Key Resources on Jewish Religious Education

Dec. 02, 2013

Source: Religious Education, Vol. 108, 5 October – December, 2013 pp. 542-547


This review will stick with scholarly publications on Jewish religious education of the highest quality that have appeared in the past decade and that are also accessible in their style for all sorts of readers. In other words, although the books in question represent the best in the academic study of Jewish education, they share the virtue of being engaging and useful resources for a wider audience. Furthermore, the review will identify three areas and discuss at least one representative book from each category. Those categories are: History, Identity, and Setting. There is also one book that encompasses all of the previous domains and that presents an in-depth transnational survey of Jewish education

The State of the Field

  •  International Handbook of Jewish Education. Miller, Helena; Grant, Lisa D.; Pomson, Alex (Eds.) 2011, XXXVII, 1307 pp.


The History of Jewish Education

  • The Women Who Reconstructed American Jewish Education, 1910-1965. Carol K. Ingall, ed., 2010, 264 pp.
  • The Benderly Boys and American Jewish Education. Jonathan Krasner, 2011, 512 pp.

Jewish Identity

  • Jewish Lives, Jewish Learning: Adult Jewish Learning in Theory and Practice. Diane Tickton Schuster 2003, 249 pp.
  • Development, Learning and Community: Educating for Identity in Pluralistic Jewish High Schools. Jeffrey Kress, 2012, 250 pp.

Settings of Jewish Education

  • Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional To Visionary. Aron, Isa Cohen, Steven M., Hoff, Lawrence A., Kelman, Ari Y. 2010, 282 pp.
  • Learning and Community: Jewish Supplementary Schools in the Twenty-first Century. Wertheimer, Jack (Ed.) 2009, 380 pp.

These seven books testify to the seriousness and thoroughness with which practitioners and scholars of Jewish education have studied, discussed, and collaborated on subjects of central significance to Jewish education as it is currently practiced in the United States and elsewhere. They reveal the vastness of the field itself, and speak to the commitment on the part of contemporary Jewish educators to sustain Jewish education as an ever-renewing well of sustenance for individual Jews and for Jewish communities.

Updated: Jan. 15, 2014