Community Blog Who is Wise? One Who Learns from All People (Ethics of the Fathers, Pirkei Avot 4:1)

By Rachel Raz

ben-zoma peckolick_0The ancient city of Zippori unfolded before our eyes. It is located in the heart of Lower Galilee, Israel; midway between the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee. In this city Jewish scholars studied and compiled the Mishnah (Oral law) about 1800 years ago. That day we studied the text and found it relevant to our American lives of the 21st century. Our interfaith group which included early childhood educators and science professionals relate to this text easily; in some ways we live by it. Both early childhood educators and scientists like to ask questions. Inquiry and curiosity are at the core of their respective fields. The discussion included the visual art by Alan Peckolick the graphic designer and artist for Voices & Visions – a new initiative by the Grinspoon Foundation.

Many ideas came out of our discussion:

To quote Irving Greenberg’s thoughts about this Mishna:  “Wisdom is a process, not an answer. The wise man knows how much he does not know. So he constantly seeks to learn new things. The wise woman has developed understanding by listening to and learning from others”

About the Israel Educational Seminar: The seminar was developed by the Early Childhood Institute of Hebrew College with Keshet, the Center for Educational Tourism in Israel, the CJP Boston Haifa Early Childhood Educators’ Connection partners in Haifa, Oranim Academic College, and the Ein-Hod Artist Colony. This program is partially funded by CJP Boston Haifa Early Childhood Connection, the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust, the Haifa Municipality, The Grinspoon Foundation, Israel Ministry of Education, and by Local communities and individuals.

About the poster: Voices & Visions™ is about art, about powerful messages, about combining them into posters, about starting conversations, and about continuing the Jewish journey. The Voices & Visions concept was inspired by the Container Corporation of America’s Great Ideas series.  Launched as an ad campaign in the 1950s, the Container Corporation paired quotes and graphic design and published the images once a month.  Quickly, the campaign moved away from advertising and started to become an art phenomenon.

A collector and appreciator of Great Ideas, Harold Grinspoon, the founder of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, decided to use this model as the inspiration for a new and dynamic vision to engage the Jewish people in conversations regarding their own identity.

In late 2012, Voices & Visions released its debut Masters Series.  A collection of 18 images, the series pairs leading figures of contemporary art and design with powerful quotes from Jewish thinkers across the ages.  Originally offered as a limited release, the Masters Series took off and is now being used by Jewish organizations around the world.

Organizations have used the images to beautify their spaces, spark conversations, contribute to their curricula, and create new programming.  The series is offered as a gift to organizations interested in using the images in their community space.

Voices & Visions continues to produce images and series and is also focused on providing educators a space to share their programs with others.  Many of the programs are available online

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