Today’s Judaism is a dwelling with many rooms, built over centuries by framers who adapted, remodeled and occasionally rebuilt anew what came before.
Among today’s builders of Judaism, we – meaning us founding builders at Bayit: Your Jewish Home, and you reading this blog – all inherit a very ancient and very modern call to build. In building terms, we all stand on a foundation that a diverse group of master builders audaciously helped frame in their own ways and in their own days.
Here are 12 of those visionary framers – in a sense, a tribe of builders. Some are working today in real time, while others project their continuing influence from foundations laid in past decades or even centuries. We draw inspiration from all of their examples, with gratitude to all the creative build teams hard at work.
Clay Christensen. As modern prophet of the economics and political sociology of “disruptive innovation,” Clay offers vital leadership around design thinking and the life cycle of building itself. By its nature, the process of innovation challenges and sometimes disrupts old structures, in a continuous flow that itself will be disrupted in time. Clay’s teachings inspire our sense of why and how it’s worth taking risks to build, and not merely tolerate but rather warmly invite tomorrow’s builders and the builders that will follow them – knowing that what’s fit to build today might or might not best serve tomorrow. Clay thus also teaches about the potency (and even the necessity) of sometimes un-building.
Marcia Falk. Liturgical, poetic, scholarly, expansive and subversive, Marcia inspires our intuition that texts can be alive, grounded with deep and ancient roots while also yearning to be shaped into new structures for today and tomorrow. Marcia’s groundbreaking The Book of Blessings is a beacon for soulful re-mixing – one part living artwork, one part blueprint, one part muse – and a model for some of the best of blueprint creativity.
Rabbi Art Green. Art combines the towering insight of a world-renowned scholar with the soft and overflowing heart of a loving grandfather. As leading academician, Art’s strategic vision has shaped countless clergy building the future of Judaism – first at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and then at Hebrew College, helping pioneer a fiercely trans-denominational ethic in spiritual formation and Jewish expression. Art’s scholarship adapts ancient tools of Jewish mysticism to modern users, bringing neo-Hasidism’s riches to thousands. Art also rolls up his sleeves and generously offers thought partnership on designing new pathways for Jewish life. Continue reading “Master Builders: Shaping the Call to Build”