It all started when Steffi Karp, Founder of Limmud Boston, wanted Rabbi Art Green, Head of the Hebrew College in Boston, to speak at her event.

Rabbi Green was hesitant. He was afraid the willingness to learn would walk out of the door with attendees. Figuring out how to keep your community involved once your event is over is a problem facing all event planners. You have involved, motivated attendees but no clear path for them once the last session ends.

So Steffi called up Rabbi Green with a solution she calls "encores".

The following has been edited for length and clarity. Excerpt begins at 7:17.

Steffi Karp: He said, "I don't do Limmuds because they're one-off." Well, I thought about that, and that's when I created the concept of an encore. And I called him and I said, "I heard what you had to say. I heard that you say it's a one-off but what if we make it not a one-off? What if for every session we ask, 'What can a student in your session do to learn more about your topic?'" And I said, "We can call it 'Encore', we could call it 'Additional Information' --  I'm not sure what we'll call it but what if we do that?" And he said, "In that case, I will present." And he presented for two years.

Taylor McKnight: That's such an interesting concept right? Like a core part of your event is making sure that that next step is clear.

SK: That's right. It's not the only next step, but it means that if you're presenting and you have a blog you can put that blog as your Encore. If you've written a book lately, then put that book down so that we know where [we] can find your book. And if you're talking about climate change. Well, if we're planning a climate festival in a few months then we'll put it in.

TM: How do speakers feel about the Encore concept? Are they surprised?

SK: They really like it. Some people don't know what to do with it and they leave that blank.

But they really like that because they like the idea that they are going to get more out of presenting than just standing up in front of a group.

TM: And is the Encore part always a part of the end of the presentation in real life? Or is this just an online component that [attendees] can find themselves? Like how do you communicate the Encore part?

SK: It's in our program book. And we do have a paper printed program book which a lot of people keep for reference because we get we get a lot of educators and when they're looking for speakers for their congregations or for their classrooms or for their universities, it's nice to be able to look back and say, "Who did I learn that thing from?" And I've heard that a lot of people who are looking for volunteer opportunities have gone back into the Limmud Boston program book in order to find out like, "What was that organization again? Oh good, I want to volunteer there." It sort of comes around full circle.

The presenters really like that encore concept once they realize what it's for.

TM: Right that's really, really creative and just so smart. I love that idea and any event should be applying [that idea], I think both for the speaker's benefit and the attendee's benefit.

SK: I absolutely agree. I mean here I am at my husband's legal conference. And I know that they want people to follow up on what they're learning.

TM: Right, the professional development conference. But again, they don't always make that clear how to continue that.

SK: And because we're not from one organization or another, we've become a showcase of the entire community. There will be over 80 sessions at this year's Limmud Boston. So we're in favor of all the encores. And if something that somebody says interests you, go in that direction. Something else? Go in that direction. Just next year on November 15, I hope you'll come back to Limmud Boston. I also call it "Recharge your Jewish batteries".

TM: I love that you come out of the festival just feeling like just filled up with – inspiration.

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