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44 West 28th Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10001
United States of America

Founded in 2002, Reboot engages and inspires young, Jewishly-unconnected cultural creatives, innovators and thought-leaders who, through their candid and introspective conversations and collaboration, generate projects that impact both the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds. 


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The Perils of Distracted Driving – Why does focus matter?

  • Osher Marin JCC 200 North San Pedro Road San Rafael, CA, 94903 United States (map)

The Perils of Distracted Driving – Why does focus matter?

Wed, May 25, 2016 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Osher Marin JCC 200 N. San Pedro Rd. San Rafael, CA 94903

Cost: FREE Free, pre-registration strongly suggested. Email

Join us as we explore this modern challenge and learn how to refocus and renew our responsibility to each other.

A panel discussion including Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and author of A Deadly Wandering, Matt Richtel; Congregation Kol Shofar Rabbi Chai Levy; Brandeis Marin Head of School Peg Sandel; mindfulness teacher Larry Yermack and JCC Jewish Engagement Director, Joanne Greene.

The Talmud commands that Jewish people be responsible for each other when it states, “Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la zeh”, generally translated as “all of Israel are responsible for one another.” Nowhere does this question play out more dramatically than behind the wheel of a car, where we are literally responsible for the lives of everyone around us. In our increasingly distracted landscape where heads swivel at every text tone and lit screen, how does the deep seated value of responsibility for each other play out on the road?

The mundane act of driving is also one of the most complex and dangerous -- and yet an overwhelming majority of drivers report talking on the phone while driving, and over 30 percent report texting. Distracted driving is now a leading cause of highway crashes, accounting for over 5,000 traffic fatalities and nearly a half a million serious injuries each year. The US is on track to have its deadliest traffic year since 2007 – traffic deaths in early 2015 rose 11 percent over the same period in 2014 -- and safety experts are citing cell phone distraction as a primary factor. The NSC estimates that texting while driving raises the likelihood of a crash by eight times, and that crashes involving texting or talking on a cellphone - hands-free or handheld - account for 27 percent of all accidents.

Understanding our distracted mindset is imperative for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community. The distracted brain is associated with decreased work performance, declines in creativity, deep thought and learning; the distracted mindset has been shown to undermine empathy and interpersonal relationships. Questions we will address: How does distracted driving relate to Judaism? How is technology use rewiring our brains and impacting behavior and community life? Are we as a society addicted to phones? Why does distraction come so easily while mindfulness is a challenge? How can we own our technology rather than the other way around? If our brains are not designed to multitask, why do we keep trying? Book sales by Copperfield’s, and a book signing by Matt Richtel, will follow the program.

As part of our program on mindfulness behind the wheel, Reboot will be handing out free Cell Phone Sleeping Bags in the Lobby. When you are on the road, tuck your phone safely away. And at the end of a busy work week, use Reboot's new FRIDAY app to help you unplug and refresh.

Earlier Event: May 9
YAD Blue and White Monday
Later Event: June 9
Night at the Jewseum
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