Yesterday Jewish educators gathered in the Museum of the City of New York for a day of professional development.
What was so great about our day at the Museum of the City of New York?
1. Uplifting. The marble foyer, the brown cushioned seating and the crystal mobile dancing with the light set a tone of beauty.
The Janet Ruttenberg exhibit tapped memory and stirred imagination.
The stroll through the exhibit just felt good and then lifted energy. I came back to Philadelphia and went for an hour walk.
2. Time for listening to the quiet voice inside. The first stroll through the gallery we were asked to go it alone. Just what stands out for you? Really I had quiet time to think and feel...which is different than time to do. I got in touch with my reflections. It was hard to separate the work from the idea that this is a woman in her 80's still creating and recreating. Quietly inside..keep creating and recreating.
3. Gently opened relationships. I then walked the museum with Rachel and then Leigh.
Each had something to say that helped me in a comfortable way get to know them "I like realistic. So this works for me." or "I walk here all the time from here to there." "Do you see the smear at the bottom? That's because she paints in the park and it started to rain."
4. Jewish. The exhibit stirred experience with color. The Torah also used color to stir an experience. It was enriching to hear ancient use of color in conversation with contemporary use of color. Green, red, blue, purple, white. Thousands of years and they say the same thing. I stand today ..connected to yesterday.
And I have to ask..was it so great because we are all figuring out how we can end the divide of a Judaism for special days in certain spaces and a Judaism in every space for when I wake, I walk and go to bed at night. Our day at the Museum of the City of New York was one more example of Jewish educators creating proof texts that illustrate how to make accessible the riches of our tradition for walking on the way in a the sanctuary and for a stroll in the museum.