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Publications | The First 10 Years

When an organization celebratesits tenth anniversary by issuing a report, there is a temptation to be self-congratulatory. That temptation will be resisted here, because ten years of operation have taught us how much we have yet to learn. In tribute to our first decade, we offer ten observations about the work of the Covenant Foundation.

1. We at Covenant believe in betting on people who voluntarily take up the torch to illuminate who we are—spiritually, intellectually, socially, politically, and historically. Ten years of experience has taught us that these are exactly the right kinds of bets to make.

2. Jewish identity is not taught. It is conveyed by example and embraced in the context of relationships.

3. Family is the core system for the transmission of identity and values. In this new millennium, family denotes a new assortment of configurations. It serves us well to support families, in whatever forms they take.

4. It has become cliché to mourn the fact that teachers are not accorded the credit they are due. It is surprisingly easy to recognize and reward excellence in teaching.

5. Covenant is about finding common ground, not analyzing differences. A great deal can be accomplished on common ground.

6. Hubris and parochialism are counterproductive to the advancement of the field of Jewish education.

7. We consider it a mark of success that not everything we’ve supported has worked according to plan. We’ve taken risks. We make it a point to learn as much from our failures as our successes.

8. To maintain its relevance, a program must be willing to hold up a mirror, engage in self-examination, and improve.

9. Covenant was established based on the belief that pockets of great strength exist in the field of Jewish education. Several critics of the program warned us that we would run through the list of excellent people and programs in short order. After ten years, we are still finding much to cel- ebrate, and no shortage of people to admire and support.

10. Anyone wishing to tell a wonderful story should try to assemble a team made up of people like Judith Ginsberg, Jon Woocher, Eli Evans, able professional staff, and our remarkably intelligent and invested board of directors. A coalition of this caliber is destined to achieve wonderful results.

Click here to download the report (PDF)