Sunday, December 1, 2013

I've Got Sunshine!

Me and Barb at a
NATE Leadership meeting
Barb Shimasky, a wonderful educator at Temple Sinai in Milawaukee who blogs at http://onthebarbedwire.wordpress.com/ – and a former student of mine (oy.) – nominated me for a Sunshine Award. It is an interesting award, since there is no actual competition. If you are nominated, all you need to do to win is to accept. And that is where the catch comes in. You have to follow the five rules.
  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

Responding to something like this is not strictly speaking why I maintain this blog. I began it three years ago to create a conversation about Jewish Education and to crystalize my own thoughts.

Doing this feels a bit self-promotional – not my favorite thing. So I gave it some thought before deciding to accept and follow the rules. And it seems to me the best reason for doing to is to introduce anyone reading my blog to 11 of my favorite bloggers who write about Jewish Education. So I am going to start by listing those bloggers (in order of the individuals’ first names) because that is the important stuff. The rest is just because I want to honor the spirit and intention of the awards which require me to share something about myself. Feel free to skip all of that and just visit the 11 blogs listed.So let's talk about what these bloggers are talking about!

Blogs I am nominating and hope you will visit (in addition to Barb’s):
  1. Community Organizer 2.0 – This is Deborah Askenase's blog. Her main gig is as a digital strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She occasionally writes about Jewish education, but I think every educator can learn from her organizing and digital repertoire.
  2. eJewishPhilanthropy – Dan Brown (not the author of several best sellers) lives in Jerusalem and does a remarkable job of collecting articles from a wide variety of people on a wide variety of topics: Jewish philanthropy, Jewish education and Jewish Peoplehood to name a few.
  3. Jew Point 0  – This is the blog of Darim Online, which includes Lisa Colton's brilliant team. 
  4. ayekah — where are you? Conversations about how we respond to the world through a Jewish lens – Rabbi Fred Greene of Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell, GA is a great friend and colleague. And I love the way his mind works.
  5. The Gris Mill – Joel Lurie Grishaver's Blog. Joel was one of my inspirations to get into Jewish education and is one of my dearest friends. And he has some pretty interesting ideas.
  6. The Torah Aura Bulletin Board – Includes a lot of Joel's writing, but also a group of terrific educators writing about technology, early childhood education, art and other great stuff.
  7. Muse for Jews – Debbie Harris is the director of educational technology at the Sager Solomon Schechter Day School in Northbrook, IL and teaches religious school at Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism. She is also one of the most gifted at bringing technology to Jewish education.
  8. Itzik's Well – One of my oldest friends, Irwin Keller serves as Spiritual leader of Congregation Ner Shalom in Cotati, CA. He is also founder/performer with the Kinsey Sicks, America's Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet (www.kinseysicks.com).
  9. Or Am I – Rabbi Paul Kipnes was one of my classmates at the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR in LA. He is the Rabbi and Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, CA and one of the most thoughtful people I know.
  10. Jewish Education Lab – Wendy Grinberg is a terrific educator and consults with Jewish educators all over.
  11. Sects and the City – My bunk mate Rabbi Liz Wood's journey through life and learning.
11 Questions for those I am nominating:
  1. If you had an extra million dollars lying around that had to be spent on Jewish education, what would you do?
  2. What is your favorite holiday and what do you do to make it uniquely special?
  3. If you only had time to visit one place in Israel, where would you go and what would you do there?
  4. If you only had time to visit one place NOT in Israel, where would you go and what would you do there?
  5. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone beginning their first full time job as a Jewish educational leader?
  6. What is the best general release (i.e. not specifically Jewish) film you have seen in the last eleven months and what is one thing you liked about it?
  7. What is your favorite Jewish song (at the moment)?
  8. What made you choose to pursue the career you have chosen?
  9. If you were given a six month sabbatical and more than enough money to fund it, what would you do? Where would you go?
  10. What is the one Jewish food - that if your doctor told you had to stop eating it - you would be most upset ?
  11. What is the best book you have read lately?
11 random facts about myself:
  1. I love to cook, but my son is better at than I am.
  2. Every time I watch a film, I cannot help but look for the scene that will help me teach something Jewish. It is a curse. And a blessing.
  3. I have played quiddich. Really. http://iqaquidditch.com/about/rules
  4. A part of me never leaves Jerusalem.
  5. I have too many books next to my bed.
  6. I am very handy with power tools. Habitat for Humanity considers me a skilled.
  7. I believe that latkes are made with grated potatoes. Shredded potatoes yield hash browns.
  8. While I could not keep up with their scientific conversation, I could otherwise hold my own with Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Rajesh.
  9. I am a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. Not four years, but a lifetime!
  10. I once danced in a paid (not to me) performance of the Twyla Tharp Dance Company
  11. I love what I do for a living.
Answers to Barb’s questions:
  1. What is one change you try to be in the world?
    To be a good father, husband and teacher.
  2. What is your favorite drink from Starbucks?
    Five shot Grande Americano with room (I add some skim milk).
  3. What is the best thing that has happened in your life during the past week?
    Both sons are home for Thanksgiving and they are filling us with joy!
  4. If you had $100 and were required to spend it on yourself, what would you buy?
    Tickets to a Cubs game, a hot dog and a frosty malt.
  5. What was your favorite childhood movie?
    The Great Race
  6. Where is a place you would like to travel that you have not yet had an opportunity to visit?
    England (Incl. Scotland, Wales and Cornwall)
  7. How many tabs do you have open in your browser right now?
    Four
  8. What is your favorite board game and why?
    Clue. Professor Plum, in the Dining Room with the Lead Pipe. Need I say more?
  9. What is your favorite website?
    Evernote.com
  10. What is something that makes you weird?
    To whom?
  11. What size shoe do you wear?
    12B

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