Educating For Impact (“EFI”) seeks to create a sustainable future for Jewish communities through day school education. This initiative is led by a Consortium of Jewish Philanthropies in partnership with Jewish communities.
It will challenge and support Jewish communities in Europe to make their Jewish schools work optimally for them, educating and inspiring young Jews to actively affiliate and engage in Jewish life.
The future of Jewish communities depends on affiliation and engagement. No active members, no communities.
Jewish Communities in Europe care about the future of their community and believe that Jewish schools can secure this future.
There is a clear need for a continuity strategy for Jewish Communities in Europe. To continue to exist, communities must articulate clearly which behaviors they require of their members and must then invest in encouraging and inspiring those behaviors.
Day Schools are the principal vehicle for encouraging behaviors for the mid and long term. The degree of socialization, the sheer amount of time spent in school, the ability to foster shared purpose and identity through a wide range of activities (sport, music, volunteering), all contribute to making day schools highly effective mediums for encouraging behaviors.
But to make day schools effective, clear goals must be articulated, and the entire school, in and out of classroom, must be aligned in pursuit of those goals.
To achieve this end, a comprehensive strategy must be put in place. It must begin with honest, disciplined conversation regarding the outcomes necessary to ensure active Jewish life in the future. All those with a stake in the future of their Jewish communities should align behind efforts to achieve those outcomes. Then a plan must be formulated for how schools can best achieve those outcomes. And finally, targeted investments must be made in schools to ensure they have the tools and the capacity to deliver those outcomes.
EFI is designing and implementing this strategy, thus ensuring that European Jewish communities make proper use of their schools and, thereby, secure their futures.