Friday, August 21, 2015

Rise for The Fall

President Donald Trump. Global Warming. The Pew Report.  Pessimism could abound.

How do you keep your spirits up to begin another year? Where do you get a rise to begin the fall? For me, the answer most certainly includes "with a little help from my friends." I don’t mean just the emotional part. I also mean that my friends spark new ideas. Thanks Evie Rotstein, long time friend and idea sparker, who shared worthy takeaways from her time with Parker Palmer at 

At Evie's suggestion, I ordered two books to fuel Education Under Re-construction:
Before the drone delivers, I'm thinking about another article Evie sent, written by two Harvard Divinity School students:
How We Gather: A New Report on Non-Religious Community:
Insights from the article about a generation that “...reject(s) conventional religious affiliation, while not entirely giving up their religious feelings” (Putnam & Campbell) include:
  • Young people are yearning.
  • Young people, in response to the void they see, create their own spaces to explore those yearnings 
  • These new spaces, like SoulCycle, Camp Grounded and The November Project,  are characterized by some combination of community, personal transformation, social transformation, purpose finding, creativity, and surprising to me--accountability. 
The article highlights the new landscape created by young people for young people. 
These groups encourage friendship, promote neighborhood welfare, and spread messages for the betterment of individuals and society.  Notably, they mirror the values and missions of religious organizations, but use a secular vocabulary to describe their work.

I'm wondering:
  • What are the ways we give voice to young people's yearnings? 
  • What are the ways we foment young people's creativity to build the spaces for their yearnings?
  • How do we create the conversation between secular vocabulary and Jewish vocabulary? 
  • What would it look like if we threw out every piece of pre-written curriculum and began the year with these questions? 
Would love to hear your thoughts. Always looking for a little help from my friends to get a rise for the fall.



  1. I would also like to suggest another wonderful book by the millennial Erin Lane who just published "Lessons in Belonging: From a church-going commitment phobe."
    Erin who works for the Parker Palmer non- profit institute, Center for Courage and Renewal, as an assistant program director for clergy and congregational leaders. Erin thinks deeply about the issues facing this generation.and explores the issues of belonging. Among millennials, she says, "belonging is a lost art. It's not simply that we've chosen not to belong. It's that we've forgotten how".

  2. Wow. That is quite a statement. I wonder what millennials say about that. ok, one more book to order! thank you for the lead to understand very complex times