Necessary Losses? Turnover Among Jewish Service-learning Program Leaders

By Fern Chertok, Josh Tobias, Shirah Rosin

Maurice & Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS), Repair the World, November 2011

Program leaders shape the quality of learning, reflection, and Jewish living on immersive Jewish service-learning programs and are pivotal to their success. However, the development of a work force of highly skilled and well-trained program leaders can be undermined by high rates of turnover. This factor represents costs to organizations in terms of institutional stress and financial expenses associated with recruiting and training a high proportion of new staff every program season.  Between the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 program seasons, the voluntary turnover rate among American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and The Progressive Jewish Alliance & Jewish Funds for Justice (PJA & JFSJ) program leaders was in excess of 50%.

If Jewish immersive service-learning organizations are to take action to reduce program leader turnover, it is critical that they understand the pull of forces that motivate leaders to stay as well as the push of those that result in departures. This report describes research conducted by the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS) of Brandeis University to explore the reasons that
program leaders decide not to return for additional seasons with immersive Jewish service-learning program providers. The report is comprised of four sections. Following the introduction, the second section describes the research methodology. The third section presents findings of the research, and the concluding section describes potential strategies for stemming the tide of voluntary turnover among Jewish service-learning program leaders.

Topic: Programming, Recruitment and Retention, Workplace, Employment, Leadership, Research, Service, Jobs

Funder: Covenant Foundation (New York, N.Y.)

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Genre: Report

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Chertok, Fern. Tobias, Josh. Rosin, Shirah. Necessary Losses? Turnover Among Jewish Service-learning Program Leaders. Maurice & Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS),Repair the World. November 2011:


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