Associate Professor of Jewish Education in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Assistant Academic Director, Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education
Hornstein Program in Jewish Professional Leadership
Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Philosophy of education. Jewish education. Hermeneutics and the epistemology of the humanities. Scholarship of teaching classical Jewish texts.
Levisohn studies philosophy of education and philosophy of Jewish education. His particular focus has been on the myriad ways we have of making sense of texts -- both religious texts and secular texts -- especially in the contexts of teaching and learning. He believes that we do not have appropriate language to describe what happens when we teach texts, and we do not have sufficiently nuanced theories to explain the phenomenon in its robust diversity. This is not merely an intellectual curiosity, because our lack of understanding undermines our educational efforts. It hampers our ability to articulate compelling educational goals in the humanities; it hinders the preparation of teachers; and it makes it difficult to generate powerful and textured modes of assessing student learning.
More recently, Levisohn has expanded his focus to general questions about the desired outcomes of Jewish education. Typically those outcomes are conceived in terms of the transmission of content, or at the communal level, in terms of the replication or continuity of the Jewish community. Neither conception is satisfactory. Instead, Jewish educators ought to develop a conception of the desirable outcomes of Jewish education in terms of the moral and intellectual dispositions that they seek to foster -- the virtues, as it were, of Jewish education.
Stanford University, Ph.D.
Stanford University, M.A.
Stanford University, M.A.
Harvard University, B.A.
Awards and Honors
Research Fellow, The Jacobson Family Foundation (2012)
Fellow, Jewish Studies Service Learning Initiative, Repair the World (2011)
Fellow, North American Scholars Circle of the Shalom Hartman Institute (2010)
Mandel Leadership Institute Visiting Fellowship (2008)
G.J. Lieberman Fellowship (2001)
Spencer Foundation Research Training Grant (2001)
Stanford Presidential Graduate Fellowship (hon.) (1997)
Wexner Foundation Graduate Fellowship (1997)
Beit Midrash Fellowship, Shalom Hartman Institute (1993)
Inter-University Fellowship in Jewish Studies (1993)
|ED||159b||Philosophy of Education|
|NEJS||156b||A Philosophical Introduction to Judaism|
|NEJS||170a||Studying Sacred Texts|
|NEJS||171b||Tikkun Olam/Repairing the World: Service and Social Justice in Theory and Practice|
|NEJS||235b||Philosophy of Jewish Education|
|PHIL||148b||Philosophy of the Humanities|