A month after announcing that it would not hold its annual conference, the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education announced that it would be shutting its doors for good at the end of February.
CAJE, which for the past 30 years has been the primary professional development organization for congregational and Hebrew school teachers, announced in an email today that it was closing because it could no longer survive in this economic climate.
Its primary function has been holding an annual conference on Jewish education that drew around 1,000 educators, but in January it announced that it would not hold this year’s conference because local Jewish agencies could not afford to send teachers to participate and because it could not drum up enough funding to pay for the conference.
In an email sent out Monday, the organization announced it would close and that it was seeking funds to pay off some $500,000 in debt it had incurred to hold conferences over the past several years.
“It is major tragedy for Jewish education, and I think it will be missed,” CAJE’s executive director Jeffrey Lasday told JTA. Now we have to look at how local and national organizations can be working closer together. My colleagues at other agencied say their agencies are closing down or losing staff. This is an opportunity to rethink how we work together to better education with national and local organizations. Now is the time to rethink the whole thing.”
For an in depth look at why CAJE is closing, including graphs tht show mebership decline and increase in cost click here.