The Amphibious Jew project builds on a friendly argument with the Talmudist Adin Steinsaltz. Steinsaltz observed that some Jews lead marine Jewish lives. They totally immerse themselves in a complete Jewish environment (Israel, camp, etc.) Other Jews are more selective and use values-based decision-making to shape their Jewish life. Like a mammal searching for water and shelter, she consciously seeks out specific Jewish environments.
The Amphibious Jew honors both these orientations and looks for the ways full attention to the marine and mammalian aspect of Jewish life leads to richer, more meaningful Jewish living and learning. The iconic figure, then, of this alternation between immersive and more analytic modes of Jewish living, is the amphibious frog.