The vastly expanding demands put upon school leaders provides schools with an opportunity to create their own form of distributed leadership. Baker explains what leadership teams are, why they offer many benefits, and how a team can be most effective.
HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal
Attending the Crisis of Leadership
Day school leadership, especially headship, confronts all kinds of crises: regular school crises, driven by finances or parents; short tenure (averaging 2.5 years); limited pool of qualified applicants; and an impossible workload with little room for family life. These articles analyze aspects of the problem and offer remedies that professionals and lay leaders might implement in their schools.
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The AVI CHAI Foundation, the largest investor in programs to develop Jewish day school leadership, draws lessons from its experience in this area and offers nine functions essential to this work.
The president of the Wexner Foundation, which has educated hundreds of Jewish lay leaders, offers guidance for creating boards with the excitement, growth and collaboration designed into their programs.
This article presents an expert map for the successful functioning of a professional, invigorated, well managed board.
Peter Drucker wrote, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Yeah, right, you might be thinking. Did he ever run a day school? We all entered the field seeking to do the right things, only to encounter the incredible challenges of doing things right. Nobody ever aspired to be just a manager.
The Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School sprang up in the historic downtown core of Toronto in 1998. Opened with ten students, it served Jews who, by virtue of living downtown in the former shtetl, lived outside the current shtetl; urbane, socially conscious Jews who celebrated diversity and the arts and built them into their school. These Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and secular, gay and straight, single and married parents of Jewish children viewed community more through a lens of inclusion than exclusion. The school’s adults formed what researchers Alex Pomson and Randall Shnoor termed “a community of difference,” meaning that one of the traits members shared in common was gratitude for the many things that distinguished one from the other.
The authors contest that the prevailing model of head-board chair relations is too confining and unrealistic. They advocate a model of collaboration and mutual growth, with some overlapping areas of consultation and responsibility.
There’s no way around it: giving needs to start from the board. Remin describes how to conceptualize and incentivize a board that holds its financial weight.
Representatives of a prominent search firm for nonprofit leaders encourage organizations throughout the Jewish community to take responsibility for leadership development.
In contrast to the previous article, Alter argues that the qualities of leadership required by day school heads differ substantially from the qualities required for excellence within the classroom.
Where should schools look for its leaders and how should they be cultivated? The current and future heads of California’s Heschel Day School describe a successful process of transition within the school.
This third article in the series, by the founder of Moishe House, argues that the crisis lies not in the number of qualified leaders but in the lack of leeway that established organizations provide for young leaders to lead.
In this second article about national Jewish leadership programs, the leader of Ramah camps reviews some of the elements of their success, and presents recent initiatives to expand their impact well beyond the summer.
In this, the first of three articles describing the understandings, aims and methods of prominent national programs in Jewish leadership development, Ain describes the three tiers of leadership programming at the Jewish Federations of North America.
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