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Day schools and yeshivas remain our greatest investment in a vibrant Jewish future

Prizmah's Annual Impact Report 2021-2022

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Believing in Jewish day schools makes one an optimist. No matter the changing tides or trends, day schools and yeshivas remain our greatest investment in a vibrant Jewish future. The dramatic turnaround that many schools experienced in recent years, as more parents sought out and stuck with day school education, highlights the intrinsic value of our schools and their essential role in the lives of families and communities.

At Prizmah, thanks to the support of investors and optimists across North America, we have been able to lead and serve the day school field in ways that harness the momentum of recent growth and to develop and promote resources to sustain that energy for years to come, whatever challenges may arise.

As you will learn by reading further, Prizmah has made an impact by convening diverse members of the day school community—heads of school, investors, those working in mental health and in Orthodox women's leadership—and by providing the field with knowledge and research that unpacks the nuances of current enrollment and development trends. Hear about the impact of Prizmah’s Reshet (network) groups and how signature programs, like YOU Lead and Engage, continue to grow. Explore new initiatives on community partnerships and affordability, and our community reports for 18 regions across North America. We also continue to be grateful to our Blue Diamond Giving Society supporters and program sponsors listed below.  

Please join us in learning more about Prizmah's impact. The Jewish future always needs more optimists.

Paul Bernstein, CEO
David Friedman, Board Chair

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RESEARCH & THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

To support field leaders, Prizmah conducts original research, gathers and shares data, reports on trends, and partners with organizations to further important research in Jewish day school education. The enrollment and new family surveys in 2021-2022 identified positive trends in day school and yeshiva admissions, while fundraisers are seeing increasing success in their efforts. 

We are all so busy with the day to day. The Prizmah Investor Summit offered a welcome opportunity to step away from the busyness and to come together, be inspired and to dream big! - Investor Summit 2022

Melissa Kushner, Board Chair, Hannah Senesh Community Day School

CONNECTIONS

Prizmah continues to develop our relationships and investment in schools based on their needs. Each cohort, collaborative, Reshet, and gathering directly addresses participants' institutional and professional needs with resources and training to take back to their work and communities.

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COHORTS & COLLABORATIVES

YOU Lead

Prizmah’s signature program for school professionals who aspire to deepen their leadership capacity, continues to grow year over year. 

In addition to a full cohort of 30 leaders, in 2021-2022 Prizmah introduced multiple programs for our YOU Lead alumni to continue developing their skills and support their future endeavors. With Special thanks to the Azrieli Foundation. Learn more

Engage: Growing Schooland Community Partnerships

Over the past six years, the Engage program has enabled Jewish day schools to position themselves as hubs of Jewish engagement for families with young children.

This draws them into the orbit of the school and positioning the school as a central institution for Jewish life. In fact, early results from 22 schools that participated last year show 215 new applicants yielding 179 new enrollments for the coming school year, representing approximately $3.6M in revenue for 2022-2023 alone. With Special thanks to the Grinspoon Foundation and Lisa & Arieh Coll. Learn more

School Counselors Collaborative

School counselors hear from cutting edge speakers in the field of mental health, share resources, and serve to support one another through dilemmas of practice. This year we have added a curriculum writers workshop as well as peer-to-peer facilitated support, allowing career growth that empowers the counselors to educate and become mentors in their own schools and beyond. Learn more

Prizmah’s efforts are focused not only on overcoming mental health challenges, but on putting systems into place to move school communities to mental wellness. 

Race and School Culture Collaborative

Prizmah’s Race and School Culture Collaborative participants share learning, ideas, work samples, challenges, and successes around a specific aspect of their race and school culture work, designed to be responsive to the specific needs of its members. 

Throughout the collaborative, they created professional development plans for their teams, articulated strategies to engage various stakeholders, and aligned their work with the mission, vision, and values of their schools. With Special thanks to the Jim Joseph Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, and Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. Learn more

Orthodox Women in Day School Leadership

Prizmah has embarked on a program of work to support and recruit Orthodox women in school leadership. Prizmah commissioned research on conditions of the field, salary compensation, and identifying rising women leaders. 

