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1. How did you get involved in Jewish education?
The story goes, at least as my parents tell it, that when the kindergarten teacher asked all the kids in class what they wanted to be when they grew up, my response was "I want to be a rabbi!" I grew up in a very active Reform family and was always naturally drawn to Jewish life and learning. I took my Judaism very seriously, so much so that before my Bar Mitzvah I decided I would "interview" all the local rabbis in my hometown of San Diego and decide what part of the Jewish community resonated the most with me. The last stop on my journey was the local Orthodox shul in La Jolla, Congregation Adat Yeshurun, and immediately I found my religious home. I discovered a way of life that was intensely vibrant, passionate and inspired. I swam into the ocean of Jewish learning and my existence as a human being created in the image of God has been deeply enriched every day since. There could be nothing more rewarding for me professionally than to spend my life introducing people from all walks of life to the richness and profundity of Torah and the Jewish tradition and to further that learning experience for students with a day school and Yeshiva background.

2. You have published a book of "Twitter Torah" with Torah ideas in 140 characters or less.  How has the Jewish community, overall, responded to Twitter?
Twitter is only a microcosm of a larger transformation in not only the way people communicate but the very way information is created and disseminated. The average young person today is as much a creator of content as they are a consumer of it. On the global stage, Twitter, and the world that exists around it, has helped topple oppressive regimes and pierce a ray of freedom into the darkness that dictatorships attempt to impose on their societies. On the personal front, Twitter and similar services, have changed the expectation of most people in how they interact with received content. No longer do people sit idly and absorb from professionals, whether they be journalists or rabbis, but now people expect to be able to question, to challenge, to agree or to vigorously disagree. They expect to be able to take what is given to them and to reshape it in a way that is in consonance with their perspective and values. This presents both great opportunities and great challenges for the Jewish community and we are only beginning to contemplate the implications of this shift in the broader Jewish community.

3. What are you most looking forward to at YouthCon?
I am excited to spend a day with others who are dedicated to imparting a passionate, transformative Torah to the Jewish community and learning from each other! 
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Rabbi Greenberg is the Orthodox Rabbi of Harvard Hillel, Co-Director of Harvard JLIC and Vice President of the Harvard Chaplains. He has written both scholarly and popular articles and is the author of Covenantal Promise and Destiny: Wisdom for Life and Twitter Torah: Thoughts on the Hebrew Bible in 140 Characters or Less. Rabbi Greenberg, along with his wife and son, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Follow him on Twitter: @RabbiGreenberg


5/24/2013

Thank you for sharing the interview with Rabbi Ben Greenberg. The contribution of him in the field of Jewish education is very remarkable. It is glad to hear that he is an active member of YouthCon. The Jewish people can proud of him.


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