Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah supports efforts to help Jews and others engage with Jewish Wisdom and Sensibilities in ways that help them live better lives and shape a better world.
We approach all of our grantmaking as an opportunity to learn. The following is the current list of questions about the process of transmitting, cultivating, and applying Jewish Wisdom and Sensibilities that we hope to learn new answers to, in the course of our work and in collaboration with our grantees. It is a list that is neither complete nor static – we look forward to its ongoing evolution and refinement – but we share these objectives, as we intend to share the learnings that result. We invite you to be in touch with comments, suggestions for additional questions, and insights from your own experiences.
Questions about the ‘End Users’ – from motivation to integration
- What life challenges and opportunities trigger or motivate people to seek out and integrate Jewish Sensibilities?
- What are the inhibitors and enablers for seeking out and/or integrating Sensibilities?
- Which Sensibilities most compellingly resonate today (with each of our audiences and their ‘end users’)?
- Under what condition do Jews find pleasure and joy in participating in Jewish thoughts, behaviors and feelings?
- How do people currently integrate Jewish Sensibilities into their lives? How are Sensibilities internalized/learned/adopted/cultivated/embedded? What does it look like to have Jewish Sensibilities manifested in someone?
- How do people acquire a mindset that Jewish Wisdom is a place to turn for guidance, if not the first place to turn?
- Are there groups or life-stage moments for whom/when adoption and integration are more fruitful?
- Can a set of indicators of adoption of Jewish Sensibilities be developed? Can/how can they be measured? What kind of evaluation is effective (what combination of qualitative and quantitative measures)?
Questions about the Co-Creators/Implementers – what works?
- What pedagogical approaches and contexts best support development of Jewish Sensibilities? What are optimal conditions under which Jewish Sensibilities are incorporated into people’s living?
- How are organizations ‘walking the talk’ and integrating Jewish Sensibilities into their own work and programs?
- What are best practices for equipping organizations with fundamental practices and tools for achieving both programmatic and operational excellence in implementing Jewish Wisdom and Sensibilities?
- What are the cutting edge/’next practices’ that advance Living Torah?
- What kinds of tools and supports can help our co-creators to be more effective and/or their contributions more scalable? (critical success factors, which could be programmatic and/or organizational)
- What is it about immersive experiences that make them so effective at enabling participants to integrate Sensibilities into their lives? Are they as effective at this as we think – (how) can the experiences be applied beyond their original context/community, or do they foster compartmentalizing? Are there elements that can be replicated in non-immersive contexts? Is there any other category/type of context which excels at the integration process?
The Movement and the Wider Jewish Community
- What are the ideas and language that best animate and guide the emerging movement that is connecting Jews and others to Jewish Wisdom and Sensibilities in order to enrich their lives?
- How are grantees contributing to the larger development of the movement? Where do they see themselves in the movement?
- What kinds of behaviors contribute to strengthening this particular movement?
- What tactics are effective at steering the communal conversation past ‘identity’ as a focus and build broad awareness around Sensibilities?
- Which approaches strengthen the ecosystem of support for innovation?
- What is Wisdom? How is it acquired/developed in a person?
- What are key leverage points in the process of ‘cultural transmission’? How does it happen? How do memes gain strength in a social system to become a part of the minhag, or expected habits, of a person or group? What erodes cultural transmission?
- What is the impact of the arts on cultural change?
- How do cultural elements get forgotten and then recovered (e.g. rediscovery of the mystical tradition, rediscovery of the Jewish connection with the earth) – how does the process of reclaiming function?