Choosing to Teach

Working Paper Abstracts

Jewish and Professional Identity Formation
Bethamie Horowitz (New York University)

  • Abstract: There are large literatures about both teacher identity formation and  Jewish identity formation, with little overlap between them. In this paper I offer a close reading of several cases from the Choosing the Teach study, where new Jewish teachers  were interviewed at two points in time (2005 and 2008).  I consider the relationship between the person’s evolving professional self and the person’s Jewish narrative, in order to parse the critical moments or turning points in the their teaching and religious stance, moments when they have to figure out who they are as teachers in a Jewish context.  In light of these cases we gain a more nuanced sense of  identity formation in adulthood through the joint unfolding of different “selves” in relation to one another.