Engage: Growing School and Community Partnerships

Over the past six years, the Engage program (known as the Day School Engagement and Enrollment (DSEE) initiative in its first five years and re-branded Engage in 2021) has enabled more than 50 Jewish day schools to position themselves as hubs of Jewish engagement for families with young children. Engage participants indicate that the program has deepened their knowledge of Jewish content and expanded their Jewish social connections. More significantly, the program has drawn them into the orbit of Jewish day school and helped position the school as a central institution for Jewish life. Engage is made possible by the partnership and collaboration with PJ Library and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and by Lisa and Arieh Coll.

What

Engage positions Jewish day schools as hubs of communal Jewish engagement for families.

This year-long cohort program provides funding and expertise to enable day school admission professionals and colleagues to attract prospective students to their schools and build stronger connections across their Jewish community as they support families in making Jewish decisions that fit their needs.

Why

Admission professionals are poised to deepen their relationships throughout the community in order to engage families in all they have to offer in their schools. Preschool is one of the single most important feeders for kindergarten. To grow and sustain stable enrollment, Jewish day schools need preschools to regain their families.

Engage builds off the success of a previous Prizmah initiative, Day School Engagement and Enrollment (DSEE), which enabled more than 30 Jewish day schools to position themselves as hubs of Jewish engagement. DSEE schools have attracted more than 100 new students from families previously unknown to them and over 300 new students from families with a previous connection of some kind.

How

Day school Admission professionals and their PJ Library program partners apply for a limited number of spots in Engage. The application should be completed by the school Admission professional in consultation with the PJ Partner.

There are a limited number of spots for Engage. There is no cost for participation in Engage, which provides the following benefits:

  • Admission professionals and PJ Library program partners expand their relationship throughout the community with organizations such as other Jewish schools, Jewish Family Service organizations, Jewish Community Centers, synagogues, and camps.
  • Over the course of the year, at 12 virtual meetings, the cohort strengthens their skills in capacities critical for engagement: relationship building, stewardship, market segmentation, use of data, and more.
  • Cohort members support each other through an active Community of Practice.
  • Schools will submit data through Data and Analysis For School Leadership (DASL) receive customized reports with a focus on recruitment and retention.
  • Admission professionals receive specialized training on how to mobilize ambassadors from their school in engagement activities.
  • The schools Admission professional and PJ program professionals are required to plan a minimum of four engagements or initiatives over the course of the school year.
  • Participating day schools receive grants of $2,500 to support engagement activities or initiatives.
  • PJ Library program partners receive $500 towards their involvement.

Questions?

Please contact Amy Adler, Senior Director, Catalyzing Resources, at amya@prizmah.org.

Applications

Applications for the 2022-2023 cohort are currently closed. If you would like to be considered for the wait list, please contact Amy Adler, Senior Director, Catalyzing Resources, at amya@prizmah.org. Applications for the 2023-2024 cohort will be open in Spring 2023.

Engage is generously sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Lisa and Arieh Coll.

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PJ Library