The growth of Jewish schools is the single largest change in the Anglo Jewish community over the last twenty years, with over 26,000 Jewish pupils enrolled. In London last year, over 60% of Jewish parents sent their children to Jewish schools.
The JLC’s Report on ‘The Future of Jewish Schools’ in 2008 recognised that this major shift required a serious and thoughtful response to help schools shape their strategic future, and thereby strengthen Jewish life in the UK.
Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS) will lead this response. Building on three years of strategic and consultative work, it will consolidate existing projects, encourage greater efficiency and collaboration and share excellent practice. Operating on a high impact, high value-added basis, PaJeS will work with schools across the community to broker and provide a range of support services to:
- Create a cadre of high quality teachers of Jewish Studies and Ivrit
- Ensure schools have access to exciting and challenging Jewish curriculum resources
- Help Jewish schools respond to wider educational, demographic and political circumstances, in particular issues of supply and demand and the development of new schools.
- Showcase the success of Jewish schools and act as an information point for parents.
PaJeS rests on three key beliefs:
- Teaching and learning are at the heart: we need to attract the best teachers, train them well and ensure they have exciting and challenging resources to respond to the needs of all pupils.
- Collaboration is essential: we need to share expertise and resources while allowing for the specific needs of our wide-ranging community.
- Schools are partnerships: our services will be for governors, parents and support staff as well as for teachers and school leadership.
Working as a division of the Jewish Leadership Council, PaJeS has its own Management and Advisory Boards, chaired by Jonathan Goldstein. UJIA has helped nurture its development and is committed to supporting its baseline running costs for the first three years.
Engaging and exciting Jewish education are a vital component in securing a Jewish future in the UK. Jewish parents now overwhelmingly look to Jewish schools where these are available to provide excellent education and a confident Jewish identity, alongside diverse and popular informal education provision.
PaJeS is committed to helping schools continue their work of building a world- class Jewish school system in the UK. To find out more, visit our website www.pajes.org.uk.
Updates on the Partnership for Jewish Schools