Rabbi Jeffrey Schein returns to Cleveland Nov. 3 to host “Digital Cube: Our Evolving Digital Selves,” a panel discussion based on his book, “Text Me: Ancient Jewish Wisdom Meets Contemporary Jewish Technology.”
The event takes place at Temple Emanu El in Orange with an interfaith panel composed of the Rev. Andy Call, lead pastor of Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights; Rabbi Peter Haas, who is Abba Hillel Silver professor emeritus of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University, and Simee Malik, a community leader of Chagrin Valley Islamic Center in Solon.
The discussion, which will explore the connections between faith and technology, will be followed by interfaith dialogues facilitated by Rabbi Steven Denker, spiritual leader of Temple Emanu El; Rabbi Enid Lader, spiritual leader of Beth Israel-The West Temple in Cleveland; Rabbi Steve Segar, spiritual leader of Kol HaLev in Pepper Pike; and Masroor Malik, board member of the Chagrin Valley Islamic Center.
“What the book tries to do – by using various Jewish sources – is offer what I call the three gifts of perspective, balance and self-awareness,” Schein told the Cleveland Jewish News Oct. 25. “It’s a workbook. It draws a lot from the Jewish tradition of Musar to figure out and help us be more mindful about our own relationships to technology and when our devices are serving important purposes, our purposes, and when we end up serving the intentions, however unexpressed, of those devices and of technologies, when technologies drive us rather than us technologies.”
The Temple Emanu El event will be Schein’s second of eight appearances in a book tour. He is appearing in Toronto the day before and in Minneapolis afterward.
He said his favorite sources for the text include Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, founder of the Reconstructionist movement, and Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan, who wrote a book about the impact of television called “The Medium is the Massage.”
Schein, 71, who was the founding rabbi of Kol HaLev in Pepper Pike, relocated to Minneapolis four years ago to live near his grandchildren.