Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A new tag line

I've learned  that I have to work work at the nexus of research and marketing.
Collect the data and get out the word. This is essential work when trying to sustain innovation.

While standing on the marketing foot I know I have to  highlight the congregations that are doing  the hard work of innovation.

In NY it is over 50 congregations who can post on their websites
The Coalition of Innovating Congregations.

What's so special about them?
We've collected the data and this is what we learned:

The Coalition Congregations' focus on new models is based on an understanding that congregational education may be about getting kids ready for bnai mitzvah AND it is to help children grow as resilient people every day and in every way.

When we hear the stories of success from the Coalition we hear children facing the real world a little stronger, and  a little less alone.

Like Zach from Temple Emanu-El in NYC, a teen in the Tribes Model,

who is in the midst of preparing to apply to college said: “being a junior in high school, I have a lot of responsibilities, like studying for the SATs and stuff. At times when I’m tempted not to study, I think, being a gibor, someone who is strong, when making a good decision is hard – I know in the long term this is going to make me a better person, and I’ll be glad that I made that decision.”

So the new tag line we need to communicate based on the data collected says an old idea:

The Coalition of Innovating Congregations:
Jewish Learning for Real Life

Here's where the new idea comes from: (compiled by Suri Jacknis)

When Rabbi Judah went to the house of learning he would carry a pitcher on his shoulders, saying, “Great is labor, for it honors the person who does it.”
Babylonian Talmud, tractate Nedarim, page 49b.

A man should love work and not hate work.  For just as the Torah was given as a covenant, so work was given as a covenant, as it is said:  “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God.”  (Exodus 20:9)
Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, chapter 11

The Mishnah says:  “Whenever a human life is endangered, the laws of the Sabbath are suspended.”  The more eagerly someone goes about saving a life, the more worthy he is of praise….
Babylonian Talmud, tractate, Yoma, page 84b

Rabbi Judah said in the name of Samuel:  “If I had been there I would have told them something better:   ‘You shall keep My Laws and My norms by the pursuit of which man shall live’ (Leviticus 18:5)  “he shall live by them, but he shall not die because of them.”
Babylonian Talmud, tractate Yoma, page 85b

Do not take drugs; do not leap over ditches; do not have a tooth extracted; and do not anger either a snake or a Syrian.
Rav to his son, Rabbi Hiyya, in the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Pesahim, page 113a

There are three partners in man:  The Holy One, blessed by He, the father and the mother.  When a person honors his father and his mother, God says, “It is as though I had dwelt among them and they had honored Me.”
Babylonian Talmud, tractate Kiddushin, page 30b

As regards parental responsibilities to children, the most important duty is to teach the Torah. A father also must teach his son a trade:  “He who does not teach his son a profession…it is as if he taught him to be a thief. (Kiddushin 29a and 30b).  Parents should also teach their children how to swim.  In modern parlance, this commandment means that parents are required to teach their children whatever self-defense skills a re necessary for survival.” 
Joseph Telushkin, Jewish Literacy, p. 582

He has told you, O man, what is good,
And what the Lord requires of you:
Only to do justice
And to love goodness,
And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah, chapter 6, verse 8