Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rave Reviews for LOMED Handbook

Well, I've just finished reviewing the incredible guide for LOMED congregations! It is sensational! I've never really seen anything quite like it. I would call it a "thick curriculum" - working on several layers to empower the educators and lay leaders to do the really cutting-edge work in rethinking their approach to Jewish education. It is so well-written, so clear, and so robust with excellent examples/illustrations/models of what you envision. Dr. Ron Wolfson, author and professor American Jewish University

Successful twenty-first century Jewish education, as embodied in the conceptual framework and practical recommendations outlined in this LOMED Handbook, is the product of a powerful creative tension.

As never before – and as emphasized throughout this publication – learners must be empowered to be full partners in their own learning journeys. Each learner and family must cultivate their own relationship to God, Torah, and Israel; we, as educators, can only be guides, resources, and midwives for their journeys and must learn to make space for their explorations and their decisions. But, journeys are not pursued randomly, and individuals now as much as ever seek purpose and relationships to make their journeys meaningful and deeply satisfying. Providing this sense of purpose and direction through a compelling Jewish vision and nurturing the relationships that are the hallmark of a genuine community are thus equally part of the task for any Jewish learning framework, and especially the synagogue, today.

Empowerment vs. vision; individual choice vs. community. The tensions are real, and they challenge congregations to live in what Martin Buber called “holy insecurity.” What makes the LOMED pathway outlined in this Handbook so vital in the Jewish world today is precisely that it does not seek to resolve this tension by favoring one pole or the other – for to do so would be to destroy the possibility for the powerful learning it seeks to help congregations develop. Rather, it embraces both sides of the tension and charts a course that can help congregations thrive educationally in our “eilu v’eilu” world. It is not an easy path to traverse, but the results of walking this “narrow ridge” (to quote Buber again) are already being seen in the exciting Jewish learning taking place in the congregations that are part of the LOMED community. Jonathan Woocher, Chief Ideas Officer, JESNA

With the LOMED Handbook, the Jewish Education Project has taken the next step in empowering Jewish Educators and their institutions to not only dream dreams, but to make those dreams into reality. This book makes the journey towards relevant and powerful Jewish learning possible by providing inspiration, numerous model paradigms, and hands on tools to navigate the way. This book will have a permanent place on my desk. Lynn Lancaster, Director of Education, Forest Hills Jewish Center

The LOMED Handbook is a masterful guidebook for navigating the changing world of American Jewish education in the 21st Century. In an accessible and inviting style, it provides both the conceptual framework and the tools for educational leaders in congregations to use in planning for and creating powerful Jewish learning experiences that attend to the needs of the whole person. Using key design principles that build organizational capacity across the system, it focuses on moving from vision to practice through the development of high impact models for learning that go well beyond the classroom. This book is a “must read” for any Jewish professional and lay leader who is imagining a thriving Jewish future and is looking for both the inspiration and guidance as to how to get there. Dr. Lisa Grant, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

The LOMED Handbook is a thorough guide for innovation. Educational teams will be able to follow concrete steps as they work to make bold changes that lead to meaningful Jewish learning experiences. For congregations who have traveled the LOMED journey, this guide provides an important tool that can be used for reflection and continued innovation. Mara Braunfeld, Temple Shaaray Tefila of Northern Westchester

The LOMED handbook is a comprehensive guide for innovation in congregational education. It supports educational teams in creating powerful Jewish learning experiences through high impact models - a requirement for 21st century Jewish Education. Educators will love how the LOMED Handbook helps them become more effective educators - creating and assessing whole person learning that cultivates the knowing, doing, believing and belonging of all their learners. Ivy Schreiber,
Director of Education, Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, NYC