Hey OOTOB readers,

This June, you’re in for a treat.  OOTOB is partnering with Eli Talks to bring you four interesting conversation-starters of Jewish interest.  These four posts are sponsored by Eli Talks, and we are sure the OOTOB community will find its content interesting and worth pursuing further in your own conversations locally.

About ELI Talks

Judaism is a conversation. It is a religion that does not stand on faith alone, but pushes its 
adherents to wrestle with new ideas and never back down from a good argument. 

The digital age breathes new life into this grand Jewish conversation. Now we can capture, 
share, remix, and reimagine inspired Jewish ideas from across the spectrum. We can access 
them anytime, anywhere, and add our voices.

This is what ELI Talks is all about.

ELI talks are “inspired Jewish ideas” addressing issues of Jewish religious engagement (E), 
literacy (L), and identity (I) in highly produced, 12-minute presentations. ELI Talks are given 
by some of the Jewish world’s most thoughtful, inspiring, and unexpected personalities. While 
initially inspired by TED Talks, the mission of ELI is to go beyond the TED-style sharing of great 
ideas to real engagement, sparking and hosting deep conversations around the implications of 
those ideas for the community. 

Talks can be used in a variety of settings: as conversation pieces at conferences, in staff 
learning and at board meetings, as resources in adult education, and to spark discussions with 
your friends by sharing on Facebook or Twitter. If you’re interesting in developing materials 
around a Talk or series of Talks, please contact Program Director Miriam Brosseau who will be 
happy to help.

Website: http://elitalks.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ELItalks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ELI_talks

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ELItalksVideo

What Does OOTOB Have To Do With It

Eli Talks are offered by a variety of Jews – different educators and lay people.  I do not personally endorse the content, and will offer my responses where we differ, and my comments where I agree.  I’m really looking forward to this partnership.  We will share four posts on four Thursdays in June in addition to OOTOB’s usual content at the beginning of each week.  Hope you like it!

And now, for the very first talk:  Social Intelligence by Dr. Rona Novick

Eli Talk’s Program Director, Miriam Brosseau, says:

I come from a family of teachers, so we talk a lot of about the value and purpose of education. It’s a huge question, and not an easy one to answer. We have to ask ourselves: what, really, is the goal of education, Jewish or otherwise? What do children need to know, what skills do they need to have? Ultimately, what kind of people are we trying to shape? 
Social intelligence – it’s so important, yet so easy to overlook; it’s such a primal, but nuanced skill that carries us throughout our entire lives. I love Dr. Novick’s talk not only because she so eloquently argues for the value of social intelligence, but because when we re-frame the goal, when we change our intentions, we have to rethink everything. And that’s scary, and it’s hard. But it’s worth it. 
OOTOB’s Ruchi Koval says:

Very often when Orthodox kids do things that are socially or ethically wrong, people say, “Is that what the schools are teaching??”  This really, really (really) bothers me.  Schools can and do run all sorts of programs on anti-gossip, anti-bullying, kindness begins at home, blah blah blah, and these are all good and important programs.  Yet.  If the same message isn’t being loudly promulgated at home, fuggeddabbouddit.  Home.  Parents.  These are the primary, and must be the primary, place of moral and ethical teaching.  Day schools are to be considered a supplementary source of social intelligence. Not to take the heat off the schools – but to rather place it, squarely, as Dr. Novick suggests, on the parents.
What do you think?