Geek It Out
Moneyball Judaism is a weekly newsletter that provides Jewish leaders with easy-to-digest explanations of trends in behavioral economics, social psychology, decision sciences, and organizational development. Moneyball, first a book by Michael Lewis and later a film starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, changed how sports professionals understood what it means to be successful in an unfair marketplace.
Jewish leaders need a similar revolution. And while I am not a quant, I want to provide the information all of us need in order to launch it together. To get wonky, which is our ultimate goal, I possess what Lee Shulman calls “pedagogical content knowledge.”1 Other people did the research, but hopefully I can explain it to you in a manner that is clear and accurate.
The weekly newsletter will include three components:
Big Idea of the Week
Each issue will contain a term that leaders need to know, providing a brief explanation and how it might play out in one’s work. What are PECOTA, the fundamental attribution error, chunking, and a pre-mortem? If you do not know, but want to, then this is the newsletter for you.
Each issue will provide a short summary of a book connected to the Big Idea that either helps explain the idea in greater detail or provide a tool that can be used in order to address the challenge raised by that idea.
In a previous life, I created a newsletter for leaders that provided links to articles that they should read from publications including the Harvard Business Review, McKinsey & Company, Farnam Street, and all major Jewish publications. Each issue will include weekly links, sometimes connected to the above ideas, and other times not.
Explanation as Influence
You will notice that this newsletter will not contain commentary on the major issues of the day in the Jewish community. I suppose I could do that, but I do not think that my opinions on these subjects are more worthy of your attention than anyone else’s.
That said, my goal, like Rabbi Hiyya’s in the Talmud (BT Bava Metzia 85b), is to teach each reader some concepts so that you will teach them to others. And in doing so, we can have a greater impact together than we ever could imagine.
Lee S. Shulman, “Those Who Understand: Knowledge Growth in Teaching,” in Educational Researcher, Volume 15, Number 2 (February 1986), 4-14.