“JERUSALEM — For years, ultra-Orthodox Jewish women in Israel have been on the leading edge of change inside their traditional, highly insular communities.
But they have recently been opening a new frontier, taking their quiet revolution to a nondescript building in a Jerusalem industrial area where, as students at an offshoot branch of a prominent art school, they are encountering both the secular world and fine arts in new ways.”
“Jewish camps are one of the most effective ways of connecting kids to their Jewish heritage and Jewish identity,” Fingerman said. “So we had to find a way to get these camps reopened [in 2021] because camp shapes the community of today and it’s the glue that keeps it together tomorrow.”
“Without fundamental changes, the institutions that shape American Jewish life will not only fail to thrive – they may close their doors entirely. The future of Jewish life in America depends on our ability to confront the weakness of our system honestly and to invest in and incentivize organizational change in whatever ways we can.”
“Given that humans are hard-wired to respond reflexively to certain kinds of difference with fear, and given that human psychology is unlikely to change anytime soon, what can we do as citizens, teachers, parents, community leaders, board members, rabbis, trustees, and dialogue partners to turn sites of anti-social fear and confrontation into sites of pro-social encounter and conversation?”
“Many of the Sapir authors offer different perspectives on the complexity and nuances of Jewish power, recognizing that power is deeply flawed and requires self-critique, while reminding us that possessing power and agency is essential to human, and Jewish dignity and self-determination….
So how do we make sense of the paradox of power?. . .Perhaps the theology of the High Holidays has something to teach us.”
Maimonides Fund is thrilled to announce some exciting personnel changes: Felicia Herman, current President of the Natan Fund, will join Maimonides Fund as Chief Operating Officer based in New York, starting in October; Daniel Gamulka will be promoted to Senior Director, Maimonides Fund, in addition to continuing in his current role as Managing Director of Maimonides Fund, Israel; and Nechemia Steinberger will begin as Program Officer, based in Jerusalem, with a focus on grantmaking in the Haredi community.
“What does it mean to be a Jew investing in social change? For me, it is not about repurposing tikkun ha’olam, to mean being charitable. Investing in social change from a Jewish perspective means operating from a framework of commandedness. Tzedakah givers can be influenced by the tax code and by contemporary challenges in the civic square, but they are ultimately directed and regulated by an eternal framework, and not a human, voluntary, ephemeral one.”
“How do you navigate a Bible lesson with 30 students from different backgrounds? How do you make enough space for 30 unique relationships with religion, some of which are diametrically opposed to one another? . . . I humbly present two strategies for navigating sensitive issues of belief in heterogeneous settings, each for a different stage in the process of study.”
“When there is a Jewish actor playing a Jew, Hollywood effectively demands said actor to express at least slight moral disdain and psychological discomfort with one’s Jewishness. The edgy, neurotic misfit Jew has become synonymous with Jews in film and TV…Because, God forbid, Jews like being Jewish. Far more fashionable to be a little self-hating.”
“[The High Holidays of 2020 were] a kind of controlled experiment; essentially no one was able to celebrate or observe the holidays in the ways they were used to, so everyone was doing something different than usual. . . .There are three major lessons from these positive experiences that can serve as building blocks as we plan for the future.”
“Jewish texts contain a multitude of opinions, enough to support the presuppositions and political persuasions that almost any seeker could bring to them. One can write a purely socialist economic plan for society using only traditional Torah sources. One could also write a capitalist model citing another set of Torah sources. I suggest we do neither…”
“…[N]early 600 million people worldwide speak Spanish. Yet many of them know little about Israel and the Jewish community — many don’t see an obvious reason to care about a country several thousand miles away and a religious group with very few adherents…. For years, Fuente Latina has been conducting outreach to journalists, both proactively and in response to Iranian and other anti-Israel falsehoods…”