Odelia is Prizmah's Director of the Knowledge Center. Learn more about her here.

Together, Let’s Shape a Brighter Future, One Survey at a Time

Take the Survey

In this age of information, we hold the power to create positive change. Data, although raw and unassuming, possesses the potential to transform lives when put into action. It’s the stories we derive from data and how we utilize them in real life that truly matter.

Consider the remarkable impact of sharing information about non-salary benefits offered to staff, involving sixty-eight Jewish day schools and yeshivas. Through this initiative, the aggregate data became accessible to school professionals in a comprehensive report. What may have initially seemed like an insignificant survey in your inbox, or perhaps even mundane busywork, had the power to positively alter people’s lives.

During the 2022 Prizmah Conference, a head of school shared a compelling story. When he assumed leadership, the school he leads did not provide health insurance to its staff. However, armed with data from the 2020-2021 Benefits Report, which highlighted the health coverage offered by other Jewish day schools and yeshivas, he successfully persuaded the school’s board to offer essential medical benefits to their employees. By presenting fieldwide data, he revealed the typical percentage of coverage provided by schools. Now, this school offers health insurance, providing a lifeline to its employees. Each individual who contributed their school’s data played a pivotal role in this achievement, helping teachers and other school staff who now have access to health insurance through their employers.

In another instance, a school leader faced difficulties in recruiting new teachers. However, armed with data from DASL (Data and Analysis for School Leadership), a repository for information from over 100 Jewish day schools, the leadership was able to assess their compensation structure and understand their position in the market. Realizing the need for change, they made the decision to increase teacher salaries. Remarkably, the professionals who contributed their school’s compensation structures directly aided teachers in another institution, ensuring they received well-deserved raises.

Furthermore, Prizmah conducted a recent survey focusing on school financial aid and affordability initiatives. This data plays a vital role in identifying trends and determining the most effective models that can be adopted in other communities and schools. The simple act of providing information about your school’s financial aid program has the potential to make Jewish day school education affordable for thousands of families in communities across North America.

For years, Prizmah has been at the forefront of collecting and reporting enrollment trends in Jewish day schools and yeshivas. While it may seem inconsequential, this knowledge and research of the bigger picture within the day school landscape is essential for philanthropists and funders to make informed, multimillion dollar, impactful investments in Jewish day school education. I’ve seen this happen.

By participating in surveys, you are more than just completing a form. You are instrumental in securing health insurance and raises for teachers. You are helping families access a Jewish education. You are enabling more students to receive the gift of a Jewish education. You are assisting funders in making strategic investments in the day school system.

So, the next time you receive a survey in your inbox which you may think is seemingly insignificant (or occasionally annoying), keep in mind that your participation can have real impact in other schools and communities. Your input creates tangible, positive change and has lasting impact. Together, let’s shape a brighter future, one survey at a time.