The 14 Jim Joseph Foundation Fellows came together this week for our final US retreat of our 2-year fellowship. Yes, we have one more Israel retreat left, but the days of our formal in-person gatherings in the US, as our own unique Community of Practice (CoP), are no more.
Since the first day we met each other online we all knew that this group was as diverse as they come. We span the decades, we cover both genders, and we represent the wide array of Jewish educational environments. We cover the entire US from California to Florida and Massachusetts to Texas; and we identify as every mainstream branch of Jewish ideology as is represented in our own unique communities.
Somewhere during the fellowship we became a "community". Somewhere during this last year plus we transitioned from a collection of independent Jewish educators to a Community of Practitioners; and over these last few days each of us tried to identify what was the magic moment, the specific experience, or the secret concoction that helped us move from "one of many" to a "community of one".
What I do know is that we collectively created a community (with of course the help of our Lookstein leaders, coaches, and guest presenters, teachers, and group facilitators). What I don't think any of us knows, however, is what did it take to create "it".
We look forward to your ideas, suggestions, comments, and answers. Our hope is that we'll know when we read it. But until then, help!