Why I love to hate (Jewish) lists?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 01:33 Written by bryfy Wednesday, 13 January 2010 01:33

It’s easy to love lists. They are compact and often logical. Often more importantly they are conversation starters. Mike Sheahan’s 50 top Aussie Rules footballers, for example,  is always a great source of controversy and debate. But (unfortunately) that is hardly a topic of conversation for this blog.

JESNA’s list of top ten achievements in Jewish education over the last decade provides such a level of debate and controversy, especially for those of us more immersed in Jewish education than the Collingwood Magpies.

And JESNA’s list is a great list. Who could argue with Birthright Israel or PJ Library as being major game changers in the Jewish communal landscape? But the point of such a list should not be only to congratulate the big names in Jewish education. The real point, in my opinion, should be to try and identify the trends that these listed organizations exemplify – so that this does not become merely a back-slapping exercise, but one where the community is able to identify what works, what needs further investigation, and what needs further communal attention and resources.

So, inspired by JESNA’s top 10 list I have created a top 5 list of: Bryfy’s Pick for the Top 5 Trends in Jewish Education in the Last Decade.

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To Tweet or Not to Tweet? – That is the Question

Last Updated on Monday, 11 January 2010 11:40 Written by bryfy Monday, 11 January 2010 11:40

I’m really not sure about the Twitter thing. Facebook – I’m sold on – its value and pervasive presence in every aspect of the world we live in is unquestionable. But Twitter – what’s really happening out there in Twitterland?

I’m sure that by now, all of you Twitter convertees are going to tell me about the Obama campaign and the Iranian revolution  – both of which Tweeters claim was one by shear tweets alone. But for us mere mortals who are not involved in revolutions or presidential campaigns – is Twitter really making a difference? Is it a fad or is it here to say?

And importantly (or at least importantly as this blog is concerned) is Twitter one of those things that Jews and Jewish organizations are rushing to join because everyone warns them that they cant fall further behind in the realm of technology – only to discover that they have no idea why they have joined and what to do once they have got there?

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Change or Die: Why Traditional Organizations Must Innovate

Last Updated on Friday, 4 December 2009 07:22 Written by bryfy Sunday, 22 November 2009 05:07

In recent times I have been in a position to ask various groups of Jewish educators and communal professionals to come up with new ideas – specifically innovative ways to engage Jewish teens in meaningful Jewish activities. Perhaps not surprisingly, brainstorming alone did not deliver any out-of-the-box ideas. In the vast majority of instances people are only able to conjure events from their own experiences – ideas may be tweaked or adapted – but at the end of a day very rarely does something qualitatively different emerge from these group think sessions.

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