Friday, March 11, 2011

Rabbis are you knocking down the door?

The fist and the heart are the same size.
Listen to a rabbi who's fist and heart are connected. He's knocking down the door of the classroom only model.

Rabbi David Whiman, one of my heroes for real change, answers three questions.

1. What are three wishes you have for religious school as we know it?

That it cease to exist as we know it
That it cease to exist as we know it
That it cease to exist as we know it

2. Why are you willing to redirect resources to ensure we create high impact models?

The Jewish future of yet another generation hangs in the balance.

Last night in a class of seven kids who were working on their D’vrai Torah to be delivered at the B/BM service, six could not give a name to the holiday that you don’t eat.

What we are doing now has limited success and if we keep doing what we’ve always done we will keep getting what we have always gotten.

3. What are concrete things you do as a rabbi to turn wishes for children and family learning into reality?

Unleash my Educator and Lay Educational Advisory Board to think creatively
Advocate for the resources to implement the programs created by thinking creatively
Participate actively in the programs created by thinking creatively

I am yet to see a congregation make bold change without the energy of the rabbi.
Rabbis who see the need for change, believe it is possible and
put their power behind the change,
enable their congregations to shape shift (vs add a program there and there).

The rabbinic forces:
the gift of storytelling,
the ability to shine the spotlight on what's most important,
the power to navigate the naysayers
the craft of co creating a picture of future success (if it is not classroom only, then it is ...)
the connections to the people who can move a rock up a hill and keep it there
all of which
stir kishkas and resources,
to creating High Impact Models of Jewish Education.

A team is necessary. No moshiach can do it alone. Forget about it.

Obstetricians are the only profession that is busier than clergy. (I think they get more calls in the night) We all know what rabbis do on their day off...they conduct funerals and visit people in hospitals.

NO RABBI has the extra time to be a force for educational change.

ALL RABBIs who seek to lead a community that matters in people's lives can make the time. They can set the agenda for Jewish education that matters.

Rabbis only make the time when they are sure it is a necessity. Families are coming in the door. Sounds like an opportunity to me.

Now is the time. A decade of experiments has identified the building blocks of a kind of education that can enrich the life of children and parents now.

Clergy...where is your fist knocking down the door of the classroom only model?