Course Details

MA Education program offers courses in the philosophy of Jewish education, the pedagogy of teaching Jewish sources, Israel education, educational entrepreneurship and innovation, and sociology and psychology of identity.

1) Curriculum and the Teaching of Jewish Texts

2) Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in Jewish Education

3) Israel Education and the challenge of Zionism in the 21st century

4) Issues of Philosophy and Jewish Education

5) Renewing the Practice of Israel Education

6) Social Sciences and Jewish Identity

7) Visions in Jewish Education

8) Midrash and Talmud: Texts on Education

9) Ethics and Jewish Education in the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas

10) Contemporary Jewry and Jewish Education

11) Reading Jerusalem: Visions of Jerusalem in Israeli Literature

12) Informal and Experiential Education

13) The Teaching of Thinking in Jewish Education

14) Elective:  Jewish Education and Art

15) Elective: Shoa (Holocaust) and Jewish Education

16) Elective: The Revival of Spoken Hebrew – Historical, cultural and linguistic aspects

For the latest information on the MA in Education specializing in Jewish Education program, please ask us to contact you by filling in the contact form.

Curriculum and the Teaching of Jewish Texts

Dr. Howard Deitcher

In many forms of Jewish education, the study of classical Jewish texts, the Bible, Rabbinic literature and central texts of Jewish thought are central to the curriculum. The course will examine the theoretical and practical questions that arise in the attempt to make these texts accessible to teachers and, through them, to students. The course will include a study of curriculum theory, approaches to evaluating curriculum and a review of sample curricula. The course will also examine the ways in which Jewish scholarship can be made a resource for curriculum and the teaching of texts.

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Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Jewish Education

Dr. Jonathan Mirvis

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.

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The Place of Israel in Contemporary Jewish Culture and Education

Dr. Marc Silverman and Haim Aronovich

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.

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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.

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Renewing the Practice of Israel Education

Alex Pomson

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.

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Social Sciences and Jewish Identity

Prof. Gabriel Horenczyk

The course will familiarize students with approaches and issues from the social sciences that are relevant to Jewish education in Israel and throughout the world. It will focus primarily on aspects of cultural identity, from the perspectives of sociology and psychology (developmental and social). The course will also examine issues related to motivation for Jewish behavior and aspects of religiosity and spirituality within the context of Jewish education.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Contemporary Jewry and Jewish Education

Dr. David Mendelson  / Dr. Yossi Goldstein
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.

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Reading Jerusalem: Visions of Jerusalem in Jewish Literature

Dr. Rafael Tsirkin-Sadan / 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.

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Informal and Experiential Education

Dr. Daniel Rose
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. Michael Gillis

The course will examine some of the central philosophical issues to be considered in the context of the practice of Jewish education. These include consideration of what can be learned from the classical sources of education such as the Bible and Talmud. What relationship between teacher and student is presumed in these sources? Is education a matter of training or of intellectual development? What place is given to individual creativity in the process of initiation into the tradition? Similar questions are asked in the light of Medieval Jewish philosophy. An attempt will be made to uncover the educational philosophy implied by more modern movements in Jewish education, including Hassidism and the Musar movement.

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The Teaching of Thinking in Jewish Education

Prof. Anat Zohar – Udi Tsemach

The course will address the practical and theoretical aspects of fostering students Higher Order Thinking (HOT) in the course of teaching. On the practical level we shall study thinking strategies (such as asking questions, formulating and criticizing arguments, making comparisons, constructing a “thinking lesson”, fostering a HOT classroom discourse, using the “language of thinking”, fostering metacognitive thinking, teaching HOT to diverse student population, inquiry learning and appropriate assessment means. The course will combine practical and theoretical aspects.

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Jewish education and art: Visual Culture as text

The topic of the course is the role the study of art and visual culture has, and can potentially have, in Jewish education. Based on the study of works art and visual culture (Jewish and other) the course will explore the ways in which these express – and shape – relations with religious, social, historical and political realities of life. On this basis, issues relevant to Jewish education will be discussed, such as: religious identity, interreligious relations, individuality and community, the shaping of collective memory, universality and nationality.
The course will begin with the fundamental questions connected to the relations between art and education, and art and Judaism. Following this starting point, the course will explore a series of themes and their expression in visual culture from different contexts of time, place and culture.

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The Revival of Spoken Hebrew – Historical, cultural and linguistic aspects

The course focuses on fundamental questions concerning the revival of Hebrew speech at the turn of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. For example: Was Hebrew a dead language? Is the revival of Modern Hebrew a creation of a new language? What are the unique linguistic characteristics of Modern Hebrew speech?

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