RESEARCH, STRATEGIC PLANNING & EXECUTIVE TRANSITION PROCESS

Over the past seven years, KAHAL has grown from a fledgling startup into one of the most respected, high-functioning, impactful organizations in the Jewish world. KAHAL’s partnership network extends to more than 60 countries and 135 cities worldwide; our award-winning staff are energized and committed to organizational growth and impact; our board has blossomed, while retaining core members and increasing its role in strategic planning and decision-making; and our funding relationships have solidified, placing KAHAL—despite a pandemic-ravaged economy and travel landscape—in the strongest financial position in its history.

Amid the longest pause in travel in modern history, KAHAL finds itself in a unique position to leverage its stability and success to plan and build for a new future of travel and exchange. After pivoting aggressively into the COVID-19 crisis and supporting thousands across the country with vital personal protective equipment (PPE) and other COVID-19 relief, KAHAL is now once again ready to return to the world of travel exchange. 

First, in partnership with the social impact firm Third Plateau, we aim to conduct a 5 month research process. Together, we will look to investigate:

  • The changing world of travel and exchange in the wake of COVID-19
  • The future of purpose-driven travel and young adult mobility
  • The role of exchange and mifgash (encounters) within the Jewish community including generational, denominational, and other exchanges
  • How KAHAL can deepen its impact and build a stronger global Jewish people

Strategic Stabilization (Jan ’20 – Mar ‘21) — KAHAL began to stabilize the organization’s financial and operational standing in January 2020. After raising a $200,000 fund, KAHAL planned to kick-off strategic planning in June of 2020. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, KAHAL focused on ensuring the organization’s bottom line while seeking to deliver maximum communal value wherever possible.

Research & Customer Discovery (May ’20 – Mar ‘21) — KAHAL staff and Board initiated an intensive research process in May, starting by crafting a central research question. Once drafted, the KAHAL team participated in high-level ideation and design sessions to break-down the central research question into a research tree with 198 unique points of inquiry. This research tree is the starting point for KAHAL’s partnership with Third Plateau, a social impact strategy and research firm. Learn more about the research process here!

Executive Transition (Nov ‘20 – Mar ‘21) — As KAHAL looks to the future, we must make difficult decisions about the structure and strategy of our organization. After careful consideration and investigation, KAHAL’s Founder and Executive Director, Alex Jakubowski, will transition to the Board of Directors to allow for a new Chief Executive Officer to steward a strategic planning process and herald in KAHAL’s next phase of growth and impact.

Strategic Planning (Apr ’21 – Jun ‘21) — Initially, KAHAL planned to convene a two-day, in-person retreat for June 2020. Once the pandemic hit, KAHAL focused on delivering value while securing its immediate financial position. With a trove of desk research and customer discovery from which to draw, KAHAL will start the next fiscal year poised to commence a strategic planning process. Contemporaneously, KAHAL will look to test new ideas and iteratively designing the plan according to evolving market conditions.