HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal


Board Leadership

Board Leadership

The role of a board is to lead—to formulate and clarify mission and policies, raise, oversee and manage funds, hire, supervise, support and collaborate with the head, all through the lens of Jewish wisdom. This issue provides guidance for day schools to find the right leaders to serve on the board, and to strengthen their leadership while they are serving.

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From the Desk of Susan Weintrob, RAVSAK President

by Susan Weintrob Nov 01, 2007

For waters shall burst forth in the desert, streams in the wilderness. Isaiah 35:6.

The messianic vision that Isaiah foresees includes the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, and the lame not only walking but leaping. And as if that weren’t enough, the desert blooms. These miracles are not static but dynamic, enabling the flourishing of B’nai Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.

A Word from the Editor

by Dr. Barbara Davis Nov 01, 2007

R AVSAK’s executive director, Marc Kramer, recently noted how frequently people who are asked to prepare a d’var Torah will comment with amazement that the text “speaks to them,” regardless of the timing or subject matter of that text. While we do not claim such miraculous qualities for HaYidion, you will undoubtedly find that this issue also “speaks” to you, striking chords that resonate with your own experiences as day school leaders, both professional and volunteer.

Partners in Leadership

by Marcy Balogh and Cheryl Finkel Nov 01, 2007
RELATED TOPICS: Board Governance

Board Chair: “An article about leadership, so I guess you should write it since you are the leader of the school.”

Head of School: “No, it seems clear to me that if they are talking about a leader, they are talking about you.”

Board Chair: “But not only do you run the operations of the school, you have great expertise related to day schools in general. You are in the best position to speak as the leader.”

The Importance of a Board Retreat

by Suzanne Lynch Nov 01, 2007
RELATED TOPICS: Board Governance

A Board retreat can be a very effective tool for helping the Board of a community day school determine why the school exists, what its vision for the future is and how to create the roadmap for that vision. Because the Board’s time is precious and limited, a successful retreat should be well planned and well facilitated.

Transition and Stability: The Day School and the Interim Head

by Rita Cortes Nov 01, 2007
RELATED TOPICS: Board Governance

Before getting too far into this commentary, let me make sure of full disclosure: This article does not purport to represent any kind of scientific or organized study of the experience of Jewish day schools and interim Heads of School and their relationship with their Boards of Trustees. Rather, my intent is to share with you some of our experiences from the past year at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Overland Park, Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City), as seen through the eyes of the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Non-Jewish Board Members

by Dr. Barbara Davis Nov 01, 2007
RELATED TOPICS: Board Governance

A disturbing website highlighting the “power” of Jews in the current federal executive branch asks the following questions:

  • “To what degree do these people have allegiance to the Jewish victimology tradition?
  • “To what degree do they hold dear the state of Israel within their respective organization’s policy?
  • “To what degree do they reflect a ‘Jewish view of the world’?
  • “To what extent are these people activists in public policy socialization processes, sensitizing the public to Jewish interests and concerns?”

Getting the Right People “on Board”

by Mary Hundley deKuyper Nov 01, 2007
RELATED TOPICS: Board Governance

Adapted from the NAIS Trustee Handbook: A Guide to Effective Governance for Independent School Boards, Ninth Edition.

In his best-selling book, Good to Great, management guru Jim Collins talks about “getting the right people on the bus.” By this he means that a company’s success is not the result of filling all the job vacancies, but by ensuring that the most appropriate people for each job are filling the roles… and that they can work together as a team. This is vitally important for independent school Boards as well. Every Board seat should be filled by competent and committed individuals who give of their time, talents, and treasure.

Support for the Head = Support for the School

by Judy Miller Nov 01, 2007
RELATED TOPICS: Board Governance

Moving to a new community to become the head of a Jewish community day school is exciting and challenging, but can be overwhelming personally and professionally. Heads experience the thrill of finding a school that is a “good fit” for their education and experience and lay leadership, staff and students are excited, also. Everyone wants the new relationship to succeed.

Cultivating and Recruiting New Board Leadership

by Arnee Winshall Nov 01, 2007
RELATED TOPICS: Board Governance

In my last article (September, 2006), I discussed the process of profiling and building a Board and its impact on the success of a new school. However, it is not only when a new non-profit institution is being formed that the Board is critical to its successful fulfillment of the mission. In fact, it may be even more important and a greater challenge as the school strives to maintain its focus and re-invent itself over and over again in pursuit of excellence and its vision.