Learning about Learning

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, Brandeis University

Category: Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy

Torah-Centered Judaism and the Rabbinics Classroom

This guest post, by Rabbi Joshua Cahan, is reprinted with permission from eJewish Philanthropy.

If you are a Jewish educator looking to teach Talmud outside of the Orthodox world, you will probably end up teaching high school. Outside of seminaries, high school students spend more hours a week studying Jewish texts, and are more likely to study them in the original, than any other group in the US. This makes the Jewish high school an ideal setting for a rich conversation about what in-depth Jewish learning should look like in the non-Orthodox world. It is a setting that demands real answers to the question that bedevils visions of our communal future: what precisely is the Jewish content that should fill in our vague dedication to Jewish Continuity? Continue reading

An Underutilized Resource in Jewish Education?

Before the wave of professionalization and innovation that swept through the Jewish camping world in the last decade, before Birthright Israel and Masa, before the dramatic expansion of the Jewish day school movement in the 1980s and 1990s, the American Jewish community produced another significant and dramatic accomplishment in Jewish education. Continue reading

Building a Field: the Teaching of Rabbinic Literature

The Mandel Center is committed to the study and improvement of teaching and learning in Jewish education in various settings – including higher education, where Jewish studies (both the study of classical Jewish texts and other kinds of Jewish studies) are flourishing.  How can we contribute to its improvement?  Well, let’s focus for the moment on the teaching of rabbinic literature in particular.  Here are some things we know about the teaching of rabbinic literature in colleges and universities. Continue reading

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