by Jay Michaelson In the old days, by which I mean the twentieth century, we consumed media curated by experts. On LPs and Cassettes, record producers and company execs picked and ordered songs that they thought we ought to hear, and paid radio DJs to play them. On the five channels of television, industry experts picked which sitcoms we’d watch at what times, and even added laugh tracks so we’d know when to smile. For better or for worse, … [Read more...] about A 20th Century Solution to 21st Century Problems
by James Hyman A recent study by the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University found that there are over 6 million people who self identify as Jews in the United States. This is a lot more than we would have predicted there would be in 2011 thirty years ago. But we also know that their identity is thin, in the sense that they don't know very much about their heritage. They also don’t connect to the institutional Jewish … [Read more...] about Is Jewish Identity in America Half Full or Half Empty?
by Leonard Saxe As Jewish traditions go, conducting a decennial National Jewish Population Study under the auspices of the federation movement has a very short history, and it was broken when the Jewish Federations of North America decided not to support a 2010 study. For researchers, the absence of support for a study reflects the weakened state of the national Jewish polity and a lack of commitment to using systematic data. For leaders of … [Read more...] about Who Are American Jews?
Seth Chalmer responds to Robert Evans and Avrum Lapin's recent post Too Many Jewish Institutions. As a community, we have funneled untold billions of dollars and other human capital into constructing Jewish institutions - museums, hospitals, social service agencies, arts and cultural entities - that in too many cases would be more suitable as smaller components of larger facilities rather than as “stand alone” entities... ... It is not our … [Read more...] about I’ll Put Down My Institution if You Put Down Yours
by Rabbi Jason A. Miller I still remember the time in 1st grade when my father brought our Apple II Plus into the classroom in an effort to show my classmates the wonders of Turtle Graphics. It was 1982 and each little 1st grader waited in line to get a chance to touch the odd looking keyboard and try to make the little turtle move. My father beamed with pride as he watched each child get their three-minute opportunity to try to program the … [Read more...] about Technology in Jewish Schools