Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pods and Palladiums: The Future of Jewish Life is the address to go to if you want to contribute to the Israeli's government's "listening campaign." Starting this Sunday and running through the 18th the Israeli government is structuring an online marathon for Jews around the world.  Input from the conversations will influence the government's funding to accelerate connections to Israel and Jewry. The conversation will be around 7 key topics and will be crowd sourced.

I registered to participate. And it got me thinking. Two words popped into my head when thinking of our Jewish future: Pods &Palladiums

1. Pods..small self-generated interest groups. Jews come together in person, online, in intimate spaces to meet a perceived need. Pods rise and fall as needed. When they capture interest and inspire they develop. When the desire goes so does the pod. A pod has little infrastructure and may need some outside support to function for its life span. Professionals are still in the picture but they are guides, supports and advisors to the self determined bricoleurs who want to shape a Judaism in their image ..until another need arises.

2. Palladiums..(The Palladium was a 3000-capacity major venue in New York for rock bands).big spaces for those who don't know how or have the drive for the customized do it yourself version. These spaces are the fixed addresses that still meet fixed needs. Palladiums are characterized by edutainment and consumerism. They are staffed by the big personalities that draw. There is always room for charisma. They have the budgets to do the wow's because there are enough folks who want that need met, and met well. They'll pay for it.

Less prominent in this picture of the next decades is the mid size organization that requires membership to sustain it. Mid-sized places can't afford  to meet the diversity of needs. And members can't afford dues that meet so few needs.

 What will fill the pods and palladiums?

Social--The next decade's world will stand on three things..three core needs. 

1. Social: Core need: to smile. We all need friends and Judaism is powerfully good at celebration, food, and wine.  The future of the lansmen, the space and the ritual to connect will define the pods and palladiums. Children want friends and they want to do stuff with their friend and they want to do the things their friends do.

2. Social action: Core need: to heal others and to heal the earth. The world doesn't look like it is getting any better with time. The need to save the world is only growing stronger and Judaism is a path to do mend.

3. Social emotional health: Core need to heal one's self. Spirituality. Self-care. Physical well being. Psychological equilibrium. Making it day to day. Taking a breath. Just as the world is not getting healthier neither is every day life. The next decade promises more stress. Judaism is a path to wholeness and healing. 

And to the Israeli government we ask..if this is an American landscape.. then what does it have to do with Israel?

Worth exploring: the three "socials" for Israel. What connections are fostered when the three big ideas connected to Israel are social, social action, and social emotional health?

Pondering: pods and palladiums. Will you register for the online conversation? Would love to hear what you think.