How can we envision our Imagined Community? Last week JInsider and The Jewish Week co-hosted a brainstorming session with top Jewish thinkers, activists and journalists. The focus of the conversation was to collectively design the potential of our Imagined Community. The blueprint below is a summary detailing priorities, barriers and possibilities discussed.
First, two participants weigh in.
Gary Rosenblatt in The New York Jewish Week:
“The wrong people are sitting around the table [of many organizations] and there is a lack of democracy,” one woman said as most of us nodded in agreement.
What we were saying, in various ways, was that the vacuum in leadership and lack of Jewish education reflected a loss of values. The community has lost its bearings, and it has taken the economic meltdown and philanthropic crisis to make us stop and reevaluate how we thought and operated. The optimists among our group felt that present circumstances, painful as they are, could prompt us to redirect our communal goals and strategies.
Rob Eshman in The Los Angeles Jewish Journal:
“I have a dire view,” said Sender Cohen, a portfolio manager at Soros Fund Management who serves on the boards of the Natan Fund, Birthright Israel and Yeshiva University. Cohen predicted a deepening recession and unemployment reaching 15 percent.
Whether he’s being alarmist or optimistic, there’s no question that the sudden sucking of billions of dollars out of Jewish charitable institutions and endeavors demands a reckoning. What are our top priorities? What’s keeping us from achieving them? And how do we fund the future of the Jewish community?
Constructing Our Imagined Community: a blueprint of ideas