Lakewood Yeshiva is the Harvard of rabbinical schools. The Heschel School is pluralistic. Yeshiva University mixes Torah and secular subjects. Right or wrong, many educational institutions are branded by years of perceptions. If you’re tied to a brand by perception, be consistent with the brand, regardless of how old it is. Or change your brand.
Claims make brands.
School rabbis play ball with the kids? Your brand might be “Camaraderie.”
A school with the most nutritional menu? Your brand might be “Caring.”
The principal knows every kid’s name by heart? Your brand might be “Friendly.”
Stressing Torah texts makes you traditional. Referring to the Bible as the Five Books of Moses doesn’t.
Schools that are unbranded or poorly branded often resort to what they think their target wants. They claim a better cholent, a better video, a better gymnasium, a better baseball team and group discounts to the Knicks. Their claims are irrelevant, even hurtful.
Jesse Cogan, “The Branding of Jewish Education”, The Jewish Week (9 September 2016), 19.