Friday, February 25, 2011

$2,500 to $50,000 grants to redirect away from "classroom only"

Congregations in the Coalition of Innovating Congregations learned this week
from The Jewish Education Project that they can apply
for grants ranging from
$2500 (a year) to $50,000 (over three years) to support models of Jewish Education that are not the "Classroom Only" model.

The "Classroom Only" Model (thanks Evie Rotstein for the name) is recognizable:
Teachers work really hard to engage children in endless activity...arts, music, bibliodrama, Jewpardy, and now..technology too.."we have a white board."

The Classroom Only Model is like children trying to learn Latin four to six hours a week.
The children never use the language outside the walls of the classroom.
The children have no connection to people, land, culture, value or use of the language.
Yet they engage in clever, creative activities so they can recite phrases like
"A bene placito, Amore vincit omnia" (googled the phrases, I don't know Latin from Greek)
Three times a year parents see children perform a play in Latin. Latin, after all, will help children do better on their SATS. Do you see the analogy?

Funders, Moms, Dads, Clergy, Caregivers, teachers, students, Directors of Educators connected with the Coalition of Innovating Congregations have said,
"Enough."
We are redirecting resources to expand and intensify High Impact Models.

Congregations, like North Shore Synagogue of Syosett, have already started creating High Impact Models. I love that Bubbie, Zaydes and teens learn and teach every week with Young children and their families in classrooms, in the world (e.g. planting, greening according to Jewish teaching) and celebrating holidays and Shabbat. This congregation is poised to launch another new model for their older students. Can't wait to see what's coming.

Goal of the grants:
go all the way and redirect away from this classroom only model.

There is a place and a need for a "classroom." But there is NO NEED for a classroom only model in the liberal Jewish community..or for that matter for any kind of education.

Here is a Goal
by 2015
The majority of children and families in the
Coalition of Innovating Congregations
Will be Engaged in High Impact Models

Funders in New York believe in the necessity of this goal
Funders in New York believe this goal is possible

One exciting example:
Foundation for Jewish Camp
http://www.jewishcamp.org/
working in partnership with The Jewish Education Project through the support of UJA Federation of NY
is providing grants of
$50,000 over three years
to a cohort of congregations
in Greater New York
who can

1. Significantly increase the number of children and families who value the experience of Jewish overnight camp, and express that value with attendance.

and

2. Create a model of year long Jewish living/learning that integrates/connects to/models/linked to summer camp

In the coming weeks I'll also describe additional wow grants made available through the support of UJA-Federation of New York.

All grants require congregations to REDIRECT resources.
Innovation can be sparked by grants. But for sustainability the congregation has to say NO to something they are already doing (e.g. the classroom only model) and say YES to Expanded and Intensified High Impact Models.

Now is the moment.
Watch with me
The Coalition of Innovating Congregations, Courage, Conviction, Innovation.

What's on the line?
A generation