Boundary Crossers: Adult Jewish Learning Summit Explores Collaboration

November 16, 2014

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


In a spirit of exploring opportunities for collaboration and learning, nineteen providers of adult Jewish learning gathered recently in Newton, MA. Co-sponsored by Hebrew College and the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, the Summit for Leaders in Adult Jewish Learning opened a long-overdue conversation about how to advance the place of adult learning in today’s Jewish communal landscape.

Forty leaders crossed the boundaries of their own silos to consider common challenges, learn from respected faculty, and discuss the role of adult learning in building our Jewish future. Veteran organizations represented by Drisha Institute, Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, Hebrew College’s School of Adult Learning, Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, and the Wexner Heritage Program were joined by representatives of newer initiatives like Ayeka, Chai Mitzvah, Global Day of Learning, Kevah and Mechon Hadar. Our dialogue was enriched and cross-pollinated by a diversity of perspectives and multiplicity of goals, from engaging first-time learners to empowering adults to find relevance in deep and substantive text study.

Panels included Transforming Communities through Adult Jewish Learning, Faith Development in Adult Learners, and Making Adult Jewish Learning a Communal Priority.

Summit participants collectively focused on opportunities for the future: How can we collaborate to eliminate redundancies and better serve the needs of our audience? Who can we approach to support a clearinghouse of papers and resources in Adult Jewish Learning and an international data base? Who will develop an online course to define best practices in adult Jewish learning and offer a certificate for educators? Should we create a professional association? Where will our next gathering be, and how can we “widen the tent”? A Facebook page representing the Consortium of Adult Jewish Learning professionals has already been launched.

Read more at eJewish Philanthropy and Hebrew College.

Updated: Nov. 24, 2014