Learning Opportunities

There are many opportunities for students, members of the Brandeis community, and Jewish educators to learn about Jewish education at Brandeis. In addition to the academic programs described below, various units on campus host events that showcase new scholarly work and offer professional development opportunities. These have included, recently:

Undergraduate
Graduate
Practitioners

Undergraduate

Degree Programs

Courses:

  • Reading the Classroom as Text (Feiman-Nemser)
    In this experiential course, students analyze "records of practice" from their own and other's classrooms and situate their classroom experience in a broader conversation about the purposes, pedagogies and outcomes of religious education and the role of supplementary schools. Usually offered every second year. (NEJS 169a)
  • From Sunday Schools to Birthright: History of American Jewish Education (Krasner)
    Empowers students to articulate a reality-based, transformative vision of Jewish education that is grounded in an appreciation for the history and sociology of American Jewish education. It will familiarize students with and contextualize the present Jewish educational landscape, through the use of historical case studies and current research, encouraging students to view the field from an evolutionary perspective. The seminar will address Jewish education in all its forms, including formal and informal settings (e.g., schools, camps, youth groups, educational tourism). Usually offered every third year. (NEJS 169b)
  • Studying Sacred Texts (Levisohn)
    What does it mean to study a sacred text? What are the problems with doing so? What is sacred about a sacred text? How is studying a sacred text similar to and different from studying other texts? How do different religious traditions study texts differently? Usually offered every second year. (NEJS 170a)
  • Inside Jewish Education (Feiman-Nemser)
    Combines autobiography, classroom videotapes, curriculum investigation and fieldwork to explore the purposes, practices and effects of contemporary Jewish education in its many forms and venues. Usually offered every other year. (NEJS 170b)

Non-Credit Program

Mandel Center Undergraduate Fellows, offering professional learning to Brandeis undergraduates who are working in supplemental Jewish education.

Graduate

Degree Programs

Courses:

  • Philosophy of Jewish Education (Levisohn)
    What should Jewish education be? What are its legitimate goals? What are the competing visions of an educated Jew, and how do these influence educational practice? How is Jewish education similar to and different from other kinds of religious education? Usually offered every second year. (NEJS 235b)
  • Summer Camp: The American Jewish Experience (Reimer)
    How did American summer camps evolve? How did American Jews appropriate this form for their communal needs? How did leadership develop and what are the pressing issues of today? These questions will be examined from historical, educational, and managerial perspectives. (HRNS 205f)
  • Informal Education in Jewish Settings (Reimer)
    Explores what we mean by ‘informal education’ and how serious Jewish educators have brought "informal education" and "experiential learning" to settings as diverse as summer camps, Israel trips, arts programs, and community service initiatives. Usually offered every second year. (HRNS 206b)

Practitioners