Director's View | Article
Three words jump out at me as I read Here Comes Everybody, an engaging book about the social effects of Internet technology by NYU’s Clay Shirky. “Sharing anchors community” strikes me as cutting right to the core of what the Covenant Foundation’s new website aims to do, and what it can do.
The process of recreating the website has been one of distillation and clarification. It has forced us to ask, “So what?” and even “Who cares?”
But stumbling across the obvious in this chapter title from Shirky’s book brought clarity: the website is meant to anchor community through sharing insights, interesting models, and generally, things happening in the Covenant community, the world of Jewish education, the world of education, and yes, in the plain old world.
Wow, what a broad and seemingly impossible task! But we’re tackling it.
Our first priority is news about the significant work and impact of our grantees and award recipients. Each month, in “Covenant in Action,” we feature a past grantee or awardee making a huge difference locally or throughout the Jewish community.
This month, the spotlight is on The Moxie Institute, which is using a Covenant Foundation grant to spread use of the award-winning film, The Tribe, and an accompanying curriculum guide, to spawn discussion about Jewish identity in educational settings across the country.
We will also provide resources and advice about capacity building for your institution, and current research that you will find useful.
Finally, the hope is that the site will provide a platform for you to share your own insights, successes and challenges and be able to engage in conversation with others of similar interests.
So, be sure to check out Rare Finds, a new feature on the website homepage. Here Comes Everybody is a good example of a Rare Find. The book provides a unique examination of the technological tsunami washing over all of us and gives some practical perspective on the effects of social networking and how we can, and must, utilize it.
My hope is that you will contribute to Rare Finds. Whether it’s an important article or publication or an interesting website or blog, this is your place to share it and comment on it and just put it out there, all in the interest of building and anchoring community.
Finally, the Foundation extends a heartfelt mazel tov to Dr. Erica Brown, Rabbi Stuart Seltzer and Nili Simhai, each rare finds themselves and our 2009 Covenant Awardees.
Harlene Winnick Appelman