Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rethinking the Jewish Cultural Renaissance

The November issue of Sh'ma, on Jewish Literary Culture, includes a piece Stephen Hazan Arnoff and I co-authored. Entitled "Producers and Consumer: Rethinking the Jewish Cultural Renaissance," we suggest that

If the first step in the current expansion of the Jewish cultural landscape has been establishing modes for producing and delivering the work of culture makers to engaged consumers, the next step is expanding the nature of Jewish cultural production so that a much fuller range of the community is empowered to build a richer and more vibrant Jewish world.

In the same way that many educational programs are increasingly moving away from the model of frontal education (that places the learner in a passive role and assumes that he or she will benefit from the expertise of teachers) in favor of an active-learning approach (that encourages exploration, experimentation, and problem-solving), we believe cultural programs should adapt the approach of workshops, think tanks, and chevrutas – creating environments in which every participant contributes as both a producer and a consumer of learning and culture.

As Sh'ma does not have a direct method for responding to the articles they post, Stephen and I would be delighted to read any feedback posted here.

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