HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal
From the Editor
מַה שֶּׁהָיָה הוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה וּמַה שֶּׁנַּעֲשָׂה הוּא שֶׁיֵּעָשֶׂה וְאֵין כָּל חָדָשׁ תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ:
Kohelet 1:9 tells us “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun,” and yet we know that is not true. This issue of HaYidion is filled with bold ideas, with new possibilities, with hope and excitement about the future. It is surely appropriate that this is our spring issue, coinciding with the rebirth of the nature in all its fruitful glory. Likewise, it is fitting that we publish as we prepare to celebrate Shavuot, when Har Sinai suddenly blossomed with flowers in anticipation of the giving of the Torah on its summit.
There are many blooms to pick in this issue. Depending on your age and experience, you may find some that are familiar; yet regardless of your age and experience, you will also find many that are unique, original, even audacious. Boldness is appropriate at this time; we live in an age that pushes against frontiers. Scientists have discovered the elusive “God particle.” The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements has just been published. We have landed on Mars. We make cells using 3D copiers. Viruses have been engineered to produce electricity. A presidential research initiative will soon determine how neurons interact to produce thought and learning.
All of these developments will affect education, particularly Jewish education. Schools will have to radically alter their presentation and delivery methods, their curricula, their ways of interacting with students. The 21st century is just beginning but its limits are unknowable. For those of us defined as the People of the Book—at a time when books are as endangered as technologies that were once newer (newspapers, CDs, desktops, fax machines, landlines, etc.)—it is crucial that we reevaluate our positions. There is so much that is new under the sun and we need to find our place in that sun, preserving what is vital to our tradition but being mindful of all that is going on around us. We hope this “Bold Ideas” issue will serve as a springboard for you, to inspire you to boldness in your own thinking and ways of doing things. For even if everything that was, is and will be has always been, the bold among us can yet discover and uncover many wondrous secrets.♦
Dr. Barbara Davis is the secretary of RAVSAK, executive editor of HaYidion and head of school at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School in Dewitt, NY. Barbara can be reached at email@example.com.
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Dream big! Sample a mix of current programs and blueprints for new initiatives, all dreamed up to be “game-changers” that can reconfigure day school education and possibly exponentially increase the impact of day schools on students and the Jewish community.
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