The papers in this issue of the journal take us deep into university classrooms and into a variety of Jewish settings in which Bible is taught and take us abroad to the Former Soviet Union (FSU) where Jewish learning for women is just taking hold. The authors study their own practice and the practice of others to give us the kinds or deep insights that can sophisticate our understanding of Jewish education and thereby improve its practice.
The issue opens with a suite of three articles organized by Jon Levison. As he points out in his introduction to the suite, these three articles address the challenge set forth by Lee Shulman more than two decades ago to develop pedagogical knowledge deeply embedded in the subject matters being taught. This suite represents one of the few efforts to develop pedagogical content knowledge in Jewish studies, in this case, in the teaching of Bible.
Lisa Grant then takes us into a women's study group in the FSU. She traveled to study the group and found herself drawn into teaching and mentoring the women she was studying. Out of her interactions with these women she teases out insights into their struggles with authenticity, autonomy and authority as they begin to encounter Judaism and themselves in their new socio-political context. Readers who want to come to understand Jewish education in a context where learners thirst for Jewish learning will be intrigued by Grant's description of this group and their study.