Notes From The Executive Director

This season I enter into my fifth year as Executive Director of RAVSAK. When I first began at RAVSAK, my fall newsletter column focused on our need to get organized, to grow the network, and to find someone interested in donating a “gently used fax machine.” I am most happy to report that with the skillful leadership of our Executive Committees and the unprecedented support of a handful of philanthropic partners, RAVSAK has more than achieved this mandate: We have organized ourselves into a leading voice in Jewish education, grown faster and stronger than any other membership organization, and, yes, we even have a fax machine! Humor aside, we have much to rejoice – and much still to do- as we celebrate RAVSAK’s 20th anniversary.

2005-2006 has much in-store for RAVSAK members. We have expanded our repertoire of consulting services, providing guidance and resources in board development and education, teacher training, executive placement and the transition process, Judaic curriculum, mission/vision alignment, and conflict resolution. Our on-line services now include password protected school profiles, peer-alike bulletin boards, and list-serves in addition to cost-effective website development, graphic design and website hosting. Project SuLaM: Study, Leadership and Mentoring is well underway, with all 16 participants implementing culture-enriching projects in their schools across North America. Middle school and high school issues are at the top of our agenda as we seek new ways to strengthen both and increase the number of children in the upper grades. The Annual Leadership Conference will feature some of the most important figures in the field independent school education, including Pat Basset, president of NAIS, Mark Silk, program director of the New Teachers Center, Christina Druin, director of PlanOnline, Charlotte Abramson, project director of the AVI CHAI Judaic Benchmarks and Standards Program, and many more. This promises to be a truly wonderful networking and professional development event.

This year will also see the development and launch of a new strategic plan which will provide a blueprint for RAVSAK’s continued success. Central to our vision is the development of a national leadership board composed of “thinkers, doers and givers” prepared to help shape the future of the Jewish community day school experience. We are seeking your input in the formation of this board. Please let me know of the lay and professional leaders in your community who may have the interest and capacity to serve at the national level.

Let me conclude by thanking the members of the Executive Committee for their time, talents, commitments and trust. The entire staff- in fact, the entire network- benefits from their thoughtful leadership.

My heartfelt wishes for a shana tova u’metuka (a sweet and good year) to all. May it be G-d’s will that each and every child and family we serve grow in their knowledge of Torah, their connections to Israel, and their life-long commitments to gemilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness).

Dr. Marc N. Kramer is the Executive Director of RAVSAK. He can be reached at
Dr. Marc N. Kramer
Measuring the Success of a School's "Jewish Mission"
Published: Fall 2005