Posted on July 25th, 2013

The Role of the Advocacy Team

Many ARJE members may not know what we on the Advocacy “do” for NATE, but it is likely that you have all seen our work in action.  Whether it is the Interns Program at conferences, the yearly Yad b’Yad awards, the accreditation of religious schools or various webinars, the Advocacy Team, led by Shari Isserles RJE & Sandy Robbins RJE, is always busy with projects which advocate for our members and for the profession of Jewish Educator.  Summer is often a down time for many of us in the Jewish Education world, but NATE’s Advocacy Team continued to work on plans for a great year ahead.


Anyone who has been to a ARJE Conference has surely witnessed the enthusiastic Interns who attend as our guests.  Our Intern Chairs, Jessica Ingram & Lauren Luskey, in partnership with our HUC colleagues, work hard throughout the year to make this program run so seamlessly.  If you can believe it, it is almost time to start nominating Interns for this next conference, and we encourage all ARJE members to think about potential candidates.  Over the past few years, we have been getting larger and larger pools of applicants, which is fabulous as we are able to become ever more discerning in choosing our Interns.  Choosing our Interns will only be the first step for our Chairs, as they then work to create a meaningful and integrated experience for these young men and women.


Our Recognition Committee, chaired by Ava Kurnow & Diane Zimmerman, is also starting to gear up for another year and another Yad b’Yad award.  Over the past few years, ARJE has awarded the Yad b’Yad award to members who have exhibited creative new initiatives in different areas of focus.  This year, the committee is going to be working on getting information out to our members and sharing ideas about these incredible programs.  We are looking at creating YouTube videos or maybe webinars where the great work of the awardees can be shared by all.


Our Accreditation Committee, led by Marlene Myerson RJE & Melanie Cole Goldberg RJE, has been especially busy this year and will be in the coming year with a record number of schools going through the accreditation process.  Our accreditation chairs and committee are always busy traveling across the country for the school site visits as more and more of our members choose to have their school ARJE accredited.   Our team also offers a number of webinars throughout the year through our Educator Advancement committee in an effort to provide practical information to our members.  The committee, chaired by Lauren Chizner RJE & Yonni Wattenmaker RJE, is excited to be offering a new webinar this year which will be an introduction to the ARJE Placement Process.  Each year, many of our members go through Placement, and each often starts the process with many questions and concerns.  The goal of this webinar will be to kick off the process in the Fall by offering our members a chance to hear about the process and get all of their questions answered.


Like all of the ARJE Operations Teams, the Advocacy Team is always working for our members, and we are always looking for ways to support our educators and the profession.  Our team works hard, but we have lots of fun while working together on behalf of NATE!