MCSJE Working Groups bring together groups of scholars around a particular topic in Jewish education over an extended period of time, in order to develop scholarly discussion of and publication on the topic. Our two pilot working groups focus on Hebrew language and culture, led by Vardit Ringvald, and Jewish spirituality, led by Joe Reimer. Each working group consists of four or five scholars in addition to the leader.
2023 MCSJE Working Groups
Hebrew Language and Culture
GoalsThe field of teaching second/foreign languages requires language teachers to include the study of culture in their teaching goals. This requirement creates the need to train them in tools to understand all aspects of the target culture as well as the pedagogical approaches used in their classroom. This development has presented a new challenge for teacher training programs. The goal of this working group is to unpack these challenges in the context of programs that train Hebrew educators by inviting a group of researchers and practitioners from a variety of academic disciplines to discuss the following topics:
- Current research on best practices on how to train foreign language teachers to include the teaching of culture in their curriculum;
- Development of Israeli culture;
- Israeli culture through the lens of Israeli literature, visual and performing arts;
- Hebrew language as representation of culture;
- The role of the “other” in the development of Israeli culture;
- New trends in pedagogical approaches in teaching culture in language classrooms.
Rimah Farah, Lecturer in Hebrew; Academic Fields: Israel Studies, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Ethnic and National Identities, Brandeis University
Yael Gaulan, Scholar of Modern Hebrew Linguistics, Hebrew University
Eran Kaplan, Rhoda and Richard Goldman Chair in Israel Studies, San Francisco State University
Doran Katz, Assistant Professor, Middlebury Language Schools, Middlebury School of Hebrew, Middlebury College
Yaron Peleg, Kennedy Leigh Professor of Modern Hebrew Studies, University of Cambridge
Vardit Ringvald, Director of The Consortium for the Teaching of Hebrew Language and Culture; Research Professor at The Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education; Expert in Second Language Acquisition, Brandeis University
The mission of the Jewish Spirituality Working Group is to chart out a possible domain in the teaching and learning of Jewish spirituality.
We hope to clarify:
What this domain may look like;
What questions about teaching and learning are worth pursuing;
What methods could be employed to study these emerging questions.
Rabbi Josh Feigelson, President & CEO, Institute for Jewish Spirituality
Rabbi Nancy Flam, Founding Teacher, Institute for Jewish Spirituality
Elie Holzer, Associate Professor, Head of the Rabbi Dr. Oaks Chair for Teaching Jewish Religious Studies, Director of the Eliezer Stern Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Education, Bar Ilan University
Rebecca Minkus- Lieberman, Jewish educator, Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning
Jane Shapiro, Co-Founder, Orot: Center for New Jewish Learning
Joseph Reimer, Professor Emeritus of Jewish Education, Brandeis University
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