Ori Brafman, a native of Israel, is an author, teacher and entrepreneur in business, government, and the nonprofit sectors. He has launched healthy fast food restaurants, led political and advocacy campaigns, and founded a wireless network company. In 2001, Ori co-founded a network of more than 1,000 CEOs working for peace and economic development projects around the world. His first book, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations (Penguin Portfolio) was released in October 2006 and is in its 16th printing.
Laurie Karr is a marketing & strategy expert specializing in youth and family. She has spent over a decade consulting Fortune 500 companies on how to connect to this audience, in categories from technology, educational media and entertainment, to a range of consumer packaged goods. Her work in market research and brand strategy focuses on uncovering and leveraging insights that transform brands and organizations, and she works at the leading edge of trends and forces that shape youth culture and drive decision-making. Prior to launching her own consultancy, she was Strategy Director at Translation LLC, where she helped brands such as Samsung and Wrigley tap into popular culture and social media to increase their relevance. She also worked at The Geppetto Group, where her research and brand strategy drove new business strategies for Disney, Johnson & Johnson, The Library of Congress and Frito-Lay, among others.
Marc Prensky is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, and designer in the areas of education and learning. He is the founder and CEO of Games2train and is the author of three books on education and digital learning, including his most recent, Teaching Digital Natives (Corwin 2010.) Marc has created over 50 software games for learning, including the world's first fast-action videogame-based training tool and worldwide, multi-player, multi-team on-line competitions.
And an appearance by CLARE BURSON
Of her musical objectives, indie songstress Clare Burson explains, “I’ve always leaned towards poetic simplicity and subtlety in my music—wanting to express as much as I can with the fewest possible words and musical flourishes.”
Burson builds upon this aesthetic with the just-released SILVER & ASH, her most ambitious project yet and an album, performance piece, and songbook that imagines her grandmother's life in Germany, from her birth in 1919 to her escape in 1938. For this project, Burson visited her childhood home in Memphis, where she conducted interviews with her grandmother, and ventured to the homes of her ancestors in Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Ukraine.
The result of Burson’s travel, research, and ancestral archeology is a stunning album of 10 original songs that inhabit and give life to her grandmother’s story as well as her own struggles with rupture, silence, guilt, empathy, and continuity. Burson's lush string arrangements and rich vocals - at times wistful, at times full of desperation, but at all times direct - come together to fill SILVER & ASH with nostalgia and longing.
A classically trained violinist and conversant in fiddle tunes, Burson began playing guitar while studying history at Brown University. After college and a year in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, Burson returned to Tennessee where she recorded with T-Bone Burnett and played around town. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Listen to a National Public Radio interview with Clare Burson by clicking here
David Bryfman, Director, New Center for Collaborative Leadership, The Jewish Education Project
Who are We?
Harlene Winnick Appelman, Executive Director, and Joni Blinderman, Associate Director, The Covenant Foundation
The Jewish Family, Today and Tomorrow
Laurie Karr, Marketing Strategist
The Jewish Futures Competition I: Visions for Jewish Education in the 21st Century
Patrick Aleph, Executive Director, and Michael Sabani, Creative Director, PunkTorah
Spiders and Starfish: Institutions
Ori Brafman, Entrepreneur and Author
The Jewish Futures Competition II: Visions for Jewish Education in the 21st Century
Russel Neiss and Charlie Schwartz, Co-Founders, MediaMidrash.org
Connection, Reflection, Continuity: A Woman's Voice
Clare Burson, Indie Singer and Songwriter
Reframing the Text and Context of Jewish Education
Dr. Jonathan Woocher, Chief Ideas Officer and Director of the Lippman Kanfer Institute, JESNA
In a national competition this past summer, forward-looking thinkers produced four-minute videos presenting views of the future shape and scope of Jewish education. The best of these – judged by a respected panel of Jewish educators and communal professionals – are presenting their ideas at the Jewish Futures Conference.
Charlie & Russel
About the winners:
Patrick Aleph is CEO, executive director and co-founder of PunkTorah, a grassroots, user-driven Jewish spiritual and learning community offering online, multimedia projects and initiatives, including OneShul.org, the first completely virtual and independent minyan and Jewish community. He has been profiled in CNN.com, JTA, and the Forward, and has offered his insights on the future of Jewish community at conferences, synagogues and other Jewish gatherings across the country.
Michael Sabani is chief creative officer and creative director of PunkTorah, leading a revolution in grassroots, user-driven Jewish spirituality and connection through online and multimedia platforms. He believes in mixing spirituality and technology to encourage exploration of a Jewish worldview in the 21st century.
Russel M. Neiss
Russel M. Neiss is academic director of technology and media services for the Rodeph Sholom School in New York City, and is co-founder of MediaMidrash.org, an online platform linking multimedia content to innovative curricula. He received his Masters of Library Science with a specialization in digitization and information technologies from Queens College, and is currently part of the The Jewish Education Project cohort in Brooklyn College's Masters Program in Educational Leadership. He was a 2009 PresenTense Fellow.
Charlie Schwartz is co-founder of MediaMidrash.org, an innovative Jewish educational technology venture. He is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and is in his final year of studies in the Rabbinical School and the Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He was recently named to the New York Jewish Week's “36 Under 36” list as a leader reshaping the Jewish future. He was a 2009 PresenTense Fellow.
“Although it may have been hyperbole to call it the first ever futures conference, it was nevertheless a landmark in bringing together 400+ communal leaders, professionals and students to think and discuss openly what the future of Jewish learning could be. This would never have occurred at a G.A. in the dark and distant past."
The Notorious R.A.V.
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