From Life to Curriculum and from Curriculum to Life: Re-thinking Our Paradigms on Jewish Studies at School – a MOFET Webinar in Spanish

January 15, 2014

Source: MOFET International Webinars 


This webinar, led in Spanish by Dr. Daniel Fainstein, will explore structural and conceptual issues regarding the status of Jewish Studies in Latin-American Jewish schools.


In our opinion, many of the discomfort symptoms described by school principals and teachers with regard to the situation of Jewish Studies and the students' boredom, in addition to the lack of attractive and relevant programs; the lack of adequately trained teachers; the repetition of the content of elementary topics; and the low cognitive levels achieved, among others, are caused by a classroom-based and a failed conception vis-à-vis the Jewish studies curriculum.


Due to structural elements that emanate from various sources (e.g., from the very origin of modern Jewish schools), Jewish Studies have become fragmented and irrelevant subjects rather than a space for the exploration, experience, creativity, comprehensive study of Jewish identity and the dilemmas faced by young people today.


We argue that if this issue were approached in a systematic manner without resorting to partial solutions, we could re-think a space for Jewish Studies and their function as framework for the construction of our students' "cultural memory" (Adelaide and Jan / A. & J. Assmann).


Dr. Daniel Fainstein 

Dr. Daniel Fainstein serves as Rector of the Hebrew University of Mexico, where he teaches Jewish Studies and Education. He completed his academic studies with honors at Buenos Aires University (B.A. in Sociology), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (M.A. in Contemporary Judaism and Education), and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Ph.D. in Political and Social Sciences). His doctoral thesis, "Secularization, Prophecy and Liberation: The Deprivatization of Religion in Contemporary Jewish Thought", a comparative study of historical sociology and intellectual history, was awarded an Honorable Mention.


Dr. Fainstein also studied at the M. T. Meyer Latin American Rabbinical Seminary and was an expert in education and Jewish philosophy in the Mandel Center's "Jerusalem Fellows Program".


He has served as Dean of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, Director of the Argentinian Central Board of Jewish Education, and a guest professor at numerous institutions in Latin America, Europe, Israel, and the United States.


His research and teaching include the social and intellectual history of Judaism, the sociology of religion, and education and training for human resources in education and Jewish-community leadership. Among his recent publications is the book, "Judaísmo, Derechos Humanos y Espiritualidad" (Judaism, Human Rights and Spirituality"), Brazil, 2013.


See the MOFET webinar page for additional information and registration.

Updated: Dec. 01, 2013