anna blogBy Anna Marx, Director, Jewish Education and Leadership Development

In our busy lives, running from task to task, managing the overwhelming to-do lists of our jobs and personal lives, it can be very difficult to stop, breathe, appreciate, and dream. But last Thursday, 15 of us took the opportunity to do just that.


Led by friend and colleague, Cyd B. Weissman, of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, we took time to explore the changing world around us – a world of Gen X and Millennials – and acknowledged the deep need for reimagining our Jewish institutions. With this in mind, we practiced Appreciative Inquiry – a framework for building on strengths and visioning for the future. Appreciative Inquiry is a simple and also extraordinarily powerful tool for visioning together.


We were asked to respond to three questions and it was incredible what came out of those three simple questions. Take a look at these questions and try them out. Ask them to yourself, to your colleagues, friends, neighbors. Prepare to be amazed.


  1. Share a time when you experienced Judaism at its very best.
  2. What were the qualities of that experience? What made it powerful?
  3. What would you need in order to make experiences like the one you just described the norm instead of the exception?