Publications Revealed: Monthly Newsletter
September 2011
JData Revealed


Jewish Day Schools on the Map
Data Matters
Varieties of Day Schools
As A New School Year Opens
JData in Boston
A Tale of Four Cities
Two Sides of the Jewish Education Funding Table



New 2011-12 JData profile forms are now available. Start entering your data today! 


Learn more about the profile forms here. 









September 2011


Sept. 22: Exploring the 


             of Jewish 


 October 2011  


Oct. 5: Power of JData----

           Getting Started


Oct 27: Exploring the 


           of Jewish




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Letter from the Director  

We are very pleased to bring you the September issue of JData Revealed. Marking the beginning of the school year, we focus on data from Jewish day schools, both nationally and within four of our partner communities.


Each year, school information is entered into JData Profiles, either by participating schools or by our team of researchers who cull data from public sources. The information covers the school's "vital statistics"---- 
enrollment, staffing, financial resources, and governance. In the aggregate, the data, available on the Research page of, reveal the size and variety of the Jewish day school world.


This year, the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) has joined with JData to collect information from all of the schools participating in its programs. The schools will have access to JData's full array of reports while PEJE will have the information it needs to measure the impact of its programs and to develop new initiatives. Read more about this exciting new partnership below.


Boston is not only our hometown but also JData's original pilot site and a model for how communities can use data for educational planning. Dr. Alan Oliff and Elisa Deener-Agus of Combined Jewish Philanthropies' Initiative for Excellence in Day School Education explain how Boston has used data to monitor change in the community and to create new initiatives for the schools.  


Also in this issue, Dr. Marvin Schick, originator of the day school census, interprets the trend data that he has been following for over a decade. Michael Bohnen, president of the Adelson Family Foundation, articulates the importance of the field and the high value of data for funders and others who care about the strength of the day school system.


JData is a dynamic database, with new schools adding more data every week. We hope this issue gives you a flavor of the site's great potential to provide useful information and motivates you to visit to see what else you can learn from its growing repository of information.


We look forward to a great year of data collection and knowledge building. L'shana tova from the JData Team to all of our readers and users,


Amy L. Sales, Ph.D.


Project Director
Senior Research Scientist, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

JData Revealed: Jewish Day Schools on the Map

Every organization in JData is keyed to zip code so that we are literally able to put every day school on the map. Doing so reveals that the placement of Jewish day schools exactly mirrors the density of local Jewish populations. The most populous areas----metropolitan New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago----have the largest number of schools and commensurately serve the largest numbers of students (Figure 1). Blank spaces or single dots on the map mean that families in Jewish communities across the country have few if any options for Jewish day school education for their children.


Figure 1: Jewish Day Schools in North America  



Data Matters                                                       
Donna Woonteiler, Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education   

The ability to collect data from Jewish day schools across North America is essential if we are to meet the very real challenge of financial sustainability for an enduring Jewish future. To that end, the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) is delighted to join with JData to better serve the data reporting and analysis needs for Jewish day schools. 


Read more... 

JData Revealed: Varieties of Day Schools

Day schools vary greatly by denominational identification and size. 


Below is the enrollment results page from JData Research (Figure 5)The Summary Statistics show that the smallest schools have fewer than ten students and the largest has over 4,000 students. The Analysis Table shows that there are schools of every size in between these two extremes.



As a New School Years Open
Marvin Schick 

Until the late 1990s, we lacked complete and accurate data on day school enrollment in the United States. The few data collection efforts failed to include the fervently Orthodox schools and therefore represented only a fraction of the day school world. The Jewish community's growing interest in supporting day school education created the need for better information and, in 1998, with funding from The AVI CHAI Foundation, I began the first national census of Jewish day schools. Additional censuses were conducted in 2003 and 2008 giving us a picture of change over time. With the economic downturn in 2008, we also began an annual mini-census based solely on total enrollment in the non-Orthodox and Modern Orthodox schools. Our most important learning about shifts in the day school world has come from these trend data.



JData in Boston
Alan Oliff & Elisa Deener-Agus,
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston

Over the past ten years, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) has been collecting data about our day schools as part of our annual allocation program. We have now established a solid and growing set of data that help us respond to short-term concerns as well as conduct long-term review and analysis. We use the data to monitor and review trends, to inform our decisions, to devise and evaluate initiatives for the whole community, and to answer questions as they arise throughout the year. Our effort is focused on strengthening our day schools and finding ways to increase enrollment. Importantly, we also use the data to help the schools review their own school improvement and strategic plans. In that regard, the process is not just about data. It's also about relationships among people and conversations about what's helpful and important to both the community and the schools.


Read more... 


 JData Revealed: A Tale of Four Cities 


Four communities that have adopted JData as their platform for data collection in 2011-12 also gathered 2010-11 information so that this past year now serves as their baseline for future years. These communities----Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Seattle----are located in the four corners of the country and represent communities of different sizes in terms of both population and institutions. For the first time, community-level data on day schools are available in a format that enables us to compare key indicators across communities.


 Read more... 

Two Sides of the Jewish Education Funding Table
Michael Bohnen

I have the good fortune of sitting on both sides of the Jewish education funding table. I am Treasurer of the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) and have served as chair of two day schools. I also serve as president of a foundation that is a PEJE partner and day school funder. I know from personal experience and anecdotal evidence that day schools are making a major difference to their families and to our communities. But funders need more than stories, and planners at local and national levels need to see and understand numbers, trends and outcomes. For example, it would be very helpful to have national information about efforts to support students with special needs at particular kinds of schools or particular grade levels. It would also be useful to learn about the relationships among tuition, financial assistance, fundraising, operating costs per student, recruitment and enrollment.


Read more...  

JData is operated by Brandeis University with generous support from the Jim Joseph Foundation 

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