Jewish Futures

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Monthly Archives: April 2013


The Party’s “Entrance Video”

There is a world out there unfamiliar to me. Perhaps to you also. The ritual for becoming a bar or bat mitzvah has evolved beyond ceremony and party. Already, we’ve seen posted (on this site and many others) the new invitation. It is video, musical, scripted, produced, and posted on YouTube for the world to see (and, I would imagine, hopefully to go viral). What could be next? It already is….the “Entrance Video”! (more…)


“Bar Mitzvah Videos Have Now Jumped the Shark” [Adam Chandler, Tablet]

What does “jumped the shark” mean? And, what does it have to do with video invitations to a bar/bat mitzvah? (more…)

Two Minutes of Torah: Nitzavim – Whose Torah is it Anyway? by Rabbi Danny Burkeman

…The Torah is one of the defining features of the Jewish community, and the scrolls themselves provide a link back through history and generations long since forgotten. Placed in the Ark, and often adorned with silver ornaments, it is hardly surprising that people feel somewhat disconnected and intimidated by the Torah.

But in many ways this is the antithesis of what God intended. (more…)

“Whose Torah is it Anyway?” by Alex Israel

Yesterday [June 3, 2008] at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi, I taught the following Midrash to my Jewish Philosophy class. I thought it would be interesting to share it on the blog especially in the lead-up to Shavuot. It is quite an incredible story as found in Vayikra Rabba 9:3:

“Rabbi Yannai
was on a walk and met a man who looked very elegant. Yannai said, “Would you
please accept my hospitality and come to my house?” The man replied, “Yes,” and Yannai brought him
into his home and gave him food and drink. 

As they were eating
and drinking together, Yannai tested the man in his knowledge of Talmud, and
found that he had none. He tested him in Aggada, in Mishnah and Bible, and in all these areas the man
knew nothing.  (more…)

“Whose Torah Is It Anyway?” – June 4, 2013 Jewish Futures Conference in NYC – Register Now!

We live in a time where knowledge is crowd-sourced, texts of all kinds (from books to music to art) are being re-mixed, and an abundance of information is accessible to all. As the People of the Book we are challenged with how to create meaningful educational encounters with Jewish texts in light of these and other changes. (more…)