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More Than Just Lunch
By Kesler Friedman, ISJL Education Fellow
Anyone who has ever attended a conference knows that exciting feeling of being surrounded by people eager to learn. The ISJL Education Conference attendees come from all over the South—from cities big and small, from large congregations and intimate communities. Everyone has different problems and different needs, but come together under one common goal: improving Jewish education.
This year’s ISJL Education Conference is full of new-and-improved programs to expand the educational opportunities during the two-day extravaganza! We are introducing a special Monday Lunch that will provide us an amazing opportunity to gain new insights into our work. (Full disclosure, we have not yet nailed down our catchy name.)
This will be an opportunity for the attendees to learn during lunch. (But don’t worry, there will still be time for socialization.) What better way to widen an education experience if not over food? This timeframe will offer three different programs during a lunchtime. Attendees can choose one of the three programs during this time, and enjoy the experience of learning while lunching. (Or, “Mastering during a Midday Meal.” Or, “Edible Explorations.” Or, “Palatable Pedagogy.” Or…)
The decision to create this program stemmed from too much of a great thing—too many things to teach with too many good people in only two days. We do not want to deprive conference-goers of any opportunities. We will allow the learning to continue, while still providing a relaxed environment over some good food.
One of the programs will be led by Rabbi Matt Dreffin, one will be led by Rachel Margolis from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), and the third will be led by Ed Frim of United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism (USCJ). Regardless of the program, the conference attendees will have an enriching learning experience during lunch.
There are no studies that formally associate the benefits of eating while learning. However, it is possible to draw some informal conclusions:
The programs are an attempt to put all of that together by relating to both the biological needs and academic needs of each person at Conference. All three programs will expand both the mind and the belly simultaneously.
We look forward to enjoying this new experience of lunching and learning with you!