Conference on Teaching Rabbinic Literature

Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy

January 27-28, 2008

Following the conference, many participants sent spontaneous expressions of excitement and gratitude.

Among the responses:

"There was incredible enthusiasm from all the parties involved, and you clearly have identified a real need in the field(s) and made a real beginning to fill it. It was all very, very impressive."
— professor of rabbinic literature

"Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the conference, and learned from it, and appreciated the opportunity to contribute..."
— Jewish day school department head

"In the sessions I went to today, both presenters spoke about studying their own practice specifically through student work and how much it has changed the way they think and teach..."
— teacher educator

"Just wanted to let you know how wonderful I thought the conference was…  I was delighted to be a part of it, and want to commend you on the truly exciting conversations that emerged over the two days thanks to your expert planning and vision."
— seminary instructor

"Just a quick note to say how impressed and excited I was by the conference these past couple days. It was terrific…"
— professor of Jewish studies

"The conference was a remarkable, rare, and extremely productive meeting point for teachers of rabbinic texts from across a lot of divides and spectra…"
— doctoral candidate

"I had to run out before the final plenary. Kol Hakavod on a truly terrific conference. Everything from the logistics to the concept to the range of people involved were first rate..."
— seminary instructor

"In under two days, we participated in 12 different learning opportunities, a mix of plenaries and workshops. I came away with my head spinning -- in only good ways. As someone not in the academic world, I wasn't sure beforehand how applicable it would be to my work. The answer was apparent by the end of the first session, and in it and the 11 that followed I got nuggets after nuggets of practical pedagogical ideas. I never felt 'left out' of any conversation."
— Jewish adult educator

"Congratulations! The conference was great. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and found so many of the sessions valuable… It was a great idea and it was executed magnificently."
— Jewish day school department chair

"The logistics and organization were flawless, which I know is not easy in a conference of that size…  The presentations were engaging, and you set a perfect tone for mutual study and learning."
— professor of Talmud

"This was an unbelievably exciting experience…  Who knew that there were so many people interested in this topic and looking for a venue to share their own ideas and learn from each other? To me, perhaps the most exciting feature of the conference was the youth of the presenters. I was heartened that there is a new generation of scholars, women and men, who are teaching and studying the teaching of rabbinic literature."
— teacher educator

"What a smashing success! Assembling that group was a feat in itself. The framing and organizing and facilitation made it really fabulous."
— Jewish educational policymaker

"The thought that you put into the programs and conference was so in evidence! Wonderful job! It really is the best conference I've ever been to."
— professor of Jewish studies

"I wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to both participate in as well as contribute to the conference on Teaching Rabbinic Literature. I found many of the presentations stimulating and providing considerable food for thought."
— Jewish day school teacher

"As I have been telling everyone, the conference was just great: very exciting, stimulating, and pedagogically and academically meaty. I particularly appreciated the very varied nature of the participants and the exceptionally wide range of personal, professional, and institutional backgrounds from which they came. Certainly this conference was much more lively than the standard academic conference I usually attend. I especially want to single out the two panels, the one on Sunday evening and the one on Monday morning, which were marvelous."
— professor of Jewish studies

"This was truly the finest conference I have ever attended: the plenary sessions were engaging and the individual sessions were broadening.... Congratulations on inspiring us all!"
— Jewish day school teacher

"The conference seemed to really energize people and get them thinking. Everyone I spoke with at the conference felt like there was something worthwhile for them -- no small feat given the mix of people in the crowd."
— doctoral student

"As a result of the conference, my colleague and I already came up with a slew of ideas about what we would like to do with our instructors to test what we do.... It is clear that the conference was not only thought provoking and fun (are either of those ever descriptions of conferences?), but gave us all much to ponder, examine and study. I look forward to continuing the conversation!"
— Jewish adult educator

"Thanks again for including our team in the conference. We are still buzzing about the event. We're meeting next week to review and prepare a presentation to the Jewish Studies Department. I was inspired by Lee Shulman's challenge to build evidence to support the assumptions that go into our curriculum and would like to engage my department in some action research that will provide us (and the field) with some useful data...."
— Jewish day school assistant principal

"How incredibly exciting! Through your leadership and vision you are clearly inspiring Jewish scholars and Jewish educators to examine the significance and potential of studying the pedagogy of teaching rabbinic literature, a research area that has been hidden from view for far too long."
— educational leader