Professor Steven Cohen wrote a very intriguing article explaining what he's learning about my generation of Jews: the 30-something post-Boomer up and coming leaders of the Jewish community. What makes this generation so different from the one ahead of us? What's new and different these days?
Our institutions should follow the example of the Temple. They should be enlivening not deadening, to those who, like the priest, work in them.
That is not what boards of Jewish institutions report. Meetings are often desultory at best, litigious at worst - even downright nasty. They can be life-depleting, not life-enhancing. Committee assignments are like life sentences. Volunteers are hard to find.
But that is not the Jewish way. Jewish organizational life should be like the handwashing that characterized the original Jewish institution, the Temple.
From Jewish people to Jewish purpose: The new age of social innovation in American Jewish life
Steven M Cohen, Director of Research for S3K, discussed the new age of social innovation in American Jewish life at a seminar for Jewish community professionals in December 2009. The seminar was organized jointly by JPR and JHub, the London-based Jewish Social Action and Innovation Hub.
It is somewhat surprising that researchers have paid so little attention to how people experience divorce in congregations. Studies that do address the relationship between religion and divorce are largely quantitative, measuring divorce numbers. Rarely do these reports consider the personal impact and how (or if) communities support those affected by divorce.