Jewish Media Split Over Innovation: 28 or 613?

  • Email
  • Print
  • Share
February 28, 2010

In the Diasporic world created by the Internet, in which multiple Jewish media camps have arisen to dispute the ethos of Jewish identity, a new, significant conflict has arisen over the number of ideas permissible for Jewish innovation.

A new media group, affiliated with the House of Forward (and backed by learned pundits at Jewschool, Jewcy and eJewish Philanthropy), has proposed 28 ideas for the 28 days of February. The leading authority of this movement, Daniel Sieradski, writes, “As the recession rains down upon us, many of us have taken to heart the notion that necessity breeds opportunity, and instead of running for cover, have hunkered down and given serious thought to how we can rethink the way the Jewish community works.”

Countering the 28 ideas group, a new group, rumored to be affiliated with the House of Tablet, has concocted a plan to propose 613 ideas over 613 days. “Anything the Forward can do, we can do better,” states one anonymous staffer. “Look, 28 is not even a Jewish number! The fact that Sieradski’s using the Roman calendar suggests he’s not really serious about Jewish innovation.”

Of course, Sieradski himself had already proposed 31 ideas for 31 days in January 2010, leaving commentators to scratch their heads and wonder which is the authoritative list.

We are commanded to “develop, strengthen, and learn from emerging Jewish organizations that build community at the nexus of spirituality, learning, social activism and culture,” states Jumpstart’s Shawn Landres, but he is baffled as to which of the three lists should become the basis of innovation.

Lisa Lepson, the Executive Director of the Joshua Venture Group, is likewise stumped: without a 20 essay questionnaire and an in-depth personal interview, how is anyone to even begin to sort out the wheat from the chaff?

Nina Bruder at Bikkurim and Toby Rubin at Upstart agree: It’s hard enough to stand without an umbrella under such a deluge of ideas, let alone choose the authoritative group of ideas from which to choose the ten top ideas from which to choose the five best to fund.

Where is our Gamaliel II who can resolve such a dispute? Doubtless, only the Fundermentalist really knows.

[Editor’s Note: this piece was published on Purim and so should be taken with a pound of salt]

ZEEK is presented by The Jewish Daily Forward | Maintained by