What would happen, I wonder, if we did a better job bridging the academy and the community, convening spaces where greater interaction rather than token interaction becomes the norm? This is what CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Leadership and Learning, is attempting with a new initiative at the University of Pennsylvania that brings rabbis and academics together to create a bridge of ideas. That’s what I’m trying to do in the arena of Jewish education with a new initiative at George Washington University: the Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership. In the future we hope to develop new graduate degree programs in Jewish education, a distinguishing feature of which will be close partnerships with local and national Jewish organizations. A central tenet of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, where the Mayberg Center is housed, is engagement between researchers, educators and communities in which teaching and learning happens. We also plan to offer a certificate in Jewish literacy, aimed primarily at Jewish communal professionals, as the only “non-Jewish” university to do so. The center will convene annual conferences to tackle areas where integrating research with what’s happening in the trenches can change the way we live and work.