CAJE Coming Back?
The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE) may be making a comeback. The education organization shuttered its doors in February and cancelled its annual conference this summer, but last week held a small, regional conference in Maryland where talked turned to what could be done to revive CAJE. The self-funded Maryland gathering was called MANAJE (Mid-Atlantic New Alternatives in Jewish Education) and brought together CAJE-ers with 30-plus years of experience as well as young new teachers. Organizers say the idea is to hold several regional conferences throughout the country with innovative workshops and a chance for CAJE members, to have a yearly infusion of new ideas and camaraderie. Cherie Koller-Fox, a Boston-area Jewish educator and one of the original founders of AHA CAJE, said the goal of NewCAJE, as it is being called, is to return to CAJE’s origins as a grassroots organization, focusing on initiating younger educators into the fold. “CAJE is not just important to its members; it was important to the field of Jewish education, it was not expendable,” said Koller-Fox. “The No. 1 priority is putting Humpty Dumpty back together and encouraging a new generation to come in and be the leadership.”