By The Jewish Voice on October 26, 2016
Funder Collaborative is expanding co-investments and shared learnings of Jewish teen initiatives.
Signaling its continued growth and increased opportunities to support Jewish teens in ten local communities across the United States, the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative announced that it has hired Sara Allen to serve as its first full-time Director. The Collaborative is comprised of 15 national and local funders committed to learning together, to sharing best practices, and to investing in community-based Jewish teen education and engagement initiatives in these ten Collaborative communities across the country.
Allen has nearly two decades of experience in both the private sector and Jewish organizational worlds, with expertise in strategic planning, marketing and development, millennial engagement and leadership development, and new technology. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, where, among other responsibilities, she led the multi-million dollar NuRoots engagement initiative. Prior to her work at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Allen consulted for Nintendo of America, Skype Technologies, and NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation, among other organizations and companies.
“After careful consideration, the Funder Collaborative has determined that now, with most of our communities implementing their initiatives, we are ready to have a full-time Director who can take us to the next level in our work together,” says Josh Miller, Program Director at the Jim Joseph Foundation, which helped create the Funder Collaborative in 2013. “The Collaborative is ready for a leader who can envision the best ways to operate and grow as we increase learning and sharing among the members and disseminate these learnings to the broader field. Sara has a unique combination of skills to shape this new role and to lead us into this next phase.”
As Director of the Collaborative, Allen will oversee its strategy and budget; communications among funders, implementers of the local initiatives, and other key stakeholders; and external communications; among other areas. She will support deepened learning between the communities by facilitating sharing of new ideas and strategies that are generated through the local initiatives. Moreover, she will guide efforts to document and share learnings with communities outside the Collaborative and the broader field of Jewish education.
“I am excited to help this growing Collaborative that brings together so many people committed to Jewish teen life—from representatives of funder institutions, to those from local partners that implement initiatives, to the researchers who evaluate the experiments both locally and across communities,” says Sara Allen, new Director of the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative. “This unique collaboration of national and local funders is a model with great promise for advancing Jewish teen education and engagement. The lessons learned here can inform others’ investments in Jewish life, and even the broader philanthropic arena as we increasingly recognize that collaboration is a means to achieve large scale social change.”
Started informally in spring 2013 as a community of practice of like-minded funders, the Collaborative now is a large scale effort to co-invest in innovative new community-based strategies in these ten communities across the U.S. to reach broader and more diverse teens with effective and compelling Jewish learning experiences. The Collaborative’s continued learnings for the field of Jewish education will build on resources previously generated through its collective work, including Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens (which preceded the Collaborative’s formation) and Generation Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teens Today (which included learner outcomes for teen education and engagement programs). The evolution of the Collaborative also is being documented in a series of case studies—the first of which was published in January 2015; the next is scheduled to be released in early 2017.
Members of the Funder Collaborative include Combined Jewish Philanthropies (Boston); Jewish Community Federation & Endowment Fund (San Francisco); The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati; Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta; Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles; Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago; Jewish Federation of San Diego County; Jim Joseph Foundation; Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah; The Marcus Foundation; Rose Community Foundation (Denver); Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore; and UJA-Federation of New York.
Source: “Jewish Teen Education Funder Collaborative Welcomes Sara Allen,” The Jewish Voice, October 26, 2016