What it is

The PJ Library- Prizmah Day School Engagement and Enrollment Initiative (DSEE) supports Jewish day schools in running PJ Library programs for families with young children. The DSEE initiative has two goals:

  1. Help day schools become hubs for community engagement: Day schools are uniquely positioned to offer high-quality educational programming and enticing social networks for families with young children. Through partnering with day schools, PJ Library implementers can expand their offering of programs and deepen their engagement with young families.
  2. Pave the way for schools to increase enrollment: Through hosting dynamic programs that are open to the whole community, day schools can introduce new families to their schools, build relationships, and cultivate them for enrollment.  PJ Library helps schools learn how to design and market programs to families who they otherwise may not be able to attract. 

The AVI CHAI Foundation and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation launched DSEE in June 2015.  Beginning in March 2017, Prizmah joined the partnership to manage the program with its expertise in and relationships with Jewish day schools.
In order to provide optimal support for community engagement and recruitment, the DSEE initiative offers the following resources:

  1. Grant funding: Day schools receive a matching grant, to be matched by funds from their local community. These grants enable schools to run a minimum of six engagement programs per year for families with young children not yet enrolled at their schools. PJ Library Implementing Partners also receive a grant to support the design and marketing of the school’s engagement programs to reach PJ Library families. 
  2. Professional development, consulting, and networking: Prizmah provides professional development opportunities that include webinars and access to other relevant Prizmah offerings. These offerings are designed to support the work of participating schools and Implementing Partners. Prizmah also offers one-on-one consulting to DSEE coordinators at participating schools on recruitment and retention and designing programs for young families. Prizmah supports a network of DSEE participants and alumni and encourages the sharing of ideas and resources through the group’s Facebook page.

DSEE’s engaging, educational programs are an exciting and innovative way to meet the needs of young local families and showcase schools.  Click here for sample flyers of DSEE programs.

Who it is for

DSEE is designed as a community-based initiative, partnering PJ Library Implementing Partners with their local day schools. Schools cannot apply to DSEE independently, as the partnership with their local PJ Library is at the core of the initiative.  

Why We Offer it

DSEE has an impressive track record in helping boost enrollment at Jewish day schools.  More than a dozen schools have already used DSEE programs to expand their enrollment pipeline. Over the course of two years, sixteen schools have reported enrollment increases, with many between 2-8 new enrollments from families that were introduced to the school through a DSEE program. Schools reported even higher levels of enrollment from families that were known to the school and enrolled after attending DSEE programs.  

PJ Library knows what it takes to engage young families through low-barrier programming, and is trusted among families across denominations and demographics. By partnering with PJ Library, day schools gain access to families they would otherwise have difficulty reaching.