Learning About Learning: Conversations with Scholars of Jewish Education

Join us virtually for a series of conversations hosted by Mandel Center Director Jon A. Levisohn, in which leading scholars of Jewish education discuss what they have learned from their investigations of various aspects of Jewish education, and why it matters.

These events are free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Upcoming Events

Thank you for joining us for the inaugural year of the Learning About Learning series. Stay posted for the lineup of the 2022-2023 season.

Past Events

Learning About Learning: A Conversation with Mijal Bitton

How Jewish Communities Educate

May 4, 1-1:30 p.m.
Via Zoom

Most analyses of Jewish education, like most analyses of general education in Western, liberal society, emphasize the individual student. But some communities approach education very differently. Mijal Bitton discussed her research into how the Syrian Jewish community educates its members, formally and informally, to maintain bonds of commitment.

Mijal Bitton and Jon Levisohn speaking to one another over Zoom.

How Jewish Communities Educate: A Conversation with Mijal Bitton (33:34) 5/4/22

Learning About Learning: A Conversation with Professor Ari Y. Kelman

What Can We Learn From Jewish Education?

April 11, 1 - 1:30 p.m.
Via Zoom

The term "Jewish education" is used to refer to a broad array of practices, approaches, and institutions. Ari Kelman has written a new book, Jewish Education, forthcoming from Rutgers University Press in its Key Words in Jewish Studies series. The series includes books designed to "provide clear and judiciously illustrated accounts of terms currently in use and to chart histories of past usage." In this conversation, Kelman talked about a broad shift from what Jewish education has meant, in modernity, to what it might mean for Jewish life in the 21st century.

Ari Kelman and Jon Levisohn speaking to one another over Zoom.

Learning at a Jewish Museum: A Conversation with Ari Kelman (29:55) 4/11/22

Learning About Learning: A Conversation with Professor Sharon Avni
Accentuating the American Jewish Hebrew Speaker

This conversation focuses on Sharon Avni's recent work on how the everyday acts of speaking, learning, and engaging with Modern Hebrew inform our understanding of contemporary American Jewish life.

Professor Sharon Avni and Professor Jon Levisohn speaking to one another over Zoom.

Accentuating the American Jewish Hebrew Speaker: A Conversation with Professor Sharon Avni (30:00) 3/10/22

Learning About Learning: A Conversation with Professor Miriam Heller Stern

How the Study of Jewish History Informs the Arts

How does a Jewish theater company draw upon Jewish history to wrestle artistically with universal human questions? How do they weave new narratives through the work of interpretation? In recent work, Miriam Heller Stern has addressed these questions, and analyzed how the model of a creative company can be a powerful way of conceiving of adult Jewish learning. 

Title slide: Learning about Learning: A Conversation with Professor Miriam Heller Stern: How the Study of Jewish History Informs the Arts

How the Study of Jewish History Informs the Arts: A Conversation with Professor Miriam Heller Stern (29:38) 12/10/21

Learning About Learning: A Conversation with Professor Laura Yares

Learning at a Jewish Museum

What happens when young adults visit a Jewish museum? What do they learn about Jews and Judaism, and how are they changed by what they see, touch, hear and feel? In this talk, Laura Yares discussed findings from a pre-pandemic study of 30 young adult visitors to the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, and describe the rich learning that can occur in episodic, leisure time Jewish educational settings.

Zoom screenshot of Laura Yares and Jon Levisohn

Learning at a Jewish Museum: A Conversation with Professor Laura Yares (31:26) 11/11/21

Learning About Learning: A Conversation with Professor Jonathan Krasner

How Camp Ramah Met the Challenges of the 1990s

The Jewish overnight camping industry was on the verge of major changes in the late 1980s, when Shelly Dorph became the head of the Ramah National Commission. Jonathan Krasner discussed the case of Ramah and how it reflects on the challenges and opportunities that Jewish non-profit summer camps faced in the 1990s and early 2000s, and what it means for Jewish camps today. 

Video still of a Zoom meeting with 2 participants

How Camp Ramah Met the Challenges of the 1990s: A Conversation with Professor Jonathan Krasner (30:53) 10/14/21