HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal

From The Executive Director

by Dr. Marc N. Kramer Issue: Teaching Hebrew


I hope, please G-d, that you are all well and continue to find joy in your most holy work.

At the recommendation of the Executive Committee, RAVSAK launched a strategic planning process this past fall to envision our future. We have been fortunate enough to have Dr. Ray Levi, head of the Minneapolis Jewish Day School and RAVSAK vice president for planning, to lead this process. With input from key informants from across the spectrum of Jewish educational and philanthropic organizations, and guided by RAVSAK’s past presidents and many current school leaders, the Executive Committee is putting the finishing touches on an exciting strategic plan that will undoubtedly keep RAVSAK and all of our schools at the leading edge of Jewish day school education.

Dozens of great minds have helped shape our emerging plan – too many to thank here- but I do want to acknowledge Dr. Bill Robinson, Director of Education and Research at the Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation, who has provided incredible insights into our work and has challenged us to challenge some of our own assumptions. Bill, todah rabah.

Like most well-developed plans, we have explored ways to improve what we already do, expand the scope of our work, and account for the impact these changes will have on the organization’s structure and vitality. As an outcome of a recent needs assessment and the strategic planning process itself, RAVSAK will expand its focus in order to continue to serve its rapidly growing network of member schools. This program focus will have 5 key components:

· Enrich professional and lay leadership through research, programs, and conferences that build position knowledge, develop leadership and managerial skills, heighten positive disposition, encourage tenure, and strengthen commitment to Jewish diversity;

· Develop protocol and policy best practice modules that ensure authentic pluralism and equal the highest standards of leading independent schools;

· Promote religious purposefulness, a commitment to life-long learning, and the centrality of Israel – the land and its people, across time and today in our schools;

· Expand networking capacities within and across administrative positions to promote peer learning, reduce professional isolation and foster a culture of mutual support;

· Facilitate like-school, inter-school, regional and North American-wide student programming at the primary, middle and high school levels which provide opportunities for collective learning, tzedakah, and spiritual growth.

Additionally, the strategic plan calls for significant attention to RAVSAK’s infrastructure which must evolve if we are to meet the needs of our members and achieve our important goals. As this increase in capacity is vital to our success, we have already begun the process of seeking new office space, restructuring and expanding the professional staff, and developing meaningful partnerships with leaders in the philanthropic community.

Ultimately, these changes will allow us to substancially increase the quality and quantity of the guidance, advocacy, consultation, result and service we provide. I look forward to keeping you abreast of these developments.

I again wish to thank all of those individuals who have helped shape RAVSAK’s new strategic plan. It has been an honor to work with you, and more so, to be a part of such an exciting process. My warmest wishes for a chag Shavuot sameach, Dr. Marc N. Kramer.

Dr. Marc N. Kramer is the Executive Director of RAVSAK, he can be reached at mkramer@ravsak.org

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