A monthly message from Reboot's Executive Director, Robin Kramer:
It is Reboot’s bar/bat mitzvah year! We enter this 13th year with a decided mix of study, spunk and celebration, and of course reflection upon and strategizing for our next phase of life and impact.
The idea for Reboot was conjured by a 20-something Jewish man from New York and a 20-something Jewish woman from Los Angeles, built out of their own experience and observation: the extraordinary lack of Anything Jewish that was beckoning or seemed relevant to their broad circle of peers, coupled with a notable worry about a precipitous decline in active engagement in Jewish life by their generation. They created Reboot to examine and embrace this challenge, built upon with a lively, modern understanding of this young constituency-- Jews who are potentially or actually interested in their Jewish identity, but are unsure, minimally knowledgeable, or put off by the offerings of the organized community or previous experiences. What started as an experiment with a small cadre of highly successful young leaders from the culture-shaping creative fields who were mostly at the margins of Jewish life, has yielded continuing experimentation and marvelous invention—a treasure trove of new and incredibly resonant Jewish content, opportunity, access and experience.
The starting reflections from the now more than 450 Rebooters have been shaped through their own lenses, paintbrushes, stand-up comedy routines, shout-outs, pens, cameras, sketchbooks, laptops and keyboards, into new portals of experience to Shabbat, Shavuot, Sukkot, Passover, the Ten Days of Awe, to Jewish history and memory, to lifecycle events, to bubbies and the kitchen table, and to the study of Torah itself. Their ideas are midwifed, incubated and supported by Reboot to catalyze, spread and engage in Jewish life their peers -- a growing circle of tens of thousands in person and hundreds of thousands each year thorough stylish digital means and Do It Yourself invitations. Reboot is both proud and honored that more than 600 community partner organizations (from museums to Hillels, from JCCs to school districts, from Shuls to film festivals and also a hacker collective) have now joined in collaboration to spread and grow these ideas, experiences and approaches.
These projects invite and ripple, often blending humor with resonance. One of my favorites gleaned from Larry Smith’s brilliant Six Word Memoirs on Jewish Life project is this: “Everything with us a question. Why?”
Because we must.
In our 13th year, I am looking forward to the ways the answers will percolate to these three quintessential Reboot questions: Who are we? What have we inherited? What do we want to do about this, if anything?
Your own questions, and your answers, are welcome and invited.
Robin Kramer is Reboot's Executive Director. Robin served as Chief of Staff to both Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mayor Richard Riordan. She has held senior posts at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, the Broad Foundation, the California Community Foundation and Coro, and she has been a leader in her own shul and the Jewish community. Robin was a member of Reboot's founding board and has returned to the organization because of its insistently hopeful open approach to exploring, creating and catalyzing new portals of resonance to Jewish life and experience.