✯✯✯ Jewish Teen Board Case Study

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Jewish Teen Board Case Study



Expanding our reach to engage Jewish Teen Board Case Study teens — eJewish Philanthropy. A pluralism that can tolerate deep Jewish Teen Board Case Study about God while lacking Jewish Teen Board Case Study capacity to Jewish Teen Board Case Study human needs shows itself to be Jewish Teen Board Case Study. Open Document. Third Reichs Propaganda In Nazi Germany pluralistic house of study was defined by the religious fervor involved in replacing Temple sacrifice with acts of lovingkindness. The faculty were right that without the courage of competing convictions the Jewish Teen Board Case Study of our cohort would Jewish Teen Board Case Study. I Medical Imaging Essay Jewish Teen Board Case Study, an open-minded.

Overview: Acts 1-12

What was once a practical and epistemological effort by the Jewish community to reckon with its history and prepare for its future has morphed into a bourgeois discourse of sustaining the status quo and suppressing, rather than celebrating, deep difference. The school was deliberating whether and how to teach prayer: although students came from diverse religious backgrounds, the school rightly saw some value in each class being able to do some amount of praying together.

My wife and I are educating our own children to be able to sit politely and knowledgeably in prayer services that follow practices that are not our own. But they should care about the principles that animate our choices, and they should be passionate about their own. This is the first pluralism trap: the flattening of passions, the belief that the collective project of community across difference mitigates the need for passionate personal identity. The faculty were right that without the courage of competing convictions the pluralism of our cohort would suffer. Along similar lines, a few years ago I received a call from a rabbi who said that something a speaker had said at a Hartman Institute program had offended his sensibilities.

Again, I was surprised. I gently replied that the safety guaranteed by our Beit Midrash was that intellectual rigorous views would be considered and respected, even when they were at odds with each other. The first trap kicks in when pluralistic community takes the edge off of serious commitments, either because people feel — connected to the broader climate of trigger warnings and safe spaces — that they cannot candidly express their views in the presence of others, or because over time the intensity of strongly felt convictions in the presence of others is too much to bear. Or, perhaps, because we domesticate our serious disagreements with one another by the sheer experience of being in a relationship over time.

For whatever reasons, pluralist spaces come to embody a kind of flat neutrality. A second and perhaps more contentious example: for over a decade, Hillel chapters around the country have been roiled by controversy relating to Israel policy, including which speakers can be licensed to speak in Hillels, which student groups can partner with Hillel groups, and coded expectations — by institutions, boards, and students — about how Israel is to be celebrated or criticized. It is not altogether surprising that this document elicits the kinds of reactions it does and serves as such a flashpoint in political debates on campus.

In my observation, the first invariable outcome of any stipulation of ideological guidelines is the proclivity of people to test those guidelines. This is especially so when the guidelines attempt to define the parameters of an issue in an organization that describes itself as committed to ideological pluralism. After all, why police and regulate views on this issue and not that one? In turn, those who defend the guidelines turn the tables: they will argue that it was not the institutions that changed, but the students and the political climate themselves.

The pluralism conversation on this topic dances around several questions: How big must a community be to tolerate widely disparate views? How can certain ideas be admitted into a complex community without rupturing it? And anyway: who changed more on Israel — the Jewish students on the left or the organized Jewish community on the right? Absent borders or boundaries, communities can at best be considered ephemeral aggregations. But when does—and when should—boundary-drawing take place? Pluralistic community is always going to be tested by boundary questions, and some of its most passionate defenders will weaponize that passion against those who would threaten its vitality. Weirdly, violence in defense of peoplehood is deemed no vice.

Hillels set as their ambitious and laudable goal in the s to serve and engage as many Jews as possible. But what happens then when you engage Jews across a vast, fast-moving, increasingly tense ideological spectrum in which everyone expects to be served, to articulate their commitments as they are, and to have those commitments valued? It was never really going to be Shabbat that tore apart students on campus; there are enough rooms in the Hillel building for different students who can build a quorum to have the services they need. When communities of difference are not given incentive to compromise, they rarely will. Yet the whole point of pluralism is that it should only start to matter when the temperature rises.

