Research Corner: Prizmah's Knowledge Center--A Treasure for Day School Leaders

In March 2019, Prizmah launched an online Knowledge Center to serve as an asset to the field of Jewish day schools, with curated resources aimed at Jewish day school professional leaders and lay leaders. It contains videos, templates, samples, articles, reports and research that have particular relevance to Jewish day schools. The Knowledge Center is constantly growing based on the needs of the field, with newly created and curated articles, templates and research uploaded regularly.

Prizmah’s Reshet Groups provide one vehicle for field leaders to voice their needs. When we see interest in a specific topic, we curate resources around that topic and make them available on the Knowledge Center. Among recent examples, we have curated resources for day schools on the measles outbreak, on school security and on supporting children in the face of tragedy.

A valuable component of the Knowledge Center is that it contains studies, briefs and reports conducted by academic institutions, research-based consulting firms and organizations, all in one place. By either browsing a topic or using the search bar, a user can filter results for research, templates, videos, case studies and HaYidion articles.

“Affordability” and “Teaching and Learning” are the two most visited topics on the Knowledge Center. As tuition increases to meet requirements to provide an excellent Judaic and secular studies education, affordability is on the forefront of the minds of Jewish communities, parents and day school leaders. Under “Affordability,” one can find research that looks at the relationship between tuition and enrollment (“Income and Jewish Connection Determine Who Can’t Afford Jewish Day School” by the Berman Jewish Data Bank and “Effects of Tuition Increases on Enrollment Demand” by ISM, Measuring Success and NBOA), as well as reports on middle income affordability strategies (“Greenbook: Jewish Day School Financial Sustainability and Affordability” by Daniel M. Held and “Yehoshua Ben Gamla’s Vision in Practice: Kehillah Funds” by Charles Cohen.)

“Teaching and Learning” contains valuable resources on Judaic studies, tefillah and Israel, pillars for Jewish day schools. One can find research papers produced by the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education that delve into measures of success in Israel education (“Assessing Outcomes in Israel Education”), the role of Hebrew and Israel in Jewish education (“Purposes and Practices of Israel/ Hebrew Education: Towards a Joint Agenda for Applied Research”), and the capacities required to be an effective educator (“The Israel Educator: An Inquiry into the Preparation and Capacities of Effective Israel Educators).

The compendium of research in Jewish education is constantly growing. If you are aware of relevant research, or have conducted research whose wider accessibility would benefit the field, we would love to hear about it. Next time you are looking for research specifically relevant to Jewish day schools, consider using Prizmah’s Knowledge Center as a tool.

Odelia Epstein
Deepening Talent