CAJE Completes Another Successful Cohort

Posted on 01/20/2023 @ 05:00 AM

Tags: Teen Education & Engagement, Youth Professionals

Photo by Ernest Brillo on Unsplash

In 2017, CAJE applied to the Covenant Foundation with an innovative, groundbreaking idea for a Kavanah Coach Training program, and received the maximum grant amount of $150,000 to develop a 60-hour program for Youth Professionals in coaching skills.
The goal of the Kavanah Coaching Workshops was for Jewish professionals who work with teens to acquire the tools they need to guide teens toward finding meaning, joy, and relevance in their lives.
CAJE’s Teen Department Director, Carly Orshan, developed an extensive curriculum (2018-2019) and began training the first Cohort in the Spring of 2020. The Cohort had 50 hours of in-person training before moving to a virtual platform to conclude the program due to the pandemic.
In 2020 after the first Cohort, a program evaluation revealed that the experience was impactful for participants, but they found the training too long.
CAJE realized that the training could be refined and we could still offer valuable workshops that would be digestible and manageable using the online platform, removing the extensive 60-hour certification, while still providing an impactful, beneficial resource to professionals.
CAJE also identified that online learning gave us the opportunity to widen the range of our audience and become a national resource for professionals working with Jewish teens. Not only were we able to have participants from Miami, but we were able to open up the program to professionals all over the United States, even Canada too!
We ran this modified workshop in Spring 2022 and were so successful that we offered the program again this Fall 2022 to a group of 10 professionals from Miami and across the country.

The new cohort of Jewish professionals came together for 2 hours every week for 6 weeks to learn strategies on how to:
  • Have more meaningful conversations with teens
  • Ask powerful questions
  • Use active listening strategies to enhance conversations
  • Understand the teenage brain in order to better support teens along their journey
  • Practice mindfulness skills and strategies so they can be more aware of their interactions
  • Bring in Jewish context and meaning to questions posed by teens
CAJE received incredible feedback about the program.

100% of the participants said that they would highly recommend the workshops to other Jewish professionals and that they have already started to apply the learning to their work with teens!

Many youth professionals reflected that they enjoyed connecting with others in the field across North America doing similar work, are interested in continuing to learn and were very grateful for the opportunity (especially since very little Jewish community resource goes to providing professional development for youth professionals).
Here are a few reflections from participants: 

“I liked thinking about my relationship with teens and how to speak to them in ways that will get them to open up more”
“The whole concept [of coaching]- of helping people figure out what they want vs. telling them what they should do- is a great way to approach and work with teens” 

Watch the unboxing on YouTube

Each participant received a box with fun and educational materials (the picture above) that prepared the participants for the weeks that followed.
With generous support from the Covenant Foundation, each participant also received a stipend for them to continue learning about coaching.
Other communities have reached out to CAJE to express interest in hosting a Kavannah Coaching cohort and continuing its national reach.
Stay tuned to hear more about how CAJE thought leadership is impacting Jewish teen education and engagement in our community and around North America!