From the Desk of Arnee Winshall, RAVSAK Chair
As a result of the planning process, and the vote of confidence and enabling gift from our partner, the AVI CHAI Foundation, all of us involved with RAVSAK are prepared to launch the upcoming school year with renewed vigor, new ideas, and goals that build on past accomplishments. We are energized to move from planning to action with augmented financial and human resources, ready to undertake new challenges with freshly crafted solutions, in order to realize our aspirations:
- to become a programmatic partner of choice. By clearly articulating an ambitious vision, our goal is for organizations to be eager to partner with us on creative, bold and far-reaching initiatives in Jewish education. Our insistence on and reputation for programmatic excellence is attracting the attention of the leading institutions of Jewish education.
- to become a philanthropic investment of choice. Philanthropists want to see that an organization has a strong sense of its vision, mission and values—that it knows what it stands for and where it aims to reach. The business plan is meant to signal to all of you who believe in the importance of day schools that RAVSAK is a dynamic organization; by partnering with us, you are able to make a strategic, sizable impact on the Jewish future.
- to become an employer of choice. Top professionals in the field have already approached us eager to work with and for RAVSAK, excited at the prospect of contributing substantively to strengthening Jewish education. (Meet three outstanding new members of the RAVSAK team on page 55.) In addition, the plan includes RAVSAK’s investment in its staff’s professional development in order to help them stay abreast of important trends and realize our identity as a learning organization.
- to become a network of choice. Through our new and continued programming and services, the plan enables us to solidify our ties with your schools and all stakeholders. It allows us to align our menu of offerings with the express needs of schools so that we can serve you in better, smarter, bigger ways.
Over the next five years, our business plan calls for RAVSAK to grow our programs and capacity to serve our 125 Jewish community day schools and the field. We will weave the professionals and lay leaders in our network to enhance their ability to learn from each other and advance the leadership pipeline; represent the needs of our schools nationally and equip them to advocate locally; educate professionals and lay leaders to promote Jewish leadership and literacy; and provide a focused portfolio of student programs. It is a plan that spells out to all of our constituents how we intend to take on and to measure success.
We have benefited from leveraging the collective wisdom and vision of multiple networks to develop this plan. Lay leaders and professional leadership worked together to ensure that RAVSAK focused on building the field of Jewish community day schools, developing strong knowledgeable Jewish leaders, amplifying Judaic program excellence and galvanizing appreciation and support for day schools.
On behalf of all of those who have been involved in this work, I invite you, our readers, to join in contributing to this dynamic, strategic and generative process that enhances our Jewish future. We encourage you to read the full document online at the RAVSAK website (www.ravsak.org) and to share it broadly with leaders in your community. In that way, you will broadcast widely that you are a part of a much larger field, a field with lofty ambitions under the banner of RAVSAK.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year filled with personal growth and learning.
Arnee Winshall is chair of
RAVSAK’s Board of Directors and founding chair of JCDS, Boston's Jewish Community Day School. Arnee can be reached at email@example.com.