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How Technology Can Uphold and Protect Jewish Values

The Jerusalem Post article on technology and Jewish values

The Jerusalem Post recently published an opinion piece by Elana Broitman, the former senior vice president of public affairs at the Jewish Federations of North America, on how technology can be leveraged to lift up and protect Jewish values. Broitman reflects on her tenure at the Federations, where she witnessed the challenges and opportunities posed by technology in the face of rising antisemitism, social unrest, and global pandemic. She argues that technology can be a powerful tool for advancing the Jewish values of democracy, justice, and “Tikkun Olam”, repairing the world.

Broitman cites several examples of how technology has been used to support the Jewish community and its allies, such as:

  • The use of online platforms to mobilize support for the first-ever national antisemitism strategy by the Biden administration.
  • The use of security grants and training to enhance the preparedness and resilience of Jewish institutions against terrorist attacks, such as the one in Colleyville, Texas.
  • The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and counter online hate speech and disinformation that can fuel violence and discrimination.
  • The use of digital tools to foster dialogue and collaboration among diverse groups of Jews and non-Jews, such as the Jewish Changemakers Fellowship program.

How Technology Can Uphold and Protect Jewish Values

The challenges and opportunities of technology for the Jewish community

Broitman acknowledges that technology also poses significant challenges for the Jewish community, such as:

  • The need to balance security and privacy in the use of data and surveillance technologies.
  • The need to ensure ethical and responsible use of AI and other emerging technologies that can have profound impacts on human rights and dignity.
  • The need to address the digital divide and ensure equitable access to technology for all segments of the Jewish community, especially those who are marginalized or vulnerable.
  • The need to preserve and promote the richness and diversity of Jewish culture and identity in the digital age.

Broitman calls for a proactive and collaborative approach to harnessing the potential of technology for the benefit of the Jewish community and society at large. She urges the Jewish community to:

  • Engage with policymakers, tech companies, civil society, and other stakeholders to shape the development and regulation of technology in accordance with Jewish values and interests.
  • Invest in innovation and education to foster a culture of creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking among Jewish leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, and learners.
  • Embrace technology as a means to enhance rather than replace human connection, communication, and compassion.

Technology as a force for good in the world

Broitman concludes her article by expressing her optimism and hope that technology can be a force for good in the world, if guided by the wisdom and vision of Jewish values. She writes:

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