Giving Compass' Take:

• eJewish Philanthropy plans to highlight professional Jewish afterschool educators and provide a forum for them to share best practices and further professionalize the field of Jewish education.

• In what other ways can donors support Jewish afterschool educators? 

Understand more of the context and perspective in Jewish philanthropy. 

Over the years, at Studio 70 in Berkeley, we’ve been excited about many new and innovative initiatives taking place in the afterschool Jewish learning space. We’ve made it a priority of our organization to share our own work as well as celebrate the work of others. And we’ve continued to highlight the need for much greater investments to support the field. That’s because there are amazing programs being run after school, in supplemental community-based programs, religious schools and Hebrew schools throughout North America; but you wouldn’t know it.

Hundreds if not thousands of talented, imaginative educators can be found in these communities doing fantastic work, but their stories aren’t being told.

And much if not all of their exciting work remains siloed.

In the absence of a national organization tasked with and funded to develop the infrastructure to support the needs of this domain, the time has come to adopt a different approach – professionalize the field from the bottom up.

These are the kinds of educators we want engaging with our children. And for many if not most of the educators in the after school learning space, this describes who they are and how they see themselves. If only we’d recognize them as such.

Afterschool Jewish educators are on the front lines of Jewish learning for hundreds of thousands of children making Jewish life and learning meaningful and joyful every day. They support our kids and families to build positive Jewish identities. Yet too often they are undervalued and left out of larger conversations about Jewish learning after school.

Our plan is simple, to create a space to listen to the voices of these educators, celebrate them and their work, and in so doing contribute to the professionalization of the field.

Read the full article about jewish educators by Rabbi Joshua Fenton at eJewish Philanthropy.