Our Learning

Harnessing the Power of Microcultures

By Pearl Mattenson, Director, Rosov Consulting A June 2017 publication by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), “Exploring Microcultures and Why They Matter,” looks inside of philanthropic organizations and highlights an important point: we ignore sub groups that form in our organization (i.e. microcultures) at our peril. What the GEO report does well is to show how when foundations leverage or intentionally nourish healthy microcultures, employee engagement and commitment improves. Importantly for the non-profit sector, so does a foundation’s ability to serve their grantees. What is true for philanthropic organizations is true for all organizations. People align around a whole host of issues, values and behaviors. Sometimes, organizations help to create affinity groups through formal departmental structures or the way office space[Read More…]

To Leaders: Cultivate Your People

By Pearl Mattenson, Director, Rosov Consulting As you think about the type of leader you are or hope to become- how often have you thought of yourself as a cultivator? Now that it is summer time and you may find yourself in a roof top, back yard or community garden, this metaphor might be particularly resonant. Even if you never let dirt run through your fingers, you can find value in thinking about how to create the ground conditions that will help your staff to thrive. I recently came across a blog post by Diego Rodrigues, a partner at IDEO, in which he outlines 21 innovation principles. Behold, in principle #12 he compares leadership to cultivation. Cultivators of actual gardens[Read More…]

Case Study: JDC Entwine

JDC Entwine was formed in 2008 by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), with the vision of building future Jewish leadership by engaging young Jewish adults in global Jewish and humanitarian needs. Entwine offers diverse opportunities for young adults to become involved with global issues and to cultivate a sense of belonging to, and a feeling of responsibility for, the Jewish people. Entwine is a multi-faceted initiative that offers a spectrum of opportunities for Jewish engagement and humanitarian service abroad. The flagship options include: Insider Trips, a week long travel and humanitarian service experience; Multi-Week Global Jewish Fellowships, a 4 to 8-week volunteer service placement in one community, working individually or as part of a group with other volunteers;[Read More…]

“That was the most myself I’ve ever been” – Teen reflecting on new models of summer programming

By Alex Pomson and Melanie Schneider Some of the most powerful memories from childhood are associated with summer: the riotous sound of crickets at night; a first sighting of the Milky Way; the hot sensation of a campfire on one’s face; or for those not able to get out of town, the intrigue of long hours left to one’s own devices. These moments gain their special force from breaking with the chores and routines of the school year. For many Jewish adults, summer is associated with their childhood experiences of overnight camp. For six weeks or even longer, their foremost task as campers was to release the stress and constraints of school in the company of peers. Such programs might[Read More…]

Sharing Early Insights: Lessons Learned from the Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Funder Collaborative

By Sara Allen Four years ago, Effective Strategies for Educating and Engaging Jewish Teens was released, a report that brought to the fore promising models and practical ways for communities to engage teens in Jewish experiences that enrich their lives and help them grow. On the heels of the report, national and local funders representing ten communities took action, coming together to study the findings, commission additional groundbreaking reports, and to design responsive local teen engagement initiatives. Ultimately, the group evolved into a robust community: the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative. The Funder Collaborative is an innovative philanthropic experiment – a network of funders working together to develop, fund, support and grow new teen initiatives that draw on[Read More…]

The Vast and the Varied: American Jews and Jewish Life Today

Editor’s Note: The following piece originally ran on the Jewish Federations of North America blog. Over the past 10 years, many Jewish organizations have integrated research and evaluation into their planning process. Many of these organizations have worked with Rosov Consulting on this endeavor. In our effort to continually explore our essential question, “Who are North American Jews today?” and “What are the institutions we need in the 21st century to make Jewish education happen?” we reached out to Wendy Rosov, Principal, Rosov Consulting, and asked her to share what she’s learned over the past 10 years working with Jewish organizations. Who are the North American Jews of today and what are they looking for?  The Vast and the Varied: American[Read More…]