NewCAJE in the Present
NewCAJE is an organization in transition. A generation of seasoned educators is interacting with a new generation of Jewish educators to formulate a vision for an organization that will move into the future with this and every new generation of educators. Some of the principles of the NewCAJE seem timeless:
- NewCAJE is a pluralistic organization which embraces every denominational division of Judaism.
- NewCAJE brings together all settings of Jewish education: day schools, complementary schools, camps, JCC’s, independent schools and afterschool programs, online programs–just to name a few.
- NewCAJE welcomes anyone involved in the transmission of Jewish culture, custom and belief. We believe it is the responsibility of each generation to transmit the literature, ideas and ideals of Judaism to every new generation.
- NewCAJE include people in all job descriptions in the field including both professional and lay leaders: classroom teachers, youth group leaders, administrators, clergy, lay leaders, parents, artists, musicians, storytellers, entrepreneurs, authors, professors, etc. All these are teachers in our eyes and we believe that everyone has room to learn and something valuable to teach.
- NewCAJE advocates for Jewish education and for Jewish teachers as we have widely defined them.
- NewCAJE is a forum where new ideas are explored, new talent welcomed, and a multitude of ideas and resources shared.
- NewCAJE holds conferences annually. These conferences emphasize the sharing of information, techniques and problem solutions. They include the goal of deepening the educators grasp of both Jewish and educational learning. They create a network of support for Jewish educators and a conduit to innovation.
As NewCAJE moves into the future, it will continue to articulate timely new principles that will guide its vision, but one thing is clear: Jewish educators have a common love–our people, our heritage and our tradition of learning. And we all have a common dream–that we can somehow affect those most important to us–our students, their parents and the communities that we serve.
NewCAJE in the Past
The original CAJE was founded in 1976 and over the next 32 years change the landscape of Jewish education in the US and beyond.
It brought together more than 30,000 people to share ideas, learn from each other, and grow as educators. Every one of them went home and taught what they’d learned. In 32 years, conservatively speaking, over 600,000 children and adults were enriched because their teacher had been to CAJE.
CAJE strengthened us and made us proud to be doing the holy work of linking one generation to the next. It brought together amazing individuals who dedicated their lives to the Jewish people. It provided a path for innovation and best practices to spread from coast to coast. It inspired us, broadened our perspective and lifted our spirits. We in turn did the same for our students.
As of the summer of 2013 NewCAJE will have held 4 conferences, each connecting hundreds of educators, and reigniting their passion for the coming year. It’s clear that technology will continue to enhance communication between educators, and we’ve seen first hand how technological communication is endlessly more effective when educators have a chance to meet each other in real time. In this way the conferences will always to be integral, and online networks will continue important work throughout the year.
As of 2013 we have hosted over a dozen webinars We’ve published three volumes of the Jewish Educator– our online journal. We have an active FaceBook site where young professionals share resources and concerns. Finding ways to strengthen a learning community among teachers year-round will be an important part of NewCAJE’s future.
NewCAJE in the Future
NewCAJE will not be the same as CAJE. It is a NEW century and there are NEW demands on Jewish educators. There are NEW technologies and NEW approaches and NEW students and a NEW generation of educators. We will explore all of these alternatives with an open heart. The seasoned educators will both mentor and partner with talented emerging educators. NewCAJE is a NEW beginning for Jewish education. NewCAJE will ask NEW questions and find NEW solutions. That is what the New in NewCAJE stands for.
NewCAJE’s 2014 conference will be located in Los Angeles on August 10-13.