Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bronfman offering unique prize for 'next great Jewish idea'


I hope he isn't looking for something like reconstructive "Judiasm," as is mentioned in the article.

If that is the case, maybe the next big Jewish idea should be to simply throw ourselves into the sea . . . it is almost as effective in destroying the Jewish people as reform and reconstructive "Judiasm" is, but a lot less painful to watch.

Last update - 16:31 07/10/2007
By Haaretz Service

Philanthropist and businessman Charles Bronfman, co-founder of the birthright Israel program, has initiated a competition to find an idea which can transform the way the Jewish community thinks about itself, with the winner reaping a two-year visiting professorship at Brandeis University and a six-figure salary, the JTA news service reported Sunday.

According to JTA, the winner of the Charles R. Bronfman Visiting Chair in Jewish Communal Innovation, to be awarded by the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Foundation, "will have two years at Brandeis to publish a significant English-language work based on his or her idea."

Jonathan Sarna, chair of the Hornstein Jewish professional leadership program at Brandeis, which will administer the new chair, told JTA that the goal was to find an idea akin to birthright Israel.

Sarna said the origin of the concept was a contest held by then-Sears chairman Julius Rosenwald in 1929. Rosenwald offered $10,000 to the person who could answer the question: "How can Judaism best adjust itself to and influence modern life?"

Sixty-two contestants answered the question over two years, until Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, submitted what became his seminal work "Judaism as a Civilization" and won.

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