Convening 2: Community Change Initiatives in Complementary Education

March 19th, 2013
2:30pm – 5:00pm PDT
Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles CA


Click here to view the webcast recording of this convening

Complementary (or supplementary) education, often the step-child of Jewish education, is in a period of dynamic change. Recent years have seen the emergence of a host of new models and approaches using everything from family learning to farming as ways to engage participants in more stimulating and impactful learning. At the same time, “traditional” programs are being upgraded through more visionary leadership, improved teaching, and the incorporation of new curricular resources. Much of this change has developed as part of community-wide initiatives to strengthen and transform complementary education. These community-based initiatives have become, in the eyes of many, our best hope for making change on a broad scale, so that not just a few, but nearly every child and family will have the opportunity to experience complementary education at its best.

Despite their growing numbers and importance, little systematic learning has been done about how communities can most effectively mobilize to catalyze and support change in complementary education. This convening will do just that. It will examine a number of today’s most prominent initiatives in order to better understand:

  • Their visions for and assumptions regarding complementary education,
  • Their theories of change,
  • Their strategies and tactics,
  • The challenges they have faced and how these have been dealt with,
  • What we know about their effectiveness and impact, and
  • How lessons from these initiatives can be applied to future efforts

Using examples from around the continent and bringing together the perspectives of a range of stakeholders, including educators, funders, community leaders, and families, the convening will explore what the experiences of diverse initiatives tell us about the requisites for successful change. Participants will also have the opportunity to work together to envision the possibilities for "next generation" initiatives that draw on cutting-edge approaches like design thinking, ecosystem development, and collective impact to redesign local complementary education landscapes.

This convening is the second in a series being organized by JESNA's Berman Center for Applied Innovation, with co-sponsorship from ADCA, NATE, JEA, RENA, and NewCAJE.