It can be a shock to the system when you meet someone with a bold vision and the chutzpah to realize it.
A couple of years ago, soon after he had been ordained, my classmate Rabbi Owen Gottlieb sat down with me to share his vision for Jewish education. In it, Hebrew School and other avenues of Jewish study could become places for joyful experiential learning. Young Jews around the world could engage their tradition through digital, paper-based, and self-created games. After all, what kids don’t delight in playing games or making up a cool game?
I was optimistic about his vision but did not realize how quickly he would move to implement it. Just a couple of weeks ago, Gottlieb called to let me know that he would be releasing a new game, funded by the Covenant Foundation, that uses smartphones with GPS to teach Jewish-American history.
He had quietly assembled a team of over twenty professionals, including a professor of American Jewish History, a team of archival researchers, a co-game designer, illustrators, scripters, and more – and spent the last year and a half designing, building, and testing the game.
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