Phoenix: Playing Together
Lauren Kreisberger, Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management, Pardes Jewish Day School
Pardes Jewish Day School and PJ Library Phoenix received a very generous gift from Prizmah’s Engage program, allowing us to create authentic relationships and partnerships to enhance community engagement. The aim was to foster greater involvement and interaction within the community. This involved not only the students, faculty and staff but also broader relationships and collaborations.
We had the opportunity to partner with a diverse range of organizations, such as the Center for Jewish Philanthropy, Arizona Science Center, Bureau of Jewish Education, Jewish Free Loan, and community clergy, among others. These collaborations allowed us to pool resources and expertise and maximize our collective impact. Why spread the community thin with four separate events, by four different organizations with the same goal, when we can have one larger, well-planned one?
The collaborative efforts had a positive impact on recruitment and retention efforts and contributed to the growth and, hopefully, the sustainability of our organizations. Our emphasis on community building, Jewish traditions and values, from preschool through young teen programming, demonstrated a dedication to inclusivity and ensuring that our community members of all ages felt welcome and engaged. “Havdalah Under the Stars” and “The Rabbi Slurps Spaghetti” events are great examples of innovative and fun ways to bring people together.
This attracted new families to campus that may not have otherwise come. These events provided an opportunity for newcomers to see our beautiful campus, meet our amazing teachers, interact with our outstanding student ambassadors and learn about our educational philosophy, all while experiencing the warmth of our community.
We really feel we have started something that is contagious in our community and we look forward to seeing where it takes us next. “Those that play together, stay together!”
Amy Helman- Darley, Outreach and Engagement Manager, The Davis Academy
In my work for Nurture, our school’s program that engages, connects, and supports families with young children throughout the greater Atlanta community, one of the first words that comes to mind when thinking about partnerships is kehillah. Kehillah, a term rooted in the Hebrew word for community, beautifully encapsulates the essence of unity, mutual support, and collective responsibility. Its wisdom can breathe life into our partnerships with other organizations, infusing them with deeper meaning and purpose.
For the last year, Pam Cohen, PJ Library Atlanta Manager, and I have been working together to strengthen the Atlanta Jewish community through monthly programs showcasing the value of kehillah. The support of Prizmah through Engage allowed us to strengthen our partnership and develop more community-focused programming.
PJ Library and Nurture are two initiatives that share similar values and missions that support and engage families with young children in the Atlanta Jewish community. We understand that families are looking for opportunities to connect with others in a similar age and stage, and together, we are offering programs to support them through fun, meaningful, and Jewish-themed experiences.
Our Li’l Shabbat: Hanukkah Around the World is a signature program that highlights the diversity of the Jewish community in a welcoming environment. During this program, families participate in a preschool-aged Shabbat service, and then they “tour the world” by visiting different tables hosted by Davis Academy and PJ Library families who immigrated to the United States from different countries. Each host family shares special Hanukkah traditions that are unique to their homeland. Building on the success of this program last year, we are excited to expand and engage even more families this upcoming Hanukkah.
By working together, we can build on the strengths of each organization and combine them to bring high quality programming to the community. In the spirit of kehillah, we truly are stronger when working together.