Develop a modern Orthodox mission statement for your school

A mission statement is a broad and general philosophical statement that expresses the most basic purposes of the school. It answers the questions: "who are we and why are we engaged in this enterprise?"

  • The formation of a new or revised mission statement for an institution requires a long and complex process of consultations and deliberations to assure that all of the stakeholders arrive at a common understanding.
  • The mission statement should be displayed prominently throughout the school building, in classrooms, hallways, and offices.
  • The formulation of the mission statement is only the beginning. The more challenging aspect is in assuring its daily implementation in the life of the school. Conduct an annual review to determine whether and to what extent the mission statement has actually been applied.

  • A mission statement which reflects the modern Orthodox character of a school, beyond its affirmation of passionate commitment to Torah and Mitzvot, would have distinctive elements related to the affirmative value of general knowledge, the support of Religious Zionism, the encouragement of women's spiritual and educational strivings, the vital role of ethics in the governance of the institution and in the shaping of the character of its students, and assuring the opportunity for Jewish education for all Jewish children.
  • The following is an example of a modern Orthodox mission statement:

The proposed school will aim at the highest standards of academic excellence in both Jewish and secular studies. It will aim at producing students who are thoroughly at home in both contemporary society and the full range of the Jewish heritage. It will unashamedly aim at creating leaders in all spheres of contemporary life, individuals whose sense of Jewish responsibility is deep and broad, encompassing an identification with the Jewish people in its totality, with Jewish history in its diversity, and with the state of Israel in its centrality. It will promote the Jewish traditions of principle and tolerance, intellectual depth and social concern, loyalty and generosity, academic rigor and ethical example. It will take as its task the projection of an Orthodox way of life and thought that earns the admiration of others of whatever faith. It will aim at creating in its pupils an integrated personality whose Jewish identity is knowledgeable, secure and proud, a spur to achievement and responsibility, and a challenge to exemplary citizenship in an ethnically and religiously plural society.

(Taken from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, "Profile of an Educated Jew," 1988, p.8)

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