One cohort of current heads of school and one cohort of rising leaders meet, receive guidance and one-on-one coaching, and share resources and camaraderie. Exceeding our goals, we accepted 39 women to the rising leaders cohort, nearly double the number we had planned. By supporting and growing these cohorts, we can increase the pipeline and recruit talented educators to key leadership roles. With Special thanks to the Micah Philanthropies and the Walder Foundation. Learn More: Fostering Leadership Among Orthodox Women Learn More: Women's Leadership in an Orthodox School

I have been telling multiple people today how very impressed I was by Prizmah’s “high-touch” approach… I came home feeling like I am part of a larger network. I came home proud to be part of a true chevra. I came home proud of my colleagues and proud of the field. - Head of School Retreat 2022

David Zimand, Head of School, Seattle Jewish Community School

SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS

School Services

Prizmah has served as a consultant and partner to a variety of schools, communities, and foundations, through professional development, coaching, and leadership search options. Prizmah meets schools where they are and enables them to grow and thrive in areas like strategic planning, endowment planning, and community-wide marketing strategies for day school growth. In 2021-2022 Prizmah assisted with the placement of three heads of school during the year, and eleven heads for the 2022-2023 school Year. 

Professional Development

Prizmah also provided support in professional development as a way for schools to invest in the success of their students, the growth of their community, and the values of their school. Ten schools participated in work from areas that included: differentiated instruction, professional learning communities, teacher learning communities, mentoring and coaching for school leaders, accreditation, and creating and maintaining a positive school culture. 

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Reshets

Prizmah Reshet groups utilize a variety of digital communication and in-person opportunities to create meaningful connections with geographically diverse communities of day school and yeshiva professionals. These connections enable schools, communities, and the broader field to deepen relationships and drive impact, knowing that peer-to-peer learning and strong partnerships will strengthen schools and communities. This past year, Prizmah hosted 12 Reshet groups with over 1,000 professionals subscribed across the US and Canada. 

SUMMITS & GATHERINGS

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Mental Health Summit 2022

Prizmah leads the conversation about mental health in Jewish day schools. The Prizmah Mental Health Summit  gathered virtually for three days in May, with over 180 participants and an exceptional range of sessions being run by many of the best providers in the field. The impact of this work is seen in the way counselors take what they have learned and bring resources and modalities directly back to their schools. With special thanks to the Ruderman Foundation.

AFFORDABILITY AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

Partnership Models

Prizmah has worked with community partners to assist with Day School affordability models, including initiatives like that of the Samis Foundation in Seattle that provided significant support to reduce the cost of Jewish day school tuition. Other models, like a $19 million grant from The Zalik Foundation, gave The Weber School in Atlanta the ability to hire and retain staff, enrich the curriculum and build new facilities. Prizmah continues to guide communities in building their own affordability practices based on these and other successful models.

Federation Strategy Group

Prizmah convenes the North American Day School Planning and Strategy Group, consisting of the federation and Board of Jewish Education professionals who lead local day school support. The group has grown to include 18 cities throughout North America, and during the pandemic, our meet-ups were more frequent and the relationships between the professionals and Prizmah has deepened. This year, the Strategy Group launched a smaller working group to focus on government funding and further collective impact, to help schools access this funding through partnerships.

Not only was this program great, but it made me feel deeply that which I always knew about Prizmah - that it can provide things for the Jewish day school field that nobody else can and can provide experiences that school leaders cannot put together on their own. - Mental Health Summit 2022

Adam Englander, Head of School, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach

BLUE DIAMOND GIVING SOCIETY

Prizmah’s work wouldn’t be possible without the support of these generous donors. Friends of Prizmah and members of Prizmah’s Blue Diamond Giving Society form a crucial partnership that builds upon the strength of Jewish day schools, bolsters school leaders, and ultimately keeps students and families connected to Jewish values and the Jewish people.

To join these day school heroes in ensuring Jewish continuity through quality Jewish education, please contact Hannah Olson, Senior Vice President, Development.

SPECIAL PROGRAM SPONSORS

Engage

Lisa Popik Coll and Arieh Coll
Harold Grinspoon Foundation

Head of School Retreat & Investor Summit

Lisa Popik Coll and Arieh Coll
Crown Family Philanthropies
Joyce and David Friedman
Jim Joseph Foundation
Robin and Brad Klatt
Sarena and David Koschitzky
Yehuda and Chani Neuberger

Knowledge Center

Council of American Jewish Museums

Mental Health Summit

Ruderman Family Foundation

 
Orthodox Women in Leadership

Micah Philanthropies
Kolatch Family Foundation
Walder Foundation

Race and School Culture

Crown Family Philanthropies 
Jim Joseph Foundation
Lippman Kanfer Foundation For Living Torah

Small Schools Support

Anonymous

 
Talent Investment Program

Leading Edge Alliance Inc.

YOU Lead

Azrieli Foundation

THE PEOPLE BEHIND PRIZMAH

SUPPORT DAY SCHOOLS!

For more information, please contact Hannah S. Olson, Senior Vice President, Development, at hannaho@prizmah.org.