Federation’s Jewish Education Programs to Transition to JCC

April 24, 2017 | Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

The Combined Boards of Governors of the Jewish Federation and the United Jewish Foundation of Metropolitan Detroit have voted to approve the transfer of Federation’s Education Department to the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, beginning June 1, 2017.

Transitioning Federation’s Education Department to the JCC will consolidate the Jewish education and identity-building services that are being provided by both Federation and the JCC and set the stage for a stronger, more cohesive community platform for all Jewish education, identity and cultural programs. The move will also foster greater collaborations between the JCC, Federation, congregations, Jewish day schools, youth groups, and other Jewish education and identity-building organizations, ultimately involving more community-members in a richer array of Jewish education and cultural experiences.

The Federation programs that will transfer to the JCC are: JFamily (PJ Library, Family Jewish Educators, Jbabydetroit!, community programs and SPARC); Adult Jewish Learning (FedEd and Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning); Opening the Doors (Special Needs Jewish Education); School Services (Jewish educator networks and professional development); and Jewish Teen Engagement.

The JCC currently operates 68 programs registering 800,000 – 1,000,000 annual visits. Federation’s Education Department serves thousands of children, teens, adults and families through a variety of Jewish education programs. Bringing these two entities together will facilitate a number of programmatic synergies that enable both organizations to reach more participants, develop new innovative programs and expand educational partnerships with other Jewish identity building organizations located throughout the Metropolitan Detroit area.

“The intent of the plan is to promote a new innovative Center for Jewish Education and Culture,” says Jeffrey Lasday, Senior Director of Community Development at the Jewish Federation. Jeffrey currently leads all Jewish educational programing for Federation and will be moving to the JCC to assume the title of Chief Operating Officer. “This will consolidate and strengthen the resources that currently exist through Federation’s Jewish Education Department and—using the JCC’s platform—make it available to a larger audience throughout the metro Detroit area.”

The students and other constituents of the education programs that move to the JCC will see no difference in their classes and programs, though eventually there will be a wider array of program offerings. In addition, a key principle of this new integrative design is the concept of establishing a “JCC without walls” operating throughout the metro Detroit region. While some programs will take place at the Applebaum Campus in West Bloomfield, many will continue to be offered at the Max M. Fisher Federation Building as well at a variety of other venues and locations, including Oak Park, the Woodward corridor, downtown and other locations that are convenient for users.

Brian Siegel, Executive Director of the JCC, adds, “Central to our concept of a ‘Reimagined JCC’ is the notion that Jewish education and engagement will now form the cornerstone of our core mission and identity. We are incredibly excited to bring the nationally acclaimed Jewish education professionals from the Federation to continue to lead their existing Jewish education programs, integrate their work with existing JCC programs, develop new innovative Jewish education opportunities and serve as part of the JCC’s staff leadership team.”

For more information contact Ted Cohen at (248) 203-1459 or tcohen@jfmd.org.

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