University of Miami and Israeli Think Tank to Launch Web-Based Global Jewish Town Hall Initiative: Your Voice Matters!

Israel’s Re’ut Institute/Flexigidity Project and UM’s Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies/Program in Judaic Studies Will Open the Discussion on March 25

With no shortage of news emerging from Israel, and anti-Semitism on the rise across Europe, the global Jewish community is facing a critical juncture.

Israeli strategic and leadership group the Re’ut Institute and its Flexigidity Project is joining with the University of Miami’s Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies/George Feldenkreis Program in Judaic Studies in the UM College of Arts & Sciences to create a unique platform that aims to bolster communication among Jewish communities throughout the world.

Your Voice Matters! is a digital, web-based, global, Jewish “town hall” meeting. Created on the premise that Jews across the world can and must be part of the conversation, Your Voice Matters! aims to give Jews in the diaspora a voice in the vital discussions about the very future of the Jewish community.

The initiative will launch in Miami on March 25-27, with a series of six mini pilots involving UM faculty and students, many of Miami’s leading rabbis, and volunteer and professional leaders of the local Jewish community.

These participants will be the first to join Re’ut Founding Director Gidi Grinstein and Dr. Haim Shaked, director of the Miller Center and Judaic Studies program at UM, in using the online platform to discuss the most important and urgent issues facing world Jewry.

“The global Jewish town hall will allow the voices of Jews throughout the world to be heard on one of the most pressing Jewish questions of our time regarding the condition and direction of the Jewish People and the State of Israel,” Grinstein said. “The message that we are now trying to convey is that everyone who cares about these issues can be part of this conversation.”

Shaked added, “This is a natural partnership that can make a major contribution to fostering healthy and broad-based dialogue throughout the community.”

The online platform will eventually be open to contributors everywhere.

It is based on Flexigidity: The Secret of Jewish Adaptability, Grinstein’s bestselling book. Called “the book of the future,” Flexigidity combines a book with a web-based platform, which will allow stakeholders to remotely contribute to the conversation.  

Grinstein said, “The underlying philosophy of the Flexigidity Project is that in today’s complex world, making sense of things can and should be a collective effort of many, which is also a founding insight of the ancient wisdom of Jewish sages captured in the Talmud. This requires a reframing of how we understand and write books, and the platforms we design to engage readership.”

The program is supported by the David Family Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

Members of the UM community who wish to participate should contact the Miller Center at 305-284-6882 or email Associate Director of Academic Development Eugene Rothman at erothman@miami.edu.

March 18, 2015