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Data, Idols, Passover, and Slavery

1. Whenever I hear Jewish day school people babble about being “data driven,” I think of the classic scene from the film Glengarry Glen Ross,  in which Alec Baldwin, as a slickly evil dude named Blake, announces to a drab room of beat-down salesmen: The good news is—you’re fired. The bad news is you’ve got, …

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Rabbi Jim Rogozen

Rather than address day school affordability, the Conservative Movement needs to organize the national flow of all education dollars based on strategies that effectively cultivate and empower the next generation. Our kehillot, USY, Schechter, Ramah, JTS, and AJU, must see Jewish learning in all its forms as an integrated enterprise, and crucial to a common …

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Dr. Marc Kramer

As we think about the day school affordability issue, we at RAVSAK continue to think about the underlying tensions between cost and value. As Jewish day schools increase their capacity to showcase their value and as public schools tighten their belts due to declines in tax revenues, will we see an up-tick in day school …

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Lisa Colton

Today’s institutional landscape is changing rapidly. In their book The Networked Nonprofit, Beth Kanter and Allison Fine coined the phrase “do what you do best and network the rest” as a way for organizations to specialize, and also gain efficiencies by not needing to be all things to all people. Day schools have valuable assets—space, …

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Dr. Harry Bloom

A key part of the Jewish Day School affordability agenda involves leveraging community power to increase revenue and efficiencies. Five particularly promising ideas are: 1. Outsource key services including facilities maintenance for multiple schools. 2. Purchase HR and benefit services through Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs). 3. Create and market leading edge STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering …

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Jeremy Fingerman

It is imperative that we provide accessible Jewish educational opportunities—both formal and experiential—for every child. As FJC works to confront affordability in our field, we are grateful for the initiative and leadership that PEJE has taken to bring this issue to the forefront of our community. Meeting this challenge necessitates collaboration and innovation across organizations. …

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Sacha Litman

Based on data from hundreds of Jewish Day Schools, we think the focus will shift this year from Affordability to Perceived Quality. We recently finished analyzing our Jewish Day School Parent Survey data: 25,000 parent responses from 120 schools show that it is quality, not price, driving enrollment. The key to affordability is higher enrollment, …

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Dr. Amy Sales

In the coming year, “conventional wisdom” will likely be upended by data. As more schools enter their numbers into JData, PEJE, communities, and the schools themselves will be able to see: actual cost of delivering day school education to a child; changes in cost over time; variation in cost by school size, type, location, and …

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Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

We cannot close the day schools nor can we reduce the quality (the top-level education is crucial). We cannot ask for governmental money (as that jeopardizes our crucial commitment to freedom and to keeping religion and state separate). We cannot allow the schools to only be for the upper-middle class and upper class. There are …

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