CASJE Announces Inaugural Program of Research in Jewish Educational Leadership

November 23, 2014

The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) has selected American Institutes for Research (AIR) to conduct its inaugural research project in Jewish Educational Leadership. This project is designed to begin creating a research base to inform and develop the practices and effectiveness of leaders in Jewish educational settings.

CASJE, a consortium of researchers, practitioners, and funders in the Jewish education sector, released a first-of-its-kind, highly competitive RFP for rigorous research on Jewish Educational leadership in the day school arena. The scope of work will address two main questions:

  1. What characterizes effective educational leadership in Jewish day schools?
  2. Specifically, what characterizes distinctively “Jewish educational leadership” in Jewish day schools?

AIR, one of the world’s largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations, was selected from a strong group of proposers to conduct the CASJE inaugural research study.

Research shows that good schools need good principals. AIR is proud to have been chosen by CASJE to help identify the practices of principals that lead to higher student outcomes related to the mission and goals of Jewish day schools. By identifying these best practices, AIR hopes that the training and development of effective principals in Jewish day schools will be improved. (Mark Schneider, Vice President and Institute Fellow, Education Program, American Institutes for Research, Project PI)

CASJE is based at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, where Emeritus Professor Lee Shulman chairs CASJE’s advisory board. “When we issued our first Request for Proposals in the field of Jewish Education Leadership earlier this year, we were very pleased with the scope and quality of the proposals we received,” says Professor Shulman. “Our Advisory Board, which includes leaders in general and Jewish education research, practice, and funding, selected three finalists with strong credentials. AIR’s history, track record of work, and focus on research leading to impact, stood out for this project.”

Support for CASJE’s inaugural program of research comes from the AVI CHAI and Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundations.

“This project will benefit all players in the field of Jewish education,” says Dr. Susan Kardos, Senior Director, Strategy and Education Planning at the AVI CHAI Foundation, one of CASJE’s core funders and champions. “Practitioners will learn more about what specific experiences, practices, and contexts make for effective Jewish leadership. Researchers will benefit from an infusion of resources and information. And funders will learn about features of promising leadership training and professional development programs that are worthy of philanthropic investment. All will have the satisfaction of seeing knowledge increase and practices improve.”

Most important, new knowledge gained from this research is expected to benefit Jewish education scholars, practitioners, and funders for years to come. One interesting aspect of the project will be the opportunity to share information with those who are outside the field of Jewish education but interested in similar issues. Shulman, observes, “We envision this research being of value to other faith-based education institutions and funders, also grappling with what educational practices are truly effective.”

“We are excited about AIR’s work, and CASJE’s ability to add value to the field,” says Sarai Brachman Shoup, Director of the Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation, a supporter of CASJE. “This work will truly break new ground in applied research that translates to stronger practices and outcomes in Jewish education in general, and Jewish Education Leadership in particular.”

For more information, contact Wendy Rosov at [email protected].