I need to fess up. I’ve always enjoyed my time out of school more than in – and that is especially true of Hebrew school. I believe most of my friends would have agreed. Not that we were delinquents.
Magil’s timing was perfect. The first Hebrew school in America launched in 1893. By 1908, there were an estimated 100,000 children attending various types of Jewish schools.
Joseph Magil was one of the most remarkable yet invisible Jewish educators you never heard about. When you come across his name, think of a 19th century wunderkind listed in the Forward 50, a social media influencer akin to Mark Zuckerberg, and a publisher whose impact reached across America, like William Randolph Hearst.
When our youngest turned six he wanted a pet, preferably a dog. My wife and I said no for a variety of reasons and asked what other kind of animal he may want. After witnessing the deaths and “funerals” of a couple of his sister’s short-lived parakeets, our son chose a Russian tortoise. He named it Henry.
MacKenzie Scott, an author and former wife of Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, is a real-world John Beresford Tipton. Even more importantly, she is potentially a human disruptor in the world of philanthropy.
If the Jewish nonprofit world’s goal is to become stronger for the long term and have far greater impact than it does today, it, too, needs to dig deeper into its own dynamics.