Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education

Conceptualizing Outcomes of Religious Education (CORE)

How do various religious traditions think, write and talk about the goals of educating within those traditions?

We do sometimes have the occasion to talk about religious education across the boundaries of community and tradition. But what we gain in cross-cultural understanding, we lose in nuance and texture. What does it sound like when Catholics talk to other Catholics about Catholic education, Muslims talk to other Muslims about Islamic education, or Jews talk to other Jews about Jewish education?

In this project, nine scholars — three Muslims, two Catholics and four Jews — met approximately once a month over the course of a year to develop their thinking about the desired outcomes of religious education within their own faith traditions. Each scholar is working to produce a contribution to an edited volume—not new empirical research on what Muslims, Catholics or Jews do or say, but new ways of thinking about outcomes.


Mona Abo-Zena, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education and Care in the College of Education and Human Development, UMass Boston. Mona's area of expertise includes religion and spirituality as dimensions of diversity within children, families and communities; cultural funds of knowledge in early childhood education, family engagement and teacher preparation; equity-based perspectives on early childhood development in context; and immigrant-origin children and families.

Sharon Cohen Anisfeld is president of Hebrew College. She has been a regular summer faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel since 1993 and is co-editor of two volumes of women’s writings on Passover, “The Women’s Seder Sourcebook: Rituals and Readings for Use at the Passover Seder” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002) and “The Women’s Passover Companion: Women’s Reflections on the Festival of Freedom” (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2002).

Cynthia Cameron’s research interests are focused on female adolescence viewed through the lenses of theological anthropology, developmental psychology and Catholic schooling. She has additional research interests around questions of age and aging in Catholic theology and self-harming behaviors among young women. She is an associate professor of religious studies at Rivier University, and has taught at Sacred Heart University and Boston College. She was also a Catholic high school teacher for 20 years.

Suleyman Dost is Assistant Professor of Classical Islam at Brandeis University. Suleyman’s research includes early Islamic history through the lenses of both traditional narrative sources in various languages including Arabic, Greek, Latin and Syriac, and sources that can be qualified as documentary evidence such as pre-Islamic and early Islamic Arabian epigraphy, coins and early Arabic papyri.

Carl Sharif El-Tobgui is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Director of the Arabic Language Program at Brandeis University. Carl's expertise lies in the field of Islamic thought, with a special concentration on theology, law and jurisprudence.

Thomas Groome is Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College. Tom’s research interests include the history, theory and practice of religious education; pastoral ministry; and practical theology.

Lynn Kaye is Assistant Professor of Rabbinic Literature and Thought at Brandeis University. Lynn’s expertise lies in rabbinic literature and thought, theories of time, Judaism in late antiquity, Jewish law, and literary, critical and legal theories.

Mahri Leonard-Fleckman is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross. Mahri’s areas of interest include literary history and the development of the Hebrew Bible, the social and political development of the ancient Near East, interdisciplinary approaches to biblical interpretation, and interreligious dialogue.

Jon Levisohn is the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Associate Professor of Jewish Educational Thought at Brandeis University, where he is also director of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education. Jon’s scholarship has focused on the teaching and learning of Jewish texts; the teaching and learning of history; and critically investigating and reconceptualizing the purposes of Jewish education.