Going There. Doing That.

by | Nov 9, 2018 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tell me if you have ever experienced the following…

You buy a new car.  Or you need to mail a letter.  Or you’re pregnant.

And you find yourself out and about, getting through your very busy day, when you suddenly notice that there seem to be so many cars on the road that are the same model as yours.  Or Canada Post mailboxes seem to be on every street corner, sprouting like mushrooms after the rain.  Or sidewalks teem with adults pushing strollers and baby bumps are protruding everywhere.

This feeling is what analytical psychologist Carl Jung (and Police lead singer Sting) calls synchronicity, the experience whereby an individual creates meaning out of coincidental events. 

I had such an experience today upon reading Valerie Mitrani and Julie Lambert’s piece at eJewishPhilanthropy entitled “CAJE-Miami: A Decade of Lessons Learned”.  (You can read it here.)  It was the second instance of synchronicity today.  Over coffee this morning, I was reviewing my notes from the Future of Education Panel discussion at OISE in late October. 

The panel, comprised of educators, folks in the tech sector and academics, were looking ahead to the coming decades and how schools can best serve the learners of tomorrow.  As each speaker addressed the folks in Mustard Hall and on simulcast, I kept hearing the phrases that have driven the conversation at ADRABA since that first meeting seven years ago:  personalization, resilience, empowerment, adaptability, and wellness.  I was heartened to hear how these thought leaders were talking about what essentially are the first principles of an ADRABA education. 

Had I been a more glib, I could have sat there and thought: “Been there.  Done that.”  Instead, I was energized and heartened by the strong endorsement of our vision echoed by the panelists.  ADRABA is definitely on the right track.

So, when today’s eJewishPhilanthropy’s newsletter landed in my inbox, I could almost hear the repeating synthesizer riff from the opening track of the Police’s blockbuster 1983 album as I saw the phrases affordability and sustainability dominate the reflection about CAJE-Miami’s decade anniversary.

More telling were the lessons they learned after ten years, lessons which so perfectly reflected many of the early conversation we had while moving ADRABA from idea to entity.

When doors open in September 2019, we will be ready not only to face the challenges of building an ADRABA community, but integrating it seamlessly into Toronto’s rich Jewish ecosystem.

ADRABA will also embody a vision of Jewish life that puts literacy and engagement at the centre of vibrant Jewish living.  It is a vision that is bold and inclusive – and messy and contentious.  But what about being Jewish isn’t messy and contentious?

Finally, ADRABA will champion transparency, accountability and sustainability as a way forward in Jewish education.  We cannot rest on our laurels or expect the existing energy in the system to sustain schools any longer.  We need to be lean and mean-ingful.  ADRABA is definitely that.

And so, rather than revel in acknowledgment that ADRABA is (arguably) on the forefront of both general and Jewish education in the 21st century, I would rather keep my head down and continue to move forward.  Instead of “been there, done that,” ADRABA is going there and doing that – every single day.