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Section: Trends in Jewish Education
Pioneering Consortium Advances Role of Research in Jewish Education
February 18, 2014    |   Type: Abstract

Source: Jim Joseph Foundation

 

The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) today announced a first-of-its kind collaboration among practitioners, researchers, and funders of Jewish education. With gifts to the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, the Consortium will lead efforts to identify key education questions, assist researchers in designing more robust methods, and facilitate work that translates research findings into strengthened practice — in informal and formal Jewish education. The key to the Consortium is creating the conditions for collaboration among scholars of practice and scholarly practitioners in the world of Jewish Education. Those involved with the Consortium already include a host of scholars from over twenty universities, hundreds of practitioners in an array of Jewish education venues and organizations, and a small but growing contingent of funders from across the Jewish world.

 

Officials from the AVI CHAI and Jim Joseph foundations announced today that they will be supporting this effort with, respectively, $2.1 million and $1.5 million — for a total of $3.6 million —an unprecedented investment in applied research in Jewish education. Gifts are intended to provide a portion of the support needed for the work of the Consortium over the next six years.

 

Specifically, over the last two years a group of more than 350 researchers, graduate students, practitioners, strategic funders of Jewish education, and leading scholars have worked to launch the Consortium. Their aim was straightforward — creating an enterprise that would strengthen the reach and effectiveness of Jewish education, by basing content, strategy, and design on the results of applied research. CASJE is based on a three-part model — research, practice, and support from philanthropists interested in the growing field of Jewish education. All three elements will address the most serious challenge facing practitioners — building programs with high quality evidence to guide their educational strategies. In March, the Consortium will begin accepting proposals (in response to its first RFP) for applied studies in Jewish educational leadership.

 

As the founding team began to assemble the Consortium, they sought guidance from colleagues across the world to identify which areas of investigation would serve as fruitful starting points for coordinated study. Responding to that guidance, they focused on promoting research in three key areas of research: the development of educational leaders in Jewish Education, Teaching and Learning about Israel, and the Financial Sustainability of Jewish Education. They brought together leaders from Jewish day schools, camps and other educational settings with university scholars, along with leading philanthropists in the sector, to identify priority issues for research and new ways to promote such work.

 

Over the next six years, CASJE’s goals are concentrated in three key areas:

  • Sponsoring, managing, engaging, and sharing research: In order to invest energy and resources most productively, CASJE will work collaboratively with researchers, practitioners, and funders to determine which important research questions to pursue and ensure the resulting findings are shared and applied.

  • Developing funding strategies for applied research in Jewish education: CASJE will work with an array of philanthropic actors to develop and support the core work of the Consortium, and specific programs of applied research.

  • Expanding the talent pipeline of Jewish education researchers: CASJE will expand the opportunities for new scholars (doctoral students, recent PhDs) to participate in significant research projects and benefit from mentorship by senior scholars. In addition, the work of the Consortium will include identifying and cultivating “cause-friendly” senior researchers and emerging scholars in the field of general education.


Read more at the Jim Joseph Foundation website.

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