The True Story of JEDLAB: the Network That Needs You as Much as You Need It

July 3, 2013

Source: The PEJE Blog


Ken Gordon of PEJE, writes about the birth and growth of JEDLAB, the fastest-growing and liveliest network anywhere in the Jewish world. JEDLAB, a network of Jewish educators, on Twitter, Facebook and real life get-togethers, is based on the ideas of the MIT Media Lab.


Ken writes:
"Our members are vastly diverse: they work at a variety of orgs, are planted all over the map, and they perform an impressive array of functions….


The denizens of JEDLAB hold all kinds of strong opinions, and are unafraid to make these opinions known. It’s all very civil and respectful—many of us learned this etiquette from #JEDCHAT (a Twitter Jewish ed group)—and we take the time to get to know one another and learn each other’s intellectual and spiritual contexts."


He extends a cordial greeting to stakeholders in Jewish education to join the JEDLAB discussion about reconstructing Jewish education.

He writes:

"Here are four superb reasons why you no longer have any excuse to join our kehillah:

  • We are building strong relationships, 24/6. This is what Ron Wolfson says Jewish life—and Jewish communal life—is all about. “After more than forty years of living and teaching the Jewish way,” he says in Relational Judaism, “I have come to an understanding about the essence of Judaism: It’s all about relationships.” In fact, Ron is an active part of our JEDLAB kehillah, and he takes the time to engage with our conversations and connect 1:1 with other members.
  • JEDLAB is as highly efficient means to listen in. Most of us haven’t the time or energy or schedule space to get out and mix it with the people. With JEDLAB, you can do this instantly—from your computer. It is an invaluable listening tour of the Jewish educational world.
  • JEDLAB is a learning community. The people in the LAB know and care deeply about the issues of Jewish education. Moreover, they are working hard to improve their communities and themselves in this forum. They ask for help, float out ideas, and discuss failures and successes. You can learn a tremendous amount by dropping by JEDLAB.
  • JEDLAB bulldozes the silos. We’re just getting started here but already JEDLAB is creating collaborations between Jewish professions who otherwise would never have met. This network promises enormous possibilities—and with your involvement, these could increase a thousand-fold.

The fact is, JEDLAB will make you a more informed and connected leader, a better leader, a smarter leader, and—weirdly enough—less lonely. We are kind of a family and you are just as welcome as the most humble teacher, or the most learned rabbi, to join us.

So consider this an open invitation."

Updated: Aug. 01, 2013