Social media is increasingly transforming the field of education, and Jewish education. Three innovators in the field are collaborating to accelerate adoption of social media tools and increase excellence in their use in the New York area to change the landscape of Jewish education and family engagement. BJENY-SAJES (a beneficiary agency of UJA-Federation), the Experiment in Congregational Education, and Darim Online (Equal Opportunity Employers) seek to pioneer new approaches to education through more robustly engaging parents and networking educators, clergy, and lay leaders involved in educational innovation. The new social media tools offer the opportunity for us to take a leap forward in this vital work. We are now hiring for a new position, based at BJENY-SAJES in New York City. The Social Media Project Manager will lead and coordinate the design and implementation of two projects specifically focused on enabling early childhood centers and congregational education programs to share innovative educational approaches with member families and build learning communities among educators, clergy, and engaged lay leaders from across institutions engaged in these new educational practices. Find more details about the job here.
And… they’re off! Over 60 representatives from 19 congregations joined the kickoff of our first Social Media Boot Camp, for congregations on Long Island. Gathered in the UJA Federation of NY offices in Syosset, we introduced ourselves via a Jeff Pulver-style social tagging activity, and then learned about the themes and concepts of social media tools and culture.
While a focus of the program will be to help the participating congregations design and implement social media projects in their communities, the not-so-subtext of the program is about a major strategic shift from top-down service provision to bottom-up community building and education. Some congregations are already headed this way, and others are struggling to even wrap their heads around the ideas.
Because the underlying shift is about much more than starting a Facebook page or a blog, it’s critical that both staff and lay leadership participate in the process, to engage the whole organization in this learning and reflection. Teams worked on the P and O steps of a POST analysis to begin planning their projects. People – Objectives – Strategy – Technology. You can learn more about the POST process from Groundswell.
Their first assignment? LISTENING. Some resources on listening if you’d like to play along at home:
Beth Kanter’s Blog (great nonprofit social media blog)
NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network) We Are Media project, Module 1: Listening
Another Beth Kanter special – second half has a useful checklist
These include many examples and links to further resources.
And thanks once again to UJA Federation of NY for supporting this program!
Thanks to funding from UJA Federation of New York, Darim is launching our first Boot Camp on Long Island. The Boot Camps are a year long program intended to infuse new knowledge and skills into participating organizations, coach a team from each organization as they take on a social media project (a new plan, a blog, a Facebook strategy, launching a Twitter stream, etc.). Built on a community of practice model, we will encourage knowledge sharing and examine case studies of successful adoption and impact in other organizations.
The Long Island project grew out of a discussion among local Rabbis. Eager to learn about social media, and with the awareness that the tools, skills and mindset were essential to engage and serve especially the younger generations, they worked with the SYNERGY program of UJA Federation of NY to fine tune their interests and goals. Darim’s new Boot Camp model fit the bill perfectly.
We’ll be hosting webinars this month for representatives from Long Island congregations to learn a bit about social media, and to get more information about the year long program which will kick off just after High Holy Days this fall. Synagogues will be invited to apply for the program this summer.
Are you from a Long Island congregation? Know someone who is? Pass along the information! The introductory webinar is free, and we’re offering it at 4 times, for maximum convenience. But you have to register. Staff, lay leadership and volunteers from Long Island congregations are invited. Multiple representatives from a single congregation are encouraged! Learn more and sign up here.