Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Three thoughts on the Jewish World

I gave a presentation the other night to a leadership group in Boston. We talked about the Jewish world and some of the mission-locations they’d visited and discussed. Cuba, Hungary, Argentina and Ukraine.

And yes, every situation is different. But still … there were three themes that looked “the same” for me.

First, everywhere you go, it’s always the vulnerable who suffer first and hardest. Doesn’t matter where. Whenever there’s trouble, or conflict, or crisis. Could be in Israel, or Ukraine or any number of places.

Second, exit strategies and phase downs aren’t linear processes. We talked about how the Joint is phasing down in certain programs and countries. But we also talked about a readiness to scale back up, if the need arises or the economics worsen.

And third, communities change not just in quantity but also in quality. When a community consolidates (say, into major cities) that may look like a “shrinkage.” But if the end result of that transition is where we can build leadership programs, JCCs, Sunday Schools and other immersive experiences … then it's not the same thing. When communities consolidate geographically we're looking at economies of scale. When it's easier to build these programs because we have more density and easier logistics.

And that's a positive.

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