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Well that was quick and interesting timing!

I can assure you that sharing out with the field the relaunch of my blog at Prizmah and the news that I would be leaving Prizmah at the end of this school/fiscal year at almost the same time was a mere quirk of happenstance and the joys of start-up, back-end challenges.  However, instead of leaving it out there as something to wonder about, let’s begin by naming the elephants in our room…

…my leaving Prizmah at the end of this year does not mean that Prizmah will no longer be thinking deeply about innovation or contributing to bringing innovation to the day school space.

…my leaving Prizmah at the end of the year does not mean that Jon Mitzmacher will no longer be thinking deeply about innovation or contributing to bringing innovation to the day school space.

It does mean that where and when and how that all happens will be different than we had, perhaps, originally thought.

Let’s leave the “how Jon Mitzmacher will be in the innovation space” questions for another time…

…what I would like focus on now is fulfilling my commitment of sharing back the results of the “Field Survey on Innovation” that I alluded to in my first Prizmah post and connecting some dots.

I see three very large dots connecting the work Prizmah will be doing in innovation this year…

…the Field Survey connected to the Prizmah Conference Playground (with updates pending) connected to a Strategic Planning Process which will ultimately clarify how Prizmah will engage with innovation in the year(s) to come.  My transitional role at Prizmah is to help connect those dots and make those clarifications.  This blog will be one critical address for this conversation.

Back to the survey…here are some key findings:

Now one can argue that only those who already thought innovation was important would fill out a survey about innovation…but still…that’s a lot of Jewish day schools who think innovation is very or extremely important.

Let’s a scroll through a few more and then make some observations…

Let’s pause here for a bit…

What seems very clear – and very exciting – is how committed, and how varied that commitment is – to this thing call “innovation” are so many Jewish day schools.  I have been writing, reflecting and sharing on this blog across three very different organizations about the relationships and opportunities “21st century learning” presents for Jewish day schools.  Our belief (which led us to create and continue edJEWcon) that Jewish day schools should not just be part of, but should lead the learning revolution is heartened by these results.

We see schools innovating across a wide array of prototypes (to use innovation language) with STE(A)M, Robotics, Service Learning, Leadership and a bunch of others near the top…

We see schools acknowledging they are still beginning and learning, with some proficient, and few masters in becoming innovative organizations…

We see schools realizing their capacity to engage in the kinds of R& D activities (again with the innovation-speak) is largely medium to low, with few high-bandwidth schools…

…so our field recognizes the power of innovation and their challenges in becoming innovative.

How can Prizmah help?

So here is where we can connect some dots…

…let’s assume that the leader in the clubhouse (“Webinars”) can actually happen through the other four…

…that leaves four ways schools would love to partner with Prizmah on innovation and each one is actually happening!

  1. We will continue to provide thought leadership about innovation in this blog, through our regular edJEWcon Newsletters, our column in HaYidion, “Innovation Alley” and through social media.
  2. We currently provide direct coaching through Prizmah’s “fee for service” department which has an amazing portfolio of opportunities for us to work with your school directly.
  3. We will see you soon at #Prizmah17 and we hope you plan to spend meaningful time in our Playground to be inspired by what could be.
  4. With the launch of Prizmah membership, you are now eligible to join Reshet Innovation if your school has become a Prizmah member (and hopefully it has).  This conversation is beginning soon…

I am looking forward to collaborating with you through any and all of these channels before, during and after the conference as we continue to name elephants, connect dots, fuel innovation and plan for a field of thriving and innovative Jewish day school schools.