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September 2, 2014 | 7th Elul 5774

Joint Commission on Lifelong Jewish Learning Protocol

Statement of Purpose

The Joint Commission on Lifelong Jewish Learning (CLJL) is a reflective, deliberative and collaborative coalition that advises its constituents on systemic issues that involve Jewish learning. The CLJL is designed to meet the need for a structured, ongoing forum in which the overarching vision and priorities for Jewish Education in the Reform Movement emerge.

This mission will be achieved through:

a. Engagement: Shared learning at the CLJL should include learning about, with and from each of the representative delegations. As the convening partner, the Union for Reform Judaism has the opportunity and obligation to provide a forum for listening to its affiliates as well as to share its educational initiatives.

b. Collaboration: Affinity groups will seek partners within the commission in an effort to build stronger connections between the stages and settings in which Jewish learning occurs.

c. Synergy: The whole system is greater than the sum of its parts. It is often meaningful to coalesce around a joint grant application or Biennial resolution or goals of Jewish learning in an effort to accomplish together that which no single group could achieve on its own.

d. Shared Vision: Especially in a Movement that prizes autonomy, there is power in affirming fundamental principles and compelling ideals.

e. Modeling: The structure, process and agenda of the commission aspires to be worthy of adaptation in other educational settings.

f. Advocacy: The CLJL can recommend priorities and actions to its constituents for implementation. The CLJL member delegations are expected to report back to their constituent organizations and, where appropriate, encourage the enactment of CLJL recommendations.

Commission Composition
The executive committee is made up of representatives from each of the primary bodies of the Commission who have Jewish education as their primary mission: URJ, HUC-JIR, NATE, CCAR, ECE-RJ and PARDeS. The Commission chair is appointed by the URJ and the three commission vice-chairs come from NATE, CCAR and HUC-JIR, respectively. The Director of the Union Department of Jewish Lifelong Jewish Learning serves as the Director of the Commission.

The composition of the Commission executive committee is as follows:

• URJ – Chair, Director, Youth, Lifelong Jewish Learning, Immediate Past Chair – 5 representatives
• HUC-JIR – 3 representatives (1 from each US campus)
• CCAR – 3 representatives
• NATE – 3 representatives
• ECE-RJ – 1 representative
• PARDeS – 1 representative
A delegation may choose to have fewer representatives on the executive.


The full Commission includes delegations from the organizations listed below. All delegates to the Commission are appointed by their parent bodies. No delegation shall exceed three members, with one exception. As the hosting body, the URJ is represented by the chair of each of the committees on the Lifelong Jewish Learning Council (Full-time, Adult Learning, Congregational
Schooling, Jr./Sr. High School, Advanced Youth Program, College, North American Camping) as well as department staff. Delegates from organizations represented on the executive committee are in addition to the executive representation.

• CCAR
• HUC-JIR
• NATE
• PARDeS
• ECE-RJ
• ACC
• ARZA
• WRJ
• NFTB
• NATA
• Representatives from other Union commissions – Outreach and Synagogue Membership; Music, Worship and Religious Living; Social Action; Synagogue Management; Jewish Family Concerns
• Invitees - depending upon the agenda of a specific meeting

Ex-Officio members include:
Union for Reform Judaism: Chair, President, Senior Vice President, and Vice President
HUC-JIR: Chair of the Board of Governors, President
CCAR: President and Executive Director

The Commission seeks a balance of volunteer and professional leadership in its membership.

Business of the Commission
The executive committee oversees the management and functioning of the Commission and establishes policies for the efficient operation of the Commission. The Executive meets regularly throughout the year by phone. It meets once during the year in person with an expanded Planning Committee that deliberates on the agenda and structure of the yearly full Commission meeting. The full Commission meets once/year for three days to learn, share, plan and deliberate. A new member orientation takes place before the annual three-day meeting.

Representatives are expected to attend meetings and CLJL member delegations are expected to report back to their constituent organizations and, where appropriate, encourage the enactment of CLJL recommendations. In the event that a vote is taken, each delegation submits one vote.

Small working groups may emerge from full Commission meetings to address a particular topic (study an issue, outline principles, make recommendations, for example). One or more of the participating organizations may choose to develop and execute a project based on the conversations and ideas coming out of the Commission.

Budget and support staff
There is no extant budget for the Commission. A fee is charged to participants to cover the cost of the annual meetings. Operating costs for conference calls are covered by the URJ Department of Lifelong Jewish Learning budget. There is no designated support staff, but the URJ Department of Lifelong Jewish Learning and Youth Division support staff performs administrative duties for our meetings and maintains the database of members. URJ support staff confirms the roster annually.

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