Highlights of the History of the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education

March 1, 1944: Established as the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Miami, whose Jewish population at that time was about 25,000.

1944 - 1949: During these years Dr. Abraham Gannes served as the Bureau’s first Director.

1949 - 1972: The Bureau expanded its work under the leadership of Dr. Louis Schwartzman especially in the area of Teacher Development and resources including the establishment of a Community Library.

1972 - 1976: The Bureau was reconstituted as the Central Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE) and Dr. Herbert Zvi Berger served as its Director during these years. Among the new departments and programs established were the Judaica High School, the Akiva Leadership Training Program and Teacher Fringe Benefit Program.

1976 - 2000: Gene Greenzweig who had first served as the Director of the Judaica High School Department was appointed as the next Director of the Agency. Thus began a new era in its history, which saw the introduction of a host of new and innovative programs as well as an expansion of services currently being offered.

2000 - 2001: On the retirement of Gene Greenzweig, Dr. Raymond Bloom, who was serving as the Director of the Day School Department, was invited to become the Interim Executive Vice President (Director) of the Agency. During this time the Agency would begin the process of re-evaluating its services, both direct and indirect, as it prepares to appoint its next permanent Executive Vice President.

2001 - 2002: The past year saw significant changes at CAJE. A consultant, Steve Gelfand of Strategic Management Associates, Inc., was engaged as Transition Director to develop and implement a Business Plan based on the priorities from the agency re-envisioned study completed by Dr. Pat Padva. Major initiatives with the Education Resources Center,  new services to congregations and strengthening Judaica High School are underway, and an innovative collaboration with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation has been defined. Governance is being restructured; including new committees, with a revitalized Board of Directors seated July 1, 2002. One of the most exciting developments is the addition of Dr. Chaim Y. Botwinick, who has joined the CAJE family as the new President & CEO to lead the agency toward its expansive new vision.

2002 - Presently: With the engagement of Dr. Chaim Y. Botwinick as CAJE’s new President and CEO, the agency established a new and exciting collaborative working partnership with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation; established a Principals Center “without walls” for leadership development; revised the Judaica High School curriculum; began a process of consultation to schools which respond to unmet educational needs; restructured internal staff resources; established functional CAJE Board Committees for policy-setting and oversight; and, established a new financial resource development plan for the agency. Underscoring the success of CAJE’s evolving agenda is its capacity to engage the community and its institutions in strategic partnerships. CAJE has embarked upon a wide array of institutional and communal partnerships in the pursuit of educational excellence. This has involved the engagement of formal and informal Jewish educators, Rabbinic leadership and the lay leadership community in a series of joint educational projects and initiatives in the Greater Miami Jewish educational community.  Examples of recent innovative agency developments are the creation of “Project Day School Excellence,” “Sharsheret” and a new strategic educational partnership with FranklinCovey entitled, “The Leader in Me: Ensuring Our Jewish Future.”

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