Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One Metric: TON

I scowled at first, and then learned. A Jewish non-profit in Ohio seeking to engage twenty somes measures one thing only: how many people show up. Really? Don’t they care if participants liked it at least and at most led them to enact something in their lives as a result? “No.”

 “Come on, our work is about meaning not numbers,” my head screams.
I’ve worked hard to kill the f’ing conversation in Jewish education it fun or full of facts? In New York we have a language that helps us measure meaning and understanding and real life transfer.

The result has been rewarding and challenging. Now congregations use a common language when talking about growth/impact in learners. When educators are together across congregations or move from one congregation to another they have a measurement vocabulary about: knowledge, beliefs/values, belonging (relationships) and lived action. I am so damn proud of that. It’s awesome that there is a framework for ending fun/facts and moving to attending to nurturing human beings--rewarding.

Challenging: We haven’t worked to “aggregate” this data in a way that shows funders: look at the impact on learners. And so the data on how well a learner is growing as a whole person rests with the educator, the learner and in some more developed places with the parents and maybe one or two places have shared this outcome with boards.

And that’s just not good enough. What is the simple, worthy and measurable outcome that we can work toward and convey to funders?

 One Metric: T.O.N.
Teens On to the Next

What do you think, if the one thing we focus on, the one thing we measure is teens moving on, beyond b'nei mitzvah to a next engagement in Jewish life, community, learning, practice, relationship..? If all our work is to make sure that teens move on to the next engagement then what does our work look like?