J-Eureka! - Discover the treasure-hold of Jewish Ideas
Submitted by: Zeesy Category: Ensuring the Jewish Future
The Big Idea
The next big Jewish Idea is: Jewish Ideas!
For all who have wanted to ask, but were afraid there was no answer, here is your opportunity!
What is so precious about Judaism that it must continue?
What does Judaism have to tell the world? What does it have to tell me? What does it have to say to the adult, critical mind?
The responses: Here is the opportunity to encounter the real thing: serious, thoughtful but exciting reflections from a variety of outstanding thinkers on the tough questions; answers for the adult mind that can equip you to think and speak intelligently about Judaism and its core perspectives.
J-Eureka gives you the possibility to become articulate, thoughtful, reflective. To be confident in transmitting the "why".
Your journey in ideas will take you from Los Angeles to Stockholm, where together with 10 cohorts from Los Angeles you will meet remarkable young professionals from all over Europe who are asking the same tough questions, and who will become your partners in exploring the world of Jewish ideas. The second part of the journey will take you back to Los Angeles where under the tutelage of the Sigi Ziering Institute your conversations will continue together with your Los Angeles colleagues you will explore how to innovatively spread the Idea of Jewish Idea-hood.
What brought about the idea of Ideas? The thinking of two cooperating organizations: Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden and the Sigi Ziering Institute in Los Angeles.
The first is Paideia. Based in Stockholm, and involving fellows from 35 European countries, Paideia has witnessed over the past ten years that one of the most striking developments in Europe is the number and quality of people arriving to Judaism as adults, with adult minds. Some of them find out about their Jewish roots only in a post-adolescent age. Others may have grown up knowing they are Jewish but with little knowledge about what that actually means. Yet a third group of people are non-Jewish spouses, family members, or even unrelated non-Jews dedicating their time to Jewish continuity out of their own interest and identification with the cause. What draws all these people to Judaism is that they see in Judaism a world-view, a body of ideas. They come as adults, and what attracts them is that Judaism can be approached with an adult mind.
The second institute is the Sigi Ziering Institute, under the direction of Dr. Michael Berenbaum. Dr. Berenbaum is an eminent scholar of the Holocaust, but his vision is not restricted to the past. Dr. Berenbaum is an astute analyst of Jewish life and a visionary of its future.
Idea-based Judaism is aimed at:
- people venturing into Judaism with adult minds.
- meaning and giving Jewish food for thought.
- providing an avenue of access to Judaism for intermarried couples.
- young professionals and for educators of high-school seniors: i.e for the inquiring mind.
The goals of the project are:
1. To give content to Jewish life.
2. To create new communities lines united by hard questions and exciting answers.
3. To "rewind the mind" and improve and make Jewish high-school education exciting.
4. To explore a Judaism organized around universally valuable ideas.
5. To make Jewish ideas accessible to non-Jewish friends and partners.
6. To add to the L.A. community's prominence in Jewish life.
This Is A Great Idea Because
First is the Idea of Ideas itself: over the past half-century, in Europe and elsewhere, Jewish education has had as its backdrop the Holocaust and/or Israel; for the last ten years the notion of Jewish Peoplehood has been a "buzzword" in the Jewish world; in traditional circles Judaism has been organized and taught as a religion. Yet none of these organizing principles have emphasized Judaism as a magnificent treasure-hold of ideas, meaningful and communicable to Jews and non-Jews alike.
Secondly, is the use of Europe not as a tourist attraction, or a journey into the Jewish past, but as a place where a Jewish future is being created, as the locale for a journey of Jewish concepts, an adventure to be undertaken together with the best and the brightest of a new generation of Jews in Europe.
Third, is the creative cooperation of two organizations: Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, and the LA based Sigi Ziering Institute under the direction of Dr. Michael Berenbaum.
Fourth, the LA cohort of people who part take in this training can profoundly affect the LA community: as educators and as innovators of ideas of programs. Beyond that the idea of ideas will put LA on the local, national and international Jewish maps as it will spear-head a movement that opens up a much needed portal into Judaism.