Friday, June 28, 2013

Did Fine Without My Help

Somehow ended up on the minutes list of the Education Committee even though I made it very clear I am no longer a committee member or contributor.  The projects include a new one on Judaism in the Cinema to be conducted by a very capable congregant with an interest in that.  AKSE Academy is dormant for now but there is a committee in place as I suggested before.  A visiting scholar will be invited, one who has a previous connection.  What remains missing this year as in past years is an assessment of the quality of what had taken place previously and how to enhance the ongoing activities.  One of AKSE's ongoing Achilles Heels has been the failure of the A-List to solicit feedback from anyone other than themselves or to analyze their disappointing outcomes.  My guess is that the Rabbi classes are not well attended and certainly not destinations that would bring people aboard who are not already aboard for some other reason.  His best sessions on historical summaries of the early Nevi'im books were primarily attended by people who attend shabbat morning services with some regularity and stayed for the presentation.  There is something of a literature on this.  The growth of congregations that carry gender separation as part of their public baggage seems to depend almost entirely on people who use their Rabbi's superlative educational offerings to override their unhappiness with gender policy.  If this does not happen, which it does not seem to at AKSE, the congregation shrinks.  This has been an area where the Education Committee which represents the congregation's best attempt to justify exorbitant financial impositions, really has not done well.  Yet within the minutes I saw something that seemed clearly a notch ahead of the slouch to mediocrity.  And they were able to do this without any particularly Creative or Explorer types like myself aboard.

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