Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Technology for Temples

Adam Simon of the Schusterman Foundation writes on JTA's Fundermentalist Blog about his take on the Nonprofit Technology Network. I urge you to read it and the comments that follow. Here is mine:

Adam,

Very interesting piece. As a congregational educator I am interested both bottles, the old and the new. I know that for many --especially thos below 40 and especially for those below 30, web 2.0 is becoming hardwired into how they perceive the world. We can spend (end lose) the next generation asking people to come into the synagogue and turn off their various devices, or we can figure out how to use the emerging technologies to reach them and enrich their Jewish identity. Then we can draw them in the doors of the shul, where they will choose to pause their tweeting, etc. to be a part of an RT (Real Time) community.

To paraphrase John Dewey from over 100 years ago: we can't bring the Jew kicking and screaming to the synagogue, we have to bring the synagogue to where the Jew is. Right now, cyberland is covering a lot of the Jew's personal space.

I am not convinced that Web 2.0 is the only way to reach them. The life of a synagogue is still essential. But we ignore the technology at our (and the synagogue's) peril.

Thank you for bringing NTEN to us. I am not sure we will make aliya there, but I look forward to you and others bringing the message from that mountain so we can create the Rashi together!

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