FALL EDUCATION: Much of the development of digital Jewish education tools is extraordinary. But Barry W. Holtz considers what they mean for a community committed to education.
In the early years of the 20th century, Samson Benderly stood with the legendary figures of American Jewish life: He was recruited to New York by Judah Magnes; he knew Henrietta Szold and Barnett Brickner; he battled Solomon Schechter; he met regularly with his benefactor, Jacob Schiff, and his closest friend was Mordecai Kaplan. Indeed, Kaplan wrote of Benderly, “He is to me the most positive force in Jewish life today.”
Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a prominent lay leader in Jewish communal life who had recently gotten to know Seymour Fox, arguably the most important visionary in Jewish education during the past half century. I mentioned that I had had dinner in Fox’s apartment in Jerusalem a few weeks prior. She turned to me with some