In our first ConnectGens seminar, we talked about the importance of having a clear vision for our projects. We also met Dave Weinberg, an experienced social entrepreneur and internet strategy professional. It was great to meet him, and get his advice on how to make www.MoEdCommunity.org and our Facebook page a better representation of who we are.
This session was perfect timing for me as we were already planning to devote part of MoEd’s next board meeting to reviewing our mission, as we hire our first director.
I’m the leader of a group of parents and other Jewish community members working to open MoEd: A Jewish Afterschool Community in Fall 2012, for children in grades K-5. MoEd means “the time” in Hebrew, and we chose this name both to emphasize the regular Jewish learning and social time that MoEd will give our children, and because it looks like ‘More Education.’ Every day, children will be able to take school buses directly to MoEd. They will have snack and time to play, time to learn Hebrew and Judaics, time to sing and pray, and then quiet, supervised time to read or start their secular school homework. Children will be able to attend MoEd for 2-5 days per week.
Last winter, with the cooperation of 4 congregations, MoEd sent a survey to parents in our area. We found several dozen potentially interested families with a large number of elementary-school aged children.Since then, we’ve been approached by many more interested families, and we’re trying to reach out to others through additional congregational partnerships. We are in contact with programs across the US and Canada engaged in similar efforts and are learning from their examples.
There is a tremendous amount of work remaining to turn MoEd from an idea into an educational Jewish afterschool community. I have experience as a scholar (I’m an economist), a writer, and a parent. I’ve been a synagogue board member, but I’ve never before led a start-up. This is why I am grateful for the ConnectGens Fellowship.
We at MoEd are looking forward to opening our doors next fall to about 30 children who want to learn Hebrew, sing, and play with their Jewish friends on 2-5 afternoons every week. You can read more about our plans and sign up for our email list at www.MoEdcommunity.org, or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~Elizabeth Weber Handwerker