Curriculum and the Teaching of Jewish Texts
The Biblical text is rich with vivid descriptions of the various key characters who serve as prototypes for human behavior throughout history. The course will examine a range of different approaches to presenting the Biblical characters including exegetical approaches, historical, literary and psychological insights. During the course, students will be exposed to a variety of Biblical narratives as well as multiple approaches that highlight some of the educational challenges at hand.
Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in Jewish Education
It is our premise that Jewish Education operates in a competitive field. We compete for the attention of potential students, for valuable resources and funding. These issues lie at the heart of social entrepreneurship.
This course focuses on the growing field of social entrepreneurship and its application to Jewish Education. Students will be introduced to primary concepts, paradigms and literature in the field enabling them to grapple with the aforementioned challenges.
The Place of Israel in Contemporary Jewish Culture and Education
The overarching intention of this course is twofold:
I. To identify and understand Jews’ worldwide – inside and outside of Israel – current approaches to the meaning of the State of Israel as a Jewish Democratic Nation State to themselves, Jewish life and culture, and to the Nations of the World;
II. To engage in normative discussions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches based on evaluative criteria that the students and teachers will develop together during the course.
Visions in Jewish Education
Dr. Ari Ackerman
This course is an exploration of the questions: “What does it mean for an educator to have a vision of Jewish education? Why is vision important in education? How does one develop such a vision? In what Jewish and general sources can such a vision be rooted?” The course is aimed at eliciting students’ personal responses to philosophical readings that address these questions.
Renewing the Practice of Israel Education
This course is grounded in two assumptions, first, that Israel education is a multi-dimensional activity concerned with the development of knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, and, second, that Israel is not only a unique subject to be learned and understood but an integral dimension of all aspects of the educational settings in which it takes place. The course examines and builds on these assumptions to explore how the practice of Israel education can be renewed as an integral component of Jewish educational institutions around the world.
Social Sciences and Jewish Identity
The course will focus primarily on collective identity, and more specifically on Jewish identity, from the perspectives of sociology and social psychology. We will examine theoretical and conceptual frameworks of social and collective identities and apply them to the study of Jewish identity. These frameworks will include Social Identity Theory, Biculturalism and Bicultural Identity Integration, developmental models of ethnic identity, explicit and implicit prejudice, primordialism and primordial discourse, and constructivist approaches to the understanding of cultural identity. We will apply these concepts and theories to the study and understanding of Jewish identities in various societal and cultural contexts.
Israel Education and the challenge of Zionism in the 21st century
Dr. Alick Isaacs
The workshop will focus on theoretical approaches that discuss the potential relevance of Israel studies in the context of Jewish education. Through a combination of readings, assignments, and practical exercises, participants in the course will acquire skills in a variety of pedagogical practices and strategies. Within the context of the course, students will develop a personal project of their choice.
Midrash and Talmud: Texts on Education
Prof. Marc Hirschman
This course will examine texts from the Babylonian Talmud and the Book of Deuteronomy that reflect attitudes towards education, comparing them to Greco-Roman and Christian treatises from the same period. The course will focus on both the unique and shared aspects of Rabbinic thought about education.
Ethics and Jewish Education in the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas
Dr. Michael Gillis.
The course will study a series of Emmanuel Levinas’ Talmudic readings with an eye to their pedagogic method and their educational significance. The course will investigate how the Talmudic readings fit into Levinas’ broader educational vision and his general philosophy of “ethics as first philosophy.”
Contemporary Jewry and Jewish Education
Dr. David Mendelson
The course will survey the historical, social and political setting within which Jewish education is conducted in the contemporary Jewish world. It will examine the different ways in which Jewish communities are organized and the impact of the structure of the surrounding societies on Jewish life and education. The course will relate to how demographic trends influence the prospects of Jewish educational institutions. The course will also look at the impact of diverse Jewish ideologies and their educational expression.
Reading Jerusalem: Visions of Jerusalem in Jewish Literature
Dr. Tamar Hess / Haim Aronovich
Literature and landscapes form mutual relationships. Through the lens of poetry and fiction, Jerusalem is not a “given” or static entity but is constantly created and recreated in metaphors and stories, which depict it and reveal the hopes, frustrations, and worldviews of the authors. In reading core literary Israeli works as well as popular contemporary fiction, this course offers multiple portraits of a city which is at the heart of Hebrew and Israeli culture.
Informal and Experiential Education
Dr. Marcelo Dorfsman / Mr. Jonny Ariel.
The workshop will focus on theoretical approaches that substantiate experiential/informal educational methods. Through a combination of readings, assignments and practical exercises, participants in the course will acquire skills in various informal pedagogical practices and strategies. Within the context of the course, students will develop a personal project of their choice.
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Issues in Philosophy and Jewish Education
Dr Eli Holzer
The course deals with central issues that occupy educators and educational policy-makers in Jewish education, such as: “What counts as success in Jewish education?” “What do we mean when speaking of education for values?” “Should there be coercion or freedom in Jewish education?” “How might it be possible to pass on ancient religious texts to young people with a modern or post-modern outlook?” The courses seek to raise the level of discourse regarding issues like these by subjecting them to conceptual and systematic analysis, on the basis of the writings of outstanding Jewish thinkers.
The Concept of Truth in Jewish Education: Modernity & Postmodernity
Dr Miriam Feldmann Kaye
This course will probe the theory that ‘Truth’ as an objective, singular entity, is diminishing. This philosophical study will use comparative analysis in order to explore distinctions between the modern and postmodern era. The terms of ‘multiple truth theory’ and ‘relativism’ will be introduced in the context of philosophy of education. They will be used to scrutinize the transitions between accepting and then rejecting universal truth, which will be our focal points. This course will put forward late modern and postmodern theories of hermeneutics and interpretation of texts and consider their uses in educational contexts. Theories of texts, how they are interpreted, and how language is used, ultimately affect the messages we take home. The implications that these theories have for Jewish education will be our paramount concern.