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odDRABAs and enDRABAs

tl;dr, Vol. 2: You Don’t NEED To Be So Aggro…

When the dominant adult males of a troop of 62 Kenyan baboons chased off a neighbouring troop in 1982, they didn’t know that their prize - discarded meat from a tourist lodge - was tainted. The inadvertent poisoning of the aggressive alpha males, however, did not...

tl;dr, Vol. 1

This newsletter was designed to share useful information about ADRABA or compelling ideas with you, our kehillah.  But sometimes, one need not elaborate too much.  And so, I’m introducing a new feature: tl;dr - too long, didn’t read - where I share something from the...

About Last Night

Despite the horrid weather, interested parents filled our gracious host’s living room with good cheer and great questions.  I will not speak for those present, but I found the evening very informative.  I learned a lot about what parents are thinking about and how...

Spreading the Word the Traditional Way

AVI CHAI begins its final year as an organization, providing generous support to initiatives in Jewish education.  ADRABA will always be grateful for their inspiration and encouragement in launching our bold endeavour.  And so, to paraphrase Rava (Shavuot 23a): “Let’s...

I love smartphones. I just HATE Facebook.

And Instagram.  And Twitter.   And when I say I hate them, I don’t mean I hate the service they provide.  ADRABA has accounts on all three platforms.  (In 2019, one sort of has to…)  I hate how these entities turned what are mostly useful tools into...

Rinse and Repeat

I think we’ve all had experiences in life with vicious cycles.  We hit a momentary lull in the day, so we eat something sugary for a quick burst of energy, but then, two hours later, we crash.  So, off we go, again, to eat something sugary for that quick burst, and...

Once You Hit “Send,” It’s Out of Your Hands

In the past, I’ve submitted items to the popular press for dissemination wider than humble school newsletters.  Nothing too serious.  Just participating in the conversation, as it were… And I don’t think it would scandalize anyone to acknowledge that outfits like...

“Why don’t we have both?” – Part 2

[Previously, in Newsletter #13, I highlighted how, at ADRABA, we don’t have to fall prey to the old saw about blended learning and how we have to choose  between technology and teachers.  We can have both!  For the complete post, click here.  And now, Newsletter #16…...

Speaking of Netflix…

[Previously, in Episode 14, I drew a connection between Netflix’s biggest competitor (i.e., sleep) and ADRABA’s biggest competitor (i.e., fear) - and concluded that, as Rabbi Nachman counselled:  The most important thing is to not be afraid.   For the complete post,...

ADRABA’s “Biggest Competitor”

We've often been asked to think about our "competitors in the market" and how best to adjust "our strategy" as we recruit students for our first cohort.  ... Which got me to thinking about Netflix.  I watch a lot of Netflix.   And Netflix had an interesting take about...

tl;dr, Vol. 2: You Don’t NEED To Be So Aggro…

When the dominant adult males of a troop of 62 Kenyan baboons chased off a neighbouring troop in 1982, they didn’t know that their prize - discarded meat from a tourist lodge - was tainted. The inadvertent poisoning of the aggressive alpha males, however, did not result in the dissolution of the troop. What happened instead was a kind of baboon renaissance. The remaining males, the “betas” too weak to fight rival males, along with the surviving females and young baboons, created a new culture...

tl;dr, Vol. 1

This newsletter was designed to share useful information about ADRABA or compelling ideas with you, our kehillah.  But sometimes, one need not elaborate too much.  And so, I’m introducing a new feature: tl;dr - too long, didn’t read - where I share something from the world-wide Jewish web with a little bit of commentary. Today, Ann Pava, chair of the JFNA Office of Education and Engagement, dropped a piece at eJewishPhilanthropy entitled “Redefining Jewish Education: Federations’ Goals for a...

About Last Night

Despite the horrid weather, interested parents filled our gracious host’s living room with good cheer and great questions.  I will not speak for those present, but I found the evening very informative.  I learned a lot about what parents are thinking about and how better to spread the word about blended learning and ADRABA’s very own “blended Jewish.” One of the participants asked about my assertion that “blended learning is better for kids and less expensive for parents.”  There is A LOT of...

Spreading the Word the Traditional Way

AVI CHAI begins its final year as an organization, providing generous support to initiatives in Jewish education.  ADRABA will always be grateful for their inspiration and encouragement in launching our bold endeavour.  And so, to paraphrase Rava (Shavuot 23a): “Let’s pour one for my homie.” Despite all the Instagram memes and newsletters and blogposts at adraba.ca, some folks still don’t get why ADRABA is different.  We still field questions from some about what makes ADRABA different. Others...

I love smartphones. I just HATE Facebook.

And Instagram.  And Twitter.   And when I say I hate them, I don’t mean I hate the service they provide.  ADRABA has accounts on all three platforms.  (In 2019, one sort of has to…)  I hate how these entities turned what are mostly useful tools into information-gathering juggernauts that are designed to keep us rapt and swiping all the while filling their coffers with advertising revenue.  (One of them may have even been involved in mucking up a “free” election… uh oh.) Does this make me a...

Rinse and Repeat

I think we’ve all had experiences in life with vicious cycles.  We hit a momentary lull in the day, so we eat something sugary for a quick burst of energy, but then, two hours later, we crash.  So, off we go, again, to eat something sugary for that quick burst, and two hours later, crash again.  Rinse and repeat. However, there is also an opposite state of being known as a virtuous cycle, where positive experiences feed into and promote each other. In the Jewish educational world, the most...

Once You Hit “Send,” It’s Out of Your Hands

In the past, I’ve submitted items to the popular press for dissemination wider than humble school newsletters.  Nothing too serious.  Just participating in the conversation, as it were… And I don’t think it would scandalize anyone to acknowledge that outfits like Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Times of Israel live or die based on the traffic their websites ensnare.  They, like every other mainstream media outlet, Netflix, Facebook, Snapchat and the countless other web platforms and apps, are...

“Why don’t we have both?” – Part 2

[Previously, in Newsletter #13, I highlighted how, at ADRABA, we don’t have to fall prey to the old saw about blended learning and how we have to choose  between technology and teachers.  We can have both!  For the complete post, click here.  And now, Newsletter #16… ] January 2nd's eJewishPhilanthropy featured a nondescript study from Great Britain.  Stephen H. Miller (the British academic, not the fascist pisher in the White House) wanted to determine if there was a negative correlation...

Speaking of Netflix…

[Previously, in Episode 14, I drew a connection between Netflix’s biggest competitor (i.e., sleep) and ADRABA’s biggest competitor (i.e., fear) - and concluded that, as Rabbi Nachman counselled:  The most important thing is to not be afraid.   For the complete post, click here.  And now, Episode 15… ] A bandersnatch is a fictional creature in Lewis Carroll's 1872 novel Through the Looking-Glass and his 1874 poem “The Hunting of the Snark.” On Netflix, “Bandersnatch” is the name of the latest...

ADRABA’s “Biggest Competitor”

We've often been asked to think about our "competitors in the market" and how best to adjust "our strategy" as we recruit students for our first cohort.  ... Which got me to thinking about Netflix.  I watch a lot of Netflix.   And Netflix had an interesting take about their biggest competitor.  Want to venture a guess about who’s Netflix’s biggest competitor? Amazon?  Nope. YouTube?   Nope. According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, it’s sleep.  “You know, think about it, when you watch a show...