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Monthly Archives: May 2013


A Few Thoughts on “Whose Torah is it, Anyway?” by Joshua Yarden

“I have spent many days bound up in the thicket of patriarchs and prophets. Over the years I have traveled the world with these stories, I have integrated ancient texts into my own contemporary context. I have come to feel at home with these words, but Torah is not something I own. Nations can stake claims to the moon, but only one who idolizes himself can pretend to lay claim to a single definitive meaning of Torah. Even Moses learned that he could not bring the word down to the people and remain above the law.” (more…)


Who Knows What’s Next?

Vanessa L. Ochs, author of “Inventing Jewish Ritual” and contributor to Huffington Post writes:
“If there’s a major Jewish change ahead of us — some Jewish prognosticators use the term tsunami, which makes the possibility of future change seem life threatening and not life enhancing — if there is change ahead of us, many of us don’t see it coming….New institutions, or shared community infrastructures, Judaic entrepreneurs instead of rabbis, even a new thinner, quicker, God, with or without a service contract — one who is more powerful, ultra-fast, interactive and fun! Maybe technology will bring us back full circle to direct communication with a God whom we will hear and see with our Google glasses. Who knows?”

Hundreds of Leaders from around the Jewish Community will convene on June 4th New York City

The Jewish Voice just published: Hundreds of Leaders from around the Jewish Community will convene on June 4th New York City. Read the article and register to be part of it!


Turn it and Turn it Again

Read this article in eJewish Philanthropy and join us for the 2013 New York Jewish Futures Conference, where we’ll explore the contemporary and changing relationships between youth and Jewish text. Together we’ll challenge “Hafoch ba ve-hafoch ba, de’fula ba – “Turn it and turn it, for everything is in it.”


Keynote Speaker Douglas Rushkoff on The Colbert Report, May 7th

Colbert said “You just blew my mind!” to Douglas Rushkoff, author of “Present Shock” and featured speaker at the June 4 Jewish Futures Conference.

Register now for the conference: Whose Torah Is It Anyway? Is Jewish Text Irrelevant to Today’s Youth?

Meet Douglas Ruskoff to hear what he has to say about the “presentist” culture and what this has to do with the relevancy of Text for our students. He may just blow your mind, too!

Text-Books and Text-People, posted by Josh on January 31 at NATE 2011

[Re-Posting from January 31st, 2011 in Deep Thoughts by Josh]

Tonight, during the presentation by Ari Kelman and Jeremy Price, someone (forgive me… I was sitting at the back of the room) stood up and quoted Abraham Joshua Heschel.

“Heschel taught us, ‘We need don’t need more textbooks. We need more text people.’”

It’s a great line, so it’s one of the most oft-quoted sound-bytes in our line of work.

But here’s the thing: We’re all misquoting Heschel. (more…)

In response to Trisha Arlin’s “Whose Torah?”, by Anita Silvert aka: Jewish Gems

Like Trisha, I first had to lose Torah to find it. Fifth year of Hebrew school, four days a week, and suddenly, the boys in my class were herded off to continue learning….and we girls were left behind to learn how to be a Jewish wife and mother, skills I didn’t need for another 20 years, if it can be said I ever mastered them in any way. (more…)