American Jewish Institutions and Organizational Innovation

January 23, 2014 • 12:00 PM • West Duke 101

Using Theory to Inform Practice, Using Success to Inform PractitionersIn recent decades, research on organizational innovation has usefully helped business leaders guide their firms through changing market conditions. These lessons have helped companies survive the introduction of new technologies, navigate changing market environments, and rejuvenate old institutions into new markets. While consultants to nonprofits have encouraged community and philanthropic organizations to adopt these same lessons, very few have. This is especially true in the Jewish world, which remains dominated by institutions that have been criticized for pursuing costly strategies and out-of-date priorities. Nonetheless, there are some Jewish leaders and organizations that have injected dynamism into American Jewish life that follows the template of organizational innovation.This conference is designed to highlight the achievements of some of these organizations, understand their experiences within a common theoretical understanding of institutional renewal, and synthesize lessons for other Jewish organizations and communities who seek to rejuvenate Jewish life through creative organizations and organizational strategies.