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In Boulder We Dare to Dream

Dare to Dream is an initiative of 18 Pomegranates, a private foundation based in Boulder.  Its mission is to help meet the needs of 21st century learners and promote relevant, life-centered, interactive Jewish education for people of all ages. At the Dare to Dream Retreat held in November 2008, leaders of the Boulder Jewish community chose community-wide learning retreats as the top pilot project for 2009-2010.  18 Pomegranates issued an RFP and funded three community-wide learning retreats.

It’s hard to believe that only a year ago we were eagerly anticipating the launch of the first community-wide retreat, the Family Adventure Camp, on August 19, 2009. Since then, two other community-wide retreats were also successfully implemented: Taste of Limmud on October 25, 2009 and Living Jewish Time on April 25, 2010. The response to all three retreats has been overwhelmingly positive.  Based on the results of online surveys, 93 – 100% of respondents agreed that the retreats were positive learning experiences.  During our debriefing meeting, retreat organizers reported that families were craving this kind of Jewish experience.  We also gained valuable information about what it takes to implement this level of quality programming.

We have crafted a final Dare to Dream report on the Community-wide Learning Retreats (click link to view the report).  In it, we provide an overview of the retreats and summaries of the outcomes and lessons learned.  We have also included our thoughts on the opportunities and challenges of funding, follow-up on the retreats and the next steps for the Dare to Dream initiative. The report is illustrated with digital photos from the actual retreats to highlight the interactive, multi-sensory learning experiences. We hope this report will draw attention to the potential of innovative, multi-generational Jewish programming in the 21st century.

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all our partners and collaborators. Without their talents, passion, and energy these retreats would not have been possible:  Boulder Jewish Community Center, Adventure Rabbi, Limmud Colorado, Boulder CSA: Tuv Ha-Aretz, and Stepping Stones.

About Shari Edelstein

Shari is a foundation and nonprofit consultant based in Boulder.

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