CPE and Outreach Training
1996-1997 Survey of Jewish Communal Professionals

Survey Respondents were asked to assess their continuing professional education [CPE] experiences. Over half [56%] had participated in CPE programs within the past three years; JOI list respondents were more likely to have been involved in continuing education: 63% vs. 53%, possibly reflecting their involvement in JOI programs. While almost all respondents who had participated in any CPE program indicated that their CPE experiences were moderately [52%] or very valuable [43%], the critical issues that emerged focused on the content of CPE training.

TABLE 5
Percent of Respondents Whose Continuing Professional Education Focused On

Outreach to Intermarried 48%
26%
Developing Programs 45%
22%
Marketing Existing Programs to the Intermarried 32%
17%
Evaluating the Efectiveness of Outreach Programs 19%
5%
JOI List Respondents National JCP Respondents

We asked the respondents whether any of their CPE training in the past three years had focused on (1) outreach to the intermarried, or working with interfaith families, (2) marketing existing Jewish programs to interfaith families, (3) developing new programs for interfaith families, or (4) evaluating the success of such programs. Two themes emerged. First, the vast majority of Jewish communal professionals, particularly those sampled from the national organization list, had not received extensive training in outreach to the intermarried, particularly in terms of marketing programs and evaluating effectiveness. For example, only 9% of all survey respondents had been trained in evaluation techniques for intermarried programs, while 21% had received training in marketing outreach efforts. Second, the JOI list respondents --reflecting perhaps a shabrown commitment to outreach program training, marketing, and evaluation--were significantly more likely to have had CPE experiences which focused on these areas [Table 5 summarizes this data.] Thus, 19% of JOI list respondents had received training in evaluating outreach effectiveness, compared to only 5% of the national organization list respondents. Even here, for JOI list respondents, the lack of training in specific outreach techniques, such as marketing programs to the intermarried, was obvious.

But was it desired? Near the end of the questionnaire, we asked the respondents to indicate their views on a series of outreach initiatives.

Q.24 JOI is currently planning a variety of initiatives to help promote outreach to intermarried families and to help Jewish professionals engaged in working with the intermarried. In your opinion, how useful would each of the following...be:

Nine potential initiatives were listed. Table 6 summarizes the results, indicating the percentage of survey respondents who thought that each potential technique was (a) Not at all useful/Not very useful (b) Moderately useful, or (c) Very useful. Survey respondents were selective in their rating of potential initiatives. A training cirriculum for new outreach professionals was judged very useful by 57% of survey respondents and moderately useful by another 37%.
TABLE 6
is rather large

go here to see it
Other strongly supported initiatives were standardized evaluation tools for assessing the effectivenss of outreach programs, training videotapes for professionals, a model advertising campaign for marketing outreach programs, and a pamphlet series/audio-video tapes to help market Judaism to inter-dating and intermarried couples. On the other hand, a National Association of Outreach Professionals and teleconferences focusing on outrecah were the least strongly desired initiatives, although they were seen as somewhat/very useful by two-thirds of the survey respondents.4

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4In general, the JOI list respondents were likely to rate most of the initiatives as very or moderately useful; however, the only statistically significant difference between JOI list and Jewish Communal Professional list respondents related to annual/biennial conferences for outreach professionals, which JOI list respondents viewed in more favorable terms.


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