Like many other Jewish educators, David Bryfman has heard all the reasons for low participation in Jewish activities including that the parents don’t care. But, he suggests, there are more fundamental que... stions about how we value Jewish learning and living in the 21st Century. He wonders whether the way in which we structure and incentivize people to participate in the community is wrong. He notes that in other areas of our lives, companies use "free" in a delicate balance as a way to get people to taste things that they will then make an investment in. Dr. Bryfman argues that in the Jewish community, the “free” may have thrown our community out of balance, leading to devalue our most precious. See lessSee more
The Rest is Commentary
David Bryfman at the recent ELI Talks in New York City: "So congratulations to all of you out there who have managed to get large numbers on your free programs. All you've managed to do is prove the point that people will do absolutely anything for free. And the numbers are staggering.
When I was a congregational Rabbi, I remember coming home to my wife after a synagogue program and telling her that we had 100 participants at the program. Using her skills as a Rabbi's wife, she recalculated the attendance and much more effectively approximated the amount of participants.
David Bryfman's ELI talk and his resulting eJewish Philanthropy piece has received a lot of attention over the past several days. At the crux of the discussion is a lesson on values: what do we value as a Jewish community, what do we want our children to value, and how can we transmit those values...
Chief Learning Officer | The Jewish Education Project
David Bryfman is currently the Chief Innovation Officer at The Jewish Education Project (formerly the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York), where he focuses on bringing innovative strategies and creative thinking to Jewish education. David completed his Ph.D. in Education and Jewish Studies at New York Univeristy focusing on Jewish adolescent identity development and experiential Jewish education, and is an alum of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program. Previously, Bryfman worked in formal and informal Jewish educational institutions in Australia, Israel, and North America.