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Dispatches from the network and updates from the Foundation.

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Difficult Conversations


Intergenerational communication is about connecting; about ongoing intentional conversations that build and strengthen the relationship.

If we do things right, each generation will be wistful about the opportunities and resources of those who come after them, and each will feel luckier and more blessed than those who came before them.

Jews that are cast as being on the margins often have the most to offer to the Jewish community, but may choose to contribute their gifts to communities associated with other parts of their identity. This is a loss for us all.

Are the woke accusations found on the internet the best methodology to make the race, diversity, equity and inclusion corrections that are so badly needed? Can the methodology even be questioned without leading to cancellation?Cancel Culture is not the creative, excellent way of thinking we were challenged to learn in Wexner. We Jews are a creative people.  Cancel Culture is neither. It’s more like revenge. We weren’t taught that.

Even if some of the stats above aren't consistent with our personal opinions, we knew that we could hold multiple truths, as could those in our community, so we entered into a chevruta (learning partnership), to name explicitly which profound truths we were each  holding and which we agreed on. While we discovered that we were not that far apart from each other, it was important to continue to engage on this topic in an era of disturbing polarization, one that is characterized by a lack of nuanced dialogue, where saying the “wrong” thing can you get “cancelled,” instead of giving you an opportunity to learn.

America, it seems, is rediscovering the Bible’s approach to idolatry – but it is the Rabbinic approach that is most desperately needed in our time. We simply cannot afford to see our diverse society with its very significant political and ideological differences in biblical terms.

The process of re-entry into the real world as we slowly emerge from the surreal experience of a global pandemic is strange and fraught. Many times over the last few months, I’ve felt uncomfortable or unsure of how to act in social, professional, or communal settings. I have to re-learn how to behave in “polite society,” and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I hope that in this process, I am brave enough to move beyond where I left off when we collectively retreated from the world in March of 2020.

A gradual return is extremely important as it is what lets us process the events. If we plunge back into our normal routine, the outcome is amnesia of sorts. We delete the events from our minds without having processed them properly and it might meet us unprepared next time.

Even within our own communities, we can flatten and simplify other people’s experiences and narratives without considering the complexity and diversity among us.