Alan Jay Sufrin

“Buildings and bridges are made to bend in the wind 
To withstand the world, that’s what it takes 
All that steel and stone is no match for the air, my friend 
What doesn’t bend, breaks” -Ani DiFranco

 Alan Jay Sufrin
Organization: The Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago
Website of Organization:

Favorite Place in Israel: מַכְתֵּשׁ רַמון (Ramon Crater, in the Negev)

How has Israel played a part in your personal Jewish identity?
As a proud Modern Orthodox Jew, the land of my ancestors is always in my prayers. As a practicing Cultural Jew, Israel-Palestine is a land ripe with opportunity for artistic growth. I am moved by the rich history of Jewish Diaspora art that has inspired the art of Israel-Palestine, and which is inspired by it. The Holy Land imbues my Jewish identity from its roots of faith to its canopy of culture.

Who was the educator who most influenced your path to Jewish education?
Describe the effect that they had on you. Mrs. Semadar Siegel taught me Hebrew in eighth grade and throughout high school. Her informal, unconventional methods created lasting relationships not only between the students and the material, but also among the students themselves, and between the students and the teacher as well. It was in her class that I first understood the impact that one informal Jewish educator can have on an individual and the Jewish world at large, and it was inspiring to say the least.

If you had the ability to build the landscape of Jewish education, what would it look like? - in 140 characters or less.
Share Jewish arts, appreciate Jewish cultures, enrich the Jewish future. The rest is commentary, go and learn it.

What are you looking forward to most in the InCiTE Fellowship?
I can’t wait to learn from the super-rich experiences, art, and wisdom that countless Jewish teens around the world are dying to share. It’s truly an incredible project and opportunity, and I’m unbelievably excited to share ideas with the students and other InCITE fellows as well.