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Executive Approach

Yisroel Besser

How Dennis Eisenberg is training the next generation of yeshivah administrators.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

There was a time when school happened in the classroom.Teachers taught. Children learned. And in a drafty, invisible underground office, a beleaguered fundraiser (yes, they used to call them that) worked valiantly to make payroll, call in late tuition payments, negotiate with suppliers to send more photocopy paper even though there was an outstanding balance.Somewhere along the line, things changed.The chinuch personnel are talented, the parent body engaged — and when you weren’t looking, the fundraiser climbed out of the basement, moving into a real office. In many cases, the title changed — leading yeshivos have executive vice presidents and CEOs — and with the title comes a different comportment, demeanor, and attitude.Mosdos got new faces. The meshulach in an ill-fitting suit, taking notes on scraps of discarded envelopes, was replaced by an ambassador capable of communicating with parents and donors with the eloquence of aTED star.Events such as Torah Umesorah’s President’s Conference — an upscale Florida convention for the administrators and volunteer board members of Torah schools — draw hundreds. The most capable and creative marketing professionals host conferences for executive directors, sharing insight and experience.Schools have become serious business, their finances and management conducted with the professionalism and transparency of publicly traded companies.

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