The BJE Strategic Planning Commitee began meeting in August 1988 as the ad-hoc Think Tank Planning Committee, with the goal of planning a weekend "think tank" session of BJE professional staff, lay people, and representatives of affiliated schools to review the role and functions of the BJE. The group's deliberations led to an expansion of this mandate, to include developing a mission statement, as well as goals and objectives for the board. The committee consisted of Martin Sable (chair), Sandra Brown, Sheila Freeman, Henry Koschitzky, and Howard Nathan, with Harold Malitzky, associate director, and Rabbi Irwin Witty, executive director, as staff members.
The BJE received a grant from the Toronto Jewish Congress (TJC) to finance the preparation of a strategic plan, and, early in 1989, hired Gary Sandor of ARA Consultants to assist the Strategic Planning Committee in defining the purpose of the committee, developing a work plan, and gathering data for the project. In April-May 1989, Sandor interviewed key informants and distributed questionnaires to over 200 stakeholders in the community: presidents of teachers federations; the chair of the parents council; school presidents, administrators and principals; presidents of synagogues which sponsor schools; BJE board members and TJC Executive Committee members. In May 1989, the committee sponsored the Community Leadership Forum, involving over fifty participants from the BJE, affiliated schools, and the TJC Executive Committee, to discuss the major themes which had been identified so far by the committee. This was followed by an interim report by Sandor, in June 1989, summarizing the work so far on the strategic plan and the outcomes of the forum. The forum and the report identified three major themes for the planning committee to focus on: clearly defining the BJE's mandate, clarifying its major responsibilities, and taking a leadership position in the community.
By May 1990, the committee had developed a mission statement, objectives and an action plan for the BJE, which were presented to the BJE board and approved in principle. The final report of the committee was presented to the board in January 1991, and in February 1991, the report was presented to the TJC Executive Committee for approval. Implementation of the committee's recommendations began in 1993. In addition to developing the mission statement, objectives and action plan for the BJE, the major recommendations of the committee were to revise the board's committee structure; more clearly define the composition of the board, the representation of different stakeholder groups on the board, and the responsibilities of board members; and, to increase the interaction of lay committees and professional staff by more clearly defining staff responsibilities for supporting board committees. The key features of the committee restructuring were the re-establishment of a BJE Executive Committee and the creation of a Department of Education Services, reporting to an Educational Services Committee. All working committees of the board were to report to either the Educational Services Committee or the Fiscal Committee. This reorganization led to a structure similar to that originally envisioned in the BJE reorganization of 1968, when the two standing committees of the board were the Pedagaogic Committee and the Fiscal Committee.
Scope and Content
The series documents the work of the committee and its consultant, Gary Sandor, in gathering information from the community on perceptions of the BJE and areas for improvement, and in drafting the mission statement, goals, action plan, and proposed restructuring of the BJE board. The records in the series include committee minutes and reports, memoranda and correspondence, copies of the consultant's reports, and records relating to the Community Leadership Forum.