Strong Start - Jordan Einhorn, CLIP New York 2016
The first seminar in this year’s CLIP program focused on Jewish identity. Throughout the day we participated in different sessions which provided us opportunities to define our own Jewish identities, create and reflect on visual representations of these Jewish identities, and ultimately hear from and speak to a panel of three young current Jewish professionals about how their identities influence the work that they do. All in all it was a productive day filled with chances for both open discussion as well as introspective analysis on our Jewish identities, even though by the end of the day the word “identity” was used so much that it started to sound less and less like English. Despite this, our first Friday together (other than orientation) provided a great opportunity to learn more about ourselves as individuals and as a cohort. On display throughout the seminar was not only everyone’s willingness to be open and honest with one another about how Judaism plays a role in their lives, but also a prevailing sense of diversity in the different ways in which members of the cohort relate to Judaism. It truly brought to the forefront certain CLIP values such as pluralism, inclusivity, and Jewish engagement.
As great as the first CLIP seminar was, and as much as it allowed us all to really engage and grapple with the idea of Jewish identity, I get the feeling that we as a cohort are still just scraping the surface of in-depth discussions about Judaism, identity, community, pluralism, and other key elements of the CLIP program. We still have a lot of summer left, including multiple Friday seminars, Monday electives and a Shabbaton, and I look forward to getting to delve into these issues as well as others with the rest of the cohort. If we deal with all of these concepts with the same enthusiasm and thoughtfulness that was in the room for our identity seminar, then I am very confident that CLIP 2016 will be an unforgettable experience.