AJS Conference Session
December 16, 12:00 to 1:30pm
Hilton Baltimore, Poe A/B
Panel: Jewish Education – For What? Twentieth Century Answers Compared
On the Origins and Persistence of the Jewish Identity Industry in Jewish Education
Jonathan Krasner, Mandel Center
Rethinking Jewish Identity and Education
Standard uses of “identity” by Jewish educators and policy-makers fail to capture the complex ways in which people understand their Jewish commitments, engage with Jewish communities, and enact Jewish practices.
- What does it mean to learn to inhabit or embody an identity or identities? What do we know about the ways that contemporary Jews do so?
- Where does the language of “Jewish identity” come from, when, and why? What work does it do for those who use it? What kind of educational efforts does it promote, and what does it inhibit?
- To the extent that the construct of “Jewish identity” no longer satisfies us, what alternatives are available – especially in conceptualizing the desirable outcomes of Jewish education?
- "The Invention of American Jewish Identity" -- Jonath Krasner
- "Taking Jewish Identity Metaphors Literally" -- Eli Gottlieb
- "Re-Thinking American Jewish Zionist Identity: A Case for a (Spiritual) Post-Zionism in the Diaspora" -- Shaul Magid
- "The Paucity of 'Jewish Identity'" -- Ari Y. Kelman
- "Regarding the Real Jewish: Authenticity Anxieties in Contemporary Polish-Jewish Identity Narratives" -- Katka Reszke
- "You are Jewish If You Want to Be: The Limits of Identity in a World of Multiple Religious Practices" -- Samira Mehta
Part Two: Alternatives
- "Subjectivity, Not Identity: How Jewish Selves Create their Jewish Worlds" -- Shaul Kelner
- "Fostering Metalinguistic Communities: An Alternative Approach in Jewish Education" -- Sarah Benor and Netta Avineri
- "Jewish Sensibilities: A Vocabulary for Articulating Educational Goals" -- Lee Moore and Jon Woocher
- "The Habits of Highly Effective Jews: Jewish Education as Education in the Practices of Jewishness" -- Jon A. Levisohn
- "Jewish Educators Don't Make Jews: How to Orient the Work of Jewish Education Away from Imaginary Outcomes and Toward Lived Processes" -- Tali Zelkowicz
- "Jewish Social Networks: Implications for Re-conceiving and Re-constructing 'Jewish Identity'" -- Steven M. Cohen