Kudos to Gary Rosenblatt for his poignant and timely appreciation of the valiant efforts to promote serious, intellectually engaging and spiritually inspiring adult education endeavors, such as Limmud (“LimmudUK: Success On A Grand Scale,” Jan. 7).
Similarly on point is his lament that not all segments of our communities see fit to participate in these exceedingly valuable undertakings. However, there also exists a fundamental systemic problem concerning serious engagement in meaningful Jewish adult education in general. And it is not due to the dearth of opportunities, for indeed there exists a vast array of adult education courses that are being offered by almost every synagogue, etc. The real problem is the self-imposed ghettoization and inward-looking character of the courses’ content and context, due to the fact that those in charge of adult education invariably select the speakers from an established virtual list of acceptable ideologically and religiously like-minded candidates. The fear of exposing their constituents to “dangerous” ideas that might, heaven forbid, expand the scope of thinking and challenge certain tenets of preconceived conventional wisdom, renders these lectures predictable, tedious and often mind-numbing.
In order to attract the large number of mature, intelligent and hungry minds seeking to become seriously engaged in thought-provoking learning and meaningful introspection, it is imperative that new creative and viable opportunities for adult education be explored and additional resourceful and innovative avenues established.