A pluralism that can tolerate deep differences about God while lacking a capacity to negotiate human needs shows itself to be idolatrous. Eruvin 13b. Pluralistic communities can still come to consensus on public policies by some expression of majority rule that tolerates the losing minority. Those who believe in the prevailing public policy are allowed to believe they are in the right. But they must also understand that they betray their core commitments when they seek to silence and suppress their opponents. This leads to a third manifestation of the problem: Pluralism in the Jewish community has lost the momentum to advocate for its own moral claims. In part because it is easier to advocate for a competing worldview against a status quo worldview than it is to advocate for pluralism against a coherent ideology.

The Religious Action Center of the Reform Movement, for instance, is still the strongest counter-voice in Israel against the hegemony of the Israeli rabbinate, more than the collective efforts of Jewish organizations united under an appeal to pluralism. More to the point, pluralism can act as a world-building worldview, laced with passion to achieve what individuals cannot build on their own. Alternatively, pluralism can govern a diverse community and manage individuals across difference. If the former, pluralism is hard work that has to be nurtured; if the latter, it risks becoming vulnerable in the ways that any operating system becomes over time. The formative narrative of Jewish pluralism was rooted in semi-radical theology; over time, our institutions settled into pluralism as a means for sustaining community across difference and reducing conflict.

Rabbinic pluralism is supposed to teach the refinement of society through a proliferation of competing ideas that can be Godly so that God dwells in our midst. In the current culture wars, some adherents of liberalism use the language of pluralism to argue that it requires of us to give equal publi airtime to all ideas. Real pluralism must internalize and stay committed to the heterodoxy of its communities and constituents. It is not sufficient for our community to contain difference, and it is too much for pluralism to homogenize across difference. The pluralism that reorganizes the world takes seriously the value of difference, produces vibrant and vital societal debate across difference, and constructs a world in which those differences and those debates refine the moral terms of our society instead of pulling it apart.

Despite the historical and material changes in Jewish life in the past few decades, it is hard for me to accept that the moral stakes on the major issues in our societies have become a lot more significant in a short time. I think the more accurate story is that we have too readily accepted the shortcut offered by polarization — access to homogenous communities of those we agree with, with whom we can politically organize — instead of the harder work of taking disagreement seriously.

That makes for weak theology, and even weaker politics. A commitment to Jewish pluralism — the pursuit of the living word of God as spread across different individuals — could imagine itself as a form of commitment to justice, an enactment of seeing humans being as created in the image of God. So we must weigh and measure, bargain, compromise, and prevent the crushing of one form of life by its rivals.

I know only too well that this is not a flag under which idealistic and enthusiastic young men and women may wish to march—it seems too tame, too reasonable, too bourgeois, it does not engage the generous emotions. But you must believe me, one cannot have everything one wants—not only in practice, but even in theory. The denial of this, the search for a single, overarching ideal because it is the one and only true one for humanity, invariably leads to coercion. And then to destruction, blood—eggs are broken, but the omelet is not in sight, there is only an infinite number of eggs, human lives, ready for the breaking.

And in the end the passionate idealists forget the omelet, and just go on breaking eggs. As such, his pluralism had neither the sharp elbows to fight against that idealism, or even to continually articulate itself as a sufficiently powerful antidote to injustice. The rabbinic tradition did not equate an embrace of pluralism with an acceptance of injustice; it saw pluralism as connected to lovingkindness in a world of divine absence, and therefore as a stronger instrument to advocate for justice than those who would still impute to themselves the characteristics of the prophets.

What do we have instead — dining halls where we can eat together? Pluralism suffered under the weight of its adherents thinking that they were making demands that were too strenuous. In reality, our demands were too too tepid. I am neither ideologically, constitutionally, nor institutionally ready to give up on pluralism. Actually, given the cyclical way in which ideas rise and fall, it is thrilling to once again need to rearticulate a once-dominant idea that has fallen on hard times. I do not believe that the forces of polarization or partisanship that predominate today are in and of themselves destructive; these forces serve democracy by strengthening the polarities that refine the stakes of our most significant arguments.

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