Long time followers of this blog may know that I was one of fourteen fellows in a program at the Lookstein Center funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation. Our brief was to create online communities of practice. Some of us were more successful than others. Some CoPs are still going strong, others have served their purpose and are but memories.
And then came JEDLAB! There has been a lot written about it and by those involved. It is worth reading some of it. More importantly, it is something you should join. Unlike CAJE of blessed memory or any number of conferences that have grown up in recent years (and may they all thrive and grow), it is an ongoing 24/6 conversation about Jewish education and the things that educators want to talk about, learn and teach one another. I try to check in at least once a day, and occasionally find I have something to say.
To join JEDLAB you need to be on Facebook. That is the central platform on which the community meets. (We do have the JEDLAB test kitchen on Google+ and we love to have ad hoc connections in a variety of places as well). And it is a community, currently 2,220 strong. Some write. Many read. And it crosses all lines: geography, movement, professional setting and methodology, relationship to Halacha, etc. Everybody plays, and no one can so you can't play (Thank you Vivian Gussin Paley). Just click on JEDLAB and ask to join. Or become my friend on FB (if we are not already) and ask me to put you in. Or ask anyone in JEDLAB to do it. It is worth your time. (If you are not on Facebook, you should join just for this. Set privacy settings so the kids from your 3rd grade class can't find you if you prefer.)
Ken Gordon, the founder of JEDLAB proposed a book group on Martin Buber's I and Thou. Not a light undertaking. He opened the conversation in a way that drew me and others in and if you follow, he moderated with a very light touch. Our first 36 hours of conversation is below. I think you will find it interesting and invite you to join in - preferably in FB at JEDLAB. If you comment hear, I will transfer your thoughts - in your name - to the group.
This is hopefully the first stop in a traveling blog carnival. That means that other bloggers in the group will hopefully pick up the thread of the conversation on their blogs in turn. I will put links in the comments section. (Note: Permission was given by the participants in the discussion before I posted this. JEDLAB is a safe place for conversation!)
Please enjoy and join us in JEDLAB! Consider this your present for the last night of Chanukah!
Since the image above is a .jpg of the Facebook conversation you can watch the video with this link: