Study after study confirm the vital role that Jewish schools play in the continuity and survival of the Jewish people. Here in Nashville, we have outstanding models of those educational institutions, all committed towards achieving that end.
While this may not be the optimal choice for every family (including my own), the Jewish community, as a whole, has a direct and critical role to play in designing the most efficient method of delivery of these educational opportunities to the members of our growing Jewish population.
We now have three separate academic centers — a lower school (Akiva), a middle school (JMS) and a new high school (Kehilla High School). And while the middle and high schools do share governance and have recently been re-branded into the Jewish Upper School of Nashville, there are still three layers of administration, three campuses, and three development and recruitment teams.
The question, therefore, is one of the efficiency of scale: Are we doing all we can to improve, enhance and upgrade the level of quality of all three institutions combined, or are we continuing to bifurcate our efforts, with duplicate efforts at organization, management, hiring and fundraising?
Perhaps it is time to envision a different model for the future: A single, unified, stellar academic institution, with a single, centralized campus, with each division more integrated and synchronized with the other. A single admissions and recruitment office; a single, unified fundraising office; a single, coordinated staff educational administrative professionals.
Imagine driving up to the JCC Campus, with a centerpiece focused on the Jewish community’s concrete expression of its commitment to Jewish continuity, a center for instructing and inspiring the next generation.
Imagine the impact our local Federation dollars could have in achieving this goal.
Imagine an entire Jewish community inspired and united by this pursuit.
Do we have the vision and the courage and the leadership in place to accomplish this task?
What better legacy can we hope to build, than one dedicated to the future?