Search results for: Book review
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Beyond Jewish Identity edited by Jon A. Levisohn and Ari Y. Kelman (2019). Academic Studies Press: Book Review
A new book, Beyond Jewish Identity: Rethinking Concerns and Imagining Alternatives, edited by Ari Kelman and Jon Levisohn, straddles the distinction between the processes that shape Jewish identities and the communal project of “Jewish identity.” The book’s essays hover around the idea that there’s something troubling about “Jewish Identity” and the outsize role that it now plays in Jewish communal-organizational discourse that needs to be reconsidered, especially with regard to Jewish education. The editors push for this reconsideration because they believe that attending to Jewish identity as an outcome undermines thoughtful Jewish education and misdirects the attention of the funders.
Updated: Dec. 15, 2020
Book Review: Portraits of Jewish Learning: Viewing Contemporary Jewish Education Close-In. Editor: Diane Tickton Schuster
Portraits of Jewish Learning, edited by Diane Tickton Schuster, is a collection of portraits drawn from across the wide field of Jewish education. Portraits of Jewish Learning (PoJL) joins a small, but important, literature of portraiture in Jewish education in the past decade, including Ingall’s (2006) Down the Up Staircase, Wertheimer’s (2009) Learning in Community, and Tauber’s (2015) Open Minds, Devoted Hearts. In PoJL, most of the participating writers were deeply involved in the learning processes they illuminate, an intimate vantage point that helps to produce rich and nuanced images of learning.
Updated: Aug. 18, 2020
Data-driven studies suggest that Holocaust education remains an area with much room for growth and improvement. Contemporary Holocaust education centers on several critical discussions: when to teach about the Holocaust, at what age, how much time to devote to its study in otherwise packed school days, and how best to tackle this difficult subject with primary (ages 5–11) and secondary (ages 11–17) students. The four books considered here all contribute to a growing literature on Holocaust education and make significant interventions in these central debates.
Updated: Mar. 04, 2020
Book Review: Learning to Read Talmud: What it Looks Like and How it Happens edited by Jane L. Kanarek and Marjorie Lehman
Learning to Read Talmud is one of the most recent attempts to think about what it means to teach a challenging ancient text to contemporary students. The book offers the serious educator a window into the minds of eight Talmud instructors, each of whom is wrestling with ways to help students make sense and meaning of the Talmud.
Updated: Oct. 03, 2019
Book Review: Cultures and Contexts of Jewish Education. Authors: Barry Chazan, Robert Chazan, and Benjamin M. Jacobs
There has long been a need for a short survey of the emergence and current condition of American Jewish education broadly conceived. Written in clear and untechnical language, accessible to lay and professional readers alike, this brisk and engaging volume fills that void very successfully. This book reaches far into the Jewish past to chart the interaction between two Jewish educational and social visions.
Updated: Jul. 11, 2019
Book Review: Cultures and Contexts of Jewish Education. Authors: Barry Chazan, Robert Chazan, Benjamin Jacobs
Behind a dry title, the slim Cultures and Contexts of Jewish Education offers the reader an excellent concise review of Jewish history from the Bible to the present. The authors draw on their respective areas of expertise to situate Jewish educational models over time within broader patterns of Jewish society and close with a surprising indictment of 20th century American Jewish education along with an optimistic educational proposal for the uncertain Jewish future of those “most engaged with modernity and its challenges” (p. xxii).
Updated: Oct. 25, 2017
A new book makes a compelling case and charts the course towards a “person-centered” approach to Israel education. Written by Dr. Barry Chazan, A Philosophy of Israel Education: A Relational Approach aims to assist educators and academics to engage learners in a variety of viewpoints and experiences as they build personal relationships with Israel. The book is available as a no cost ebook.
Updated: Dec. 14, 2016
About 'Journeys of Hope: Ethiopian Jews Following the Paths of Education, Academic Studies, and Success'
Dr. Esther Kalnisky of Achva College and the MOFET Institute introduces the newly published book: Journeys of Hope: Ethiopian Jews in the Paths of Education, Academic Studies, and Success by Esther Kalnisky, Shosh Millet, and Nahum Cohen all of whom have been involved in teacher education for many years, particularly in the training of students who either immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia or were born in Israel to native Ethiopian parents. The book tells the moving story of the Ethiopian Jews' journey to Israel – a journey fraught with hardships – as well as their encounter with everyday life in the new land with its dual elements of spiritual elation and disappointment.
Updated: Oct. 21, 2015
Book Review: Jon A. Levisohn and Susan P. Fendrick, Editors, Turn It and Turn It Again: Studies in the Teaching and Learning of Classical Texts
In Turn It and Turn It Again: Studies in the Teaching and Learning of Classical Jewish Texts, edited and published in 2013 by Jon A. Levisohn and Susan P. Fendrick, we have a volume that certainly lives up to its name. The volume provides a rich and diverse range of viewpoints on and orientations to the teaching and learning of Jewish texts, such that I feel remiss only reading it once. That the authors invoke the famous quote of Ben Bag Bag from Pirkei Avot 5:22 seems especially appropriate in the context of Levisohn and Fendrick’s anthology, given its similarity with Pirkei Avot’s ability to blend both pedagogic and ideological purposes.
Updated: May. 27, 2014
The authors––two sociologists and one historian––study the complex situation of Jewish communities in Germany integrating an immigrant population of Russian speaking Jews far more numerous than their original members based on the findings of a three-part empirical survey carried out in 2008 and 2009. For their analysis, the authors apply the concept of a transnational diaspora familiar to migration sociology. This allows them to focus on multiple origins, ties and affiliations at once. A further useful concept is that of insertion, here standing in for the more familiar one of integration. The authors, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Olaf Glöckner & Yitzhak Sternberg, argue that integration would imply goals such as cohesion and coherence, which Germany’s Jewry today lacks.
Updated: Nov. 26, 2013