Sparking and Spreading New Models of Family Engagement
Linking Innovation, Networks and Community (J-LINC)
Expanding the reach, variety and impact of Jewish family engagement opportunities.
This previous initiative of The Jewish Education Project helped to expand the reach, variety and impact of Jewish family engagement opportunities. Over the course of three years (2013-2015) the initiative empowered educators and institutions to adapt to the changing nature of today's families with children aged 0-5. By pairing cutting-edge Educational Resource Providers (which we called ERPs) with synagogues and JCCs in the New York metro area, we were able to support new, innovative Jewish family engagement opportunities. The initiative was offered with generous funding from The Covenant Foundation.
So what are the lessons we and our providers learned? What insights did our institutions and parents glean? And perhaps, most importantly, what will all of us take away moving forward?
We offer three videos to help you explore these questions. We have placed them in a particular order below but by using the annotations, you can decide if there is a better place for you to jump in. Further down the page, we also offer you descriptions and links to our ERPs (Educational Resource Providers) for you to learn more about them.
VIDEO: Jewish Early Family Engagement: Designing for Parents and Children (J-LINC)
Parents want high quality, relevant, and meaningful activities and connections for them and their children. This video introduces the initiative in NY that supported the design of new inter-generational Jewish programming by Jewish engagement professionals to attract and engage parents with children 0-5 years of age.
VIDEO: Jewish Early Family Engagement: An Educator's Guide (J-LINC)
The Jewish Education Project partnered with four Jewish community organizations to provide their educators with resources and training to help them develop relevant and meaningful Jewish early family experiences. This video highlights four elements of good design that the educators incorporated into their programs for families with children 0-5.
Video: Jewish Early Family Engagement: What Parents Say (J-LINC)
This video shines a spotlight on families who participated in innovative Jewish early engagement programming designed to be accessible, content rich, and developmentally appropriate. Their voices paint a picture of how a community can work together.
Use the following documents to you to support your work planning for and evaluating your early family engagement programs.
Our four Family Engagement Design Principles highlighted in the video
Pulse Survey we used to evaluate parent engagement levels. Provided here in word format so you can edit for your own organization's needs.
Our Partners: Educational Resource Providers (ERPs)
Our four providers, Storahtelling-Lab/Shul, Areyvut, Avoda Arts, and Teva-Hazon, have designed and delivered family engagement programs that are rich in Jewish content and rooted in their unique programming approaches.
StorahSteps, developed by Storahtelling-Lab/Shul, is a program that enables families to see themselves as part of the Torah and our Jewish story. Using sensory rich props, interactive storytelling techniques, and original music, StorahSteps makes ancient stories and traditions accessible for the youngest of audiences and their parents/caregivers.
Giving2Gether, developed by Areyvut, is a creative program that engages families around chesed (kindness) and tzedekah (charity) through real-world examples, hands-on activities, and modeling behavior. Special attention is paid towards supporting parents’ abilities to continue these values conversations with their children at home.
Under The Table, developed by Avoda Arts, is a pre-Shabbat experience that invites families to experience Jewish tradition and ritual with a sense of wonder and exploration. Using puppetry, music, and strategies for families to join in group conversations, Under The Table creates a setting where children and adults experience Jewish tradition as a family and as a community.
Teva for Tots, developed by Teva-Hazon, is a nature-based sensory-rich program which strengthens connections between nature and Jewish tradition and life. Activities for children and parents prompt an appreciation for nature and the environment through a Jewish lens.
If you are interested in bringing one of these family engagement programs to your community (or if you are outside of the NY area and want to find similar programs or providers near you) feel free to contact the providers above directly or our team at the Jewish Education Project (rpolsky@JewishEdProject.org).