What Happens in Online Jewish Education: Call for Proposals


Source: Mandel Center 


COVID-19 has transformed Jewish education more than any other event in recent memory. The pandemic has changed access to Jewish education, the tools we use during Jewish education, and the settings in which Jewish education takes place. The Mandel Center, in partnership with the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, will support a set of original empirical studies of synchronous Jewish text study during the pandemic across settings and life stages.

Questions to be considered include the following:

  • How do teachers use textual materials online, and how do students engage with them?
  • How does an online setting enable or inhibit discussion of meaningful topics or the co-building of meaningful interpretations? What obstacles emerge?
  • How do teachers cultivate communities of inquiry?
  • How do students make connections, deepen understandings, improve skills, develop sensibilities, find meaning—or, most generally, grow as learners?
  • Most generally, what does teaching and learning look like now? What is actually happening in our new virtual classrooms?

The outcomes of these inquiries will contribute to a knowledge base about how the use of online settings is shaping the experiences of learners. We believe that understanding the changes taking place in the dynamics of teaching and learning Jewish texts due to the pandemic will help shed light on the methods and purposes of Jewish text study in general.


Proposed studies should draw on qualitative data sets either already collected or to be collected in the fall. Among other sources, they may draw on videos, interviews, and records of practice. Proposals should be submitted by August 17, 2020.

Updated: Aug. 18, 2020