Move Over TED, ELI Has Arrived

from The Jewish Week:

Jewish Version Of TED Talks Launched

At last, the Jewish community has its very own version of TED – sort of.

TED, whose slogan is “ideas worth spreading,” began as a conference in 1984 that brought together people from the three disciplines in its acronym (Technology, Entertainment, Design), offering the best 15-to-18-minute talks and performances by experts in their profession or field of interest.

… After several years of discussions and attempts in the community to launch a Jewish TED, the Avi Chai Foundation has jumped in, getting the effort started last January with six presentations presented and filmed before a group of 200 attendees at the North American Jewish Day School conference in Atlanta.

The project, dubbed “ELI talks” (for Engagement, Literacy, Identity), comes to New York on May 14, with five 10- to 12-minute talks presented at the JCC Manhattan by Etta Abramson, a Jewish educator, actor and singer; David Bryfman of the Jewish Education Project and an expert of Jewish adolescent identity; Daniel Libenson, head of a new Jewish think tank with an expertise in innovation; Nessa Rapoport, a writer and foundation officer who speaks frequently about Jewish culture and imagination; and Rabbi Ethan Tucker, co-founder and rosh yeshiva at Mechon Hadar.

“We are sure that their knowledge and passion will result in engaging talks that will inspire,” said Deena Fuchs, Avi Chai’s director of strategic partnerships. She explained that the foundation, which is spending down and going out of business in the next few years, wants to leave a legacy of ideas, with a particular interest in Jewish literacy, religious engagement and a sense of Jewish peoplehood with Israel at its center.

[More on the Atlanta ELI talks can be found at Heard Around NAJDS: Today’s Inspired Jewish Ideas.]