Combined Jewish Philanthropies
An agency of the CJP

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Youth Education

"YESOD has enabled our youth program to grow from a largely lay-led effort with a part-time youth advisor to a mature program that reaches a significant number of our youth."

The BJE continues to play a major role in the Boston Jewish Community’s Youth Agenda via its management of the YESOD Youth Educator Initiative. YESOD, Hebrew for “Foundation”, begun in 1994 as the Youth Educator Initiative, is dedicated to professionalizing the field of informal Jewish education and strengthening the congregational youth agenda. Under the BJE’s guidance 23 congregations receive funding, consultation and professional development in support of these objectives. David Goldstein, BJE Educational Consultant and YESOD Coordinator, is the primary professional responsible for managing all facets of YESOD operations. For more information on YESOD please contact David at (617) 965-7350, x256.

What Does YESOD Provide?

Sites which employ a full or part-time youth educator receive funding over a three-year period. YESOD sites are then eligible to receive Engagement Grants on a one-year, renewable basis for administrative and/or programming efforts targeted at increasing the number of youth in congregational and communal youth programs. Some sites receive additional funding from CJP’s Commission on Jewish Continuity and Education.


The YESOD network provides peer support and networking for each youth educator as well as educational content related to critical issues of youth work. Each funded YESOD educator participates in monthly network meetings and in a two-day retreat at the beginning of the school year.

Professional Development

Hebrew College and the Hornstein Program of Jewish Communal Service at Brandeis University provide each YESOD educator with courses on Judaic and secular topics relevant to their work. YESOD educators take at least one three-year credit course during the academic year as part of the Communal Professional Development Collaborative.


Each YESOD site receives consultative services designed to further youth agenda goals, with an emphasis on engaging youth.


YESOD consultants work with professional and lay leaders to support professional development funding, quality supervision and satisfactory working conditions for YESOD educators. Each site is asked to increase exposure for its youth agenda form within the congregation.

YESOD is a project of Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ Commission on Jewish Continuity & Education. Jointly coordinated by the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Boston and the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts, Synagogue Council of Massachusetts. YESOD also partners with the local offices of NFTY, USY and NCSY.

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