Thursday, July 01, 2004

More on American Jewish History

Continuing the Wonderland of American Jewish History, the "thoughtful" "Simcha" suggested yet another reason for why Yeshiva College should have a course in American Jewish History (using a quote from King Richard):
Because one needs background information to become Jewish communal activist & background about assorted Jewish organizations & religious movement to deal with them.

This, of course, fits in with King Richard's vision of YU as providing the people to fill positions in Jewish orgs. The problem with this approach is that the tools one needs to work well with the bureaucracies that is Jewish organizational life are people skills & managerial skills. Knowing the 100+ year history of Conservative Judaism is that it doesn't tell you much about how to deal with a University of Judaism Female Rabbi in 2004 & researching Uriah P. Levi or Haym Solomon doesn't help with negotiating UJC politics to get funding for your programs.

If King Richard was serious about training Communal Leaders then he would create an interdisciplanary graduate program in Jewish Communal Service (which does already exist as a certificate program at WSSW) among with some MPA classes.

But Jewish History does assist in RJ's vision in fostering the values of a unified American Jewish Community going back 350 years and where doing Jewish with other Jews is the primary value.

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