Reshet: The Network for Jewish Youth Provision

Reshet: the Network for Jewish Youth Provision was established by the Jewish Leadership Council and UJIA in April 2015, following a thought-provoking piece of research.

Reshet, the Hebrew word for ‘network’, aimed to further enhance informal education in the British Jewish community through enabling organisations and professionals in the field to enrich, inspire and further enhance young people’s Jewish lives.

To fulfill its purpose, Reshet focuses on three areas to ensure continuity, strengthen community and further embed Israel and Jewish content:

  1. Capacity building for informal Jewish educational organisations
  2. Creating a cohesive and effective community of informal Jewish education professionals
  3. Stimulating educational impact: educational content that directly impacts on young people.

To ensure Reshet meets the needs of both professional and volunteers in the field, practitioners from 10 organisations, including a representative of the Zionist Youth Council, meet regularly with the Reshet Chair, Elliott Goldstein and Executive Director, Shelley Marsh.  The items on Reshet’s agenda are therefore strategic as well as highly practical.

Opportunities to network

The recognition that the field has worked in silos of informal educators in schools, synagogues, youth movements, JCCs and youth organisations, coupled with a fairly rapid turnover of professional staff in the field gave Reshet an opportunity to create an Annual Gathering, a networking event which aims to ensure informal educators have a time to meet, share ideas and information.

I have never met with the informal education team at the synagogue where many of my year 7 students are having their Bnei Mitzvot.  Meeting with some of that team at the initial Reshet Annual Gathering has bridged a gap.  It seems really obvious now that we should have been in regular contact for years.

- Informal educator in a Jewish secondary school.

Opportunities to reflect

Reshet’s training and development programme for informal educators began in October 2016. The programme aims to develop a range of skill sets, based on the needs of its participants.  The output will be individuals increase their mentoring and coaching skills through structured sessions, bringing the best of themselves back to their organisations.

One participant noted:

I am able to see the benefits that learning about active listening is already bringing me when I am managing my team.

Reshet will open the professional development programme to an additional cohort in March 2017.

Opportunities to learn

21st Century Teens was the subject of the first conference in the field for over a decade. The high caliber 2-day conference attracted international and UK presenters, focusing on the changes noted in this generation.

The Healthy Relationships Conference, to be held on 2 February 2017 will give educators the tools to support young people in thinking critically about the healthy relationships they create with themselves, others and wider society. Reshet will bring communal expertise from Jami, Streetwise, Keshet UK, JW3 and Jewish Women’s Aid together with highly proficient presenters in this arena, creating an opportunity to learn more about supporting our youth.

Safeguarding from Good to Great

Safeguarding knowledge is absolutely vital for all who work in communities.

Working in partnership with NSPCC, Reshet recently delivered a ‘Training for Trainers Course’, the first of a number of safeguarding interventions.