Come Blow Your Horn
Cue the trumpets: GW has just launched a brand new MA program in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts. A sibling to the MA program in Jewish Cultural Arts, which made its shining debut just a few short months ago, it will supplement that initiative through its attentiveness to the ways in which the practices and pedagogy of experiential or informal education enhance Jewish culture — and the other way around.
What I want to herald here, within the context of the blog, is the broad communal significance of these two undertakings. At a time when the American Jewish community is feeling rather beleaguered and perhaps even unloved and under-appreciated, GW’s decision to throw its weight behind the formation of not one, but two, programs devoted through and through to the critical study, promotion and dissemination of Jewish culture is something to cheer about.
What’s more, that the Jim Joseph Foundation, one of the Jewish community’s most far-sighted and imaginative philanthropies, saw fit to make the MA in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts possible through its generous support and thoughtful stewardship, should encourage us to cheer more loudly still.
Jewish culture, as growing numbers of people have come to understand, isn’t just a tool of engagement or an alternative form of commitment. Yes, it contains all those possibilities. But what truly renders Jewish culture such a vital and generative phenomenon — let’s call it a life force — is its status as a gift. From one generation to another and from one iteration to another, Jewish culture gives us license to be creative.
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