When, how, why to ask – our theory of questions

dara 330 2014



This post was inspired by reflections on Mamie Kanfer Stewart’s ELI Talk.

As children we were taught “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.” Today, thanks to the story of Nobel Laureate Isidor I. Rabi, many parents are now inspired by his mother’s example and, in an effort to foster children who are creative and critical thinkers ask “Did you ask a good question today?” instead of “What did you do today?”

did you ask a good question

But we can also go too far, making a fetish out of asking questions, even and especially the good ones. Continue reading

Learning to Fish – An Underlying Philosophy of our Work

As a funder, we strive to be partners with our grantees, and to always show our respect for their work (and not just their desired outcomes). For a greater sense of what that means as well as the deeply Jewish roots from which the approach springs, this ELI Talks video from our Board Member Mamie Stewart Kanfer explains it all. Continue reading

Learning Objectives – An Introduction to Ours


At Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah we’re focused on how to help Jews (and non-Jews) engage with Jewish Wisdom and Sensibilities in ways that enable them to live better lives and shape a better world.

A hallmark of our work at the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah is that we approach grantmaking as an opportunity to learn – for us, and for our grantee partners. In addition to being a learning organization in the ways we conduct our internal processes, we also want to keep learning so that we can, from our corner of the Jewish community, continue to help the field learn and grow as well.

To this end, we have formulated an explicit set of questions about the process of transmitting, cultivating, and applying Jewish Wisdom and Sensibilities that we call our Learning Objectives. Continue reading