authored The Jewish High School: A Complete Management Guide, described as "a complete practical manual for Jewish school management." The book covers issues of leadership, policy, and operations for professional and volunteer leaders. Order a copy here.

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