Day schools and yeshivas remain our greatest investment in a vibrant Jewish future
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 growth and recognition 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. It gives us reasons to be optimistic about the Jewish future.
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 we develop and promote resources to sustain that energy for years to come, whatever challenges may arise.
Prizmah is the network for Jewish day schools and yeshivas. In this report, we highlight the ways those network connections enhance the success for our stakeholders, such as heads of school, investors, and mental health professionals. We share the impact of Prizmah’s research and thought leadership, using data to drive progress.
The report also focuses on examples of Prizmah’s impact in our core focus areas. In Deepening Talent—YOU Lead, the Head of School Retreat, and Orthodox Women in Leadership are raising the bar for field leaders. Engage, the Prizmah Investor Summit, and affordability projects are demonstrating impact in Catalyzing Resources for schools. And Prizmah is Accelerating Educational Innovation through mental health and school professional development services.
We invite you to read all the ways that Prizmah is supporting the Jewish day school field, including community reports for 17 regions across North America.
On behalf of all who benefit from Prizmah’s work, we express enormous gratitude and appreciation to our Blue Diamond Giving Society supporters and program sponsors listed below.
Please join us in learning more about Prizmah’s impact. We hope that you will consider becoming our partner. The Jewish future always needs more optimists.
Paul Bernstein, CEO
David Friedman, Board Chair
RESEARCH AND 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 dream big! — Investor Summit 2022
Melissa Kushner, Board Chair, Hannah Senesh Community Day School
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.
SUMMITS AND GATHERINGS
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.
COHORTS AND COLLABORATIVES
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 School and 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 positions 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 Popik Coll and 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 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
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.
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.
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 Reshet groups with over 1,000 professionals subscribed across the U.S. and Canada.
AFFORDABILITY AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
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 have 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
In communities where we serve a multitude of schools, Prizmah is proud to report on engagement at a regional level.
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.
Lisa Capelouto and Paul Bernstein
Renee and Steve Finn
Valerie and Dan Perla
Dr. Heschel and Adinah Raskas
Joyce and Michael Bohnen
Laurie and Bernard Hasten
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Sara and Yossi Prager
Steven and Ruthy Rosenberg
Lynn and Skip Schrayer
Morry and Judy Weiss
Rebecca and Marc Wolf
SPECIAL PROGRAM SPONSORS
Lisa Popik Coll and Arieh Coll
Harold Grinspoon Foundation
Head of School Retreat
and 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
Council of American Jewish Museums
Mental Health Summit
Ruderman Family Foundation
Orthodox Women in Leadership
Kolatch Family Foundation
Race and School Culture
Crown Family Philanthropies
Jim Joseph Foundation
Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah
Small Schools Support
Talent Investment Program
Leading Edge Alliance Inc.