Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Broadest Playing Field Possible

The recenty eJewishPhilanthropy Journal Cites the following quote from Lynn Schusterman in The Jerusalem Post:

"In a world like ours that is diverse and diffuse, there is no way for us to know exactly where or what types of programs to invest in. It is becoming clear, however, that the days of investing in one singular institution are over and to be effective one must be everywhere and into everything. You need to be on the broadest playing field possible."

When individuals from dozens of organizations come together in a community of practice and speak about their successes and challenges a picture of the whole system emerges. Paying attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the system allows the community to address changes that can have an impact of dozens of institutions.

When dozens of communities of practice together in a meta-community of practice called Kehilliyot (sponsored by the Covenant Foundation) the possibilities for impact are profound.

The Kehilliyot community of practice recently tackled the topic of evaluation and accountability for improving the professional practice of our members so they become more efficient and effective in their work. And Kehilliyot continues to experiment with Web 2.0 tools to impact our constituents and help them impact their constituents. As each individual and each community works to improve their practice, the change has ripple effects that affect a few thousand Jewish professionals and many thousands of Jews.

To use Lynn Schusterman's language, a community of practice gives the community members, the community sponsor and the community facilitator insight and access to a very broad playing field. How can Kehilliyot and its constituent communities of practice partner with donors to achieve our shared vision for the future of a vibrant and engaged Jewish community.

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