Search results for: Talmud studies
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Jewish text educators are tasked with the ongoing challenge of balancing skill development and content mastery on the one hand and creating meaningful Jewish learning experiences on the other. This delicate balance of seemingly opposing goals requires skill, proper planning, and support. In this series, we will explore a student-centered approach to Tanakh and Talmud/Rabbinics study where the skills and content learned will aid students in their personal construction of meaning. The Bootcamp, between June 24 – July 11, 2021, will explore various strategies for achieving our meaning-making goals including historical, literary, analytical, and inquiry-based approaches.
Updated: May. 10, 2021
This report shares findings from interviews with students and educators conducted between January 2017 and June 2018. The student interviews were conducted with current high school students from three Jewish day schools. Additionally, educators in a wider range of Jewish day schools were interviewed. While the material below focuses primarily on the students’ perspectives, we use the interviews with educators to add more dimension to our portrait of the teaching and learning of rabbinics at the high school level. The interviews with teachers provide texture and context for the student accounts and help enrich our understanding of how Talmud is presented in Jewish day school classrooms.
Updated: Sep. 10, 2020
We are thrilled to announce the launching of Maimonides Moot Court Competition (MMCC) as the premiere program for students to grapple with contemporary ethics through a prism of Jewish legal tradition. Powered by the Hadar Institute and supported by Maimonides Fund, the Maimonides Moot Court Competition builds upon the international competitions for high school and college students previously known as Moot Beit Din, in which participants defend ethical arguments grounded in Jewish wisdom in response to a modern ethical issue.
Updated: Jul. 15, 2020
Worth Knowing: Talmud Study and the Intellectual Values of High School Students at Liberal Jewish Day Schools
What do Jewish day school students believe constitutes good understanding and worthwhile learning in the context of their encounter with rabbinic texts in the classroom? This article shares findings from an interview study of Jewish day school students in grades 9 through 12 regarding their attitudes toward the study of Talmud. I argue that high school students’ estimations of the value of Talmud study are shaped, not only by individually held tastes, talents, and commitments, but also by a set of shared intellectual values. These values, related to their beliefs about the purposes of learning and what good learning should accomplish for the learner, develop in the context of their schools and communities and frame how students set goals for and assess their own understanding of Talmud.
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
When we last left our intrepid Mishna explorers, they were enthusiastically trying to learn their way back to their time and place by earning coins (matbe’ot Mishna), and points, picking up valuable objects and defeating scriptural villains, aided by spiritual guides whose assistance they earned by performing optional quests. Enthusiastically is the key. This teaching format galvanized the students, not only to do what was assigned in Mishna, but the enthusiasm overflowed into other classes and was a major cause of their buying into the entire system - of Judaic and even General Studies.
Updated: Jul. 11, 2019
Armed only with Smart Notebook and Google Drawings, I undertook to create a universe. Now I know how Harold felt with his purple crayon. Here is the second installment of “Gamifying Mishna in Fifth Grade”.
Updated: Feb. 13, 2019
Learning Standards in a Non-Standard System: Mapping Student Knowledge and Comprehension in Ultra-Orthodox Talmud Torah Schools
The Jewish ultra-orthodox (Haredi) Talmud Torah schools have been consistently resistant to the process of standardization in content, measurement, and evaluation, in contrast to the Israeli state education system which has progressed steadily in these areas. Talmud Torah schools are private elementary schools for ultra-orthodox boys. Studies are religious and the main subject of study is the Gemara (Talmud). For religious and ideological reasons these schools insist on total independence at all levels and resist assessment or regulation of any kind and as a result have rarely been studied by Israeli or international researchers. The present study examined the contribution of a unique Gemara study program to a sample of 159 sixth grade boys in Talmud Torah schools.
Updated: Dec. 19, 2018
The paired study of the Jewish Talmud in havruta is a traditional, well-established and prestigious form of study. Havruta conversation is a confrontational speech event in which disagreements are not only expected but also appreciated. The aim of this study is to explore for the first time disagreement patterns carried out by women studying in havruta pairs. Twenty one havruta conversations were observed and recorded, and semi-structured in-depth interviews were held individually with the participants.
Updated: Dec. 13, 2018
Lost & Found is a game series, created at the Initiative for Religion, Culture, and Policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology MAGIC Center. The series teaches medieval religious legal systems. This article uses the first two games of the series as a case study to explore a particular set of processes to conceive, design, and develop games for learning. It includes the background leading to the author's work in games and teaching religion, and the specific context for the Lost & Found series. It discusses the rationale behind working to teach religious legal systems more broadly, then discuss the hermeneutics influencing the approach to understanding the legal systems being modeled and closes with a discussion of the kind of teaching and learning involved in the design of the games and early stage data on the public play of the games.
Updated: Nov. 14, 2018