I just returned back to my office in Portland from a two day conference in New Jersey for the enrollment managers of Jewish Day Schools across the nation. Organized by the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, this is one of the more strategically oriented conferences that I have been involved in in recent history. And, not because of the content of the conference necessarily, but the structure of the conference and the benefits for the participants.
Like most conferences, PEJE recruited and brought in several expert speakers in the area of marketing, communications, and enrollment management for the conference. What is interesting, though, is that instead of simply bringing in experts to speak, they have actually matched each of these noted speakers with conference attendees to provide coaching for them during the fall of this academic year. So, the learning at the conference continues on beyond the conference sessions but in a tailored way for each of the schools. This sort of advocacy at the grass roots level for PEJE schools represents, I think, a strategic shift in really attempting to equip schools to accomplish their mission.
Kudos to PEJE. They might just be onto a new normal in planning conferences and equipping their schools with the strategic needs to empower and mobilize their missions.