Our research explores how children comprehend texts. Using sacred texts as a case study, we investigate what children do when they read and discuss sacred texts, how they talk about them with their teachers and classmates, and what interpretations they offer.

Sacred texts have been studied across millennia in almost every context imaginable. Therefore, they offer unique opportunities to explore how people, starting from a young age, read closely. Our research generates insights not only for educators who teach sacred texts, but also for the broader community of literacy educators.

Student Reflection

Looking Closer, Even from Afar: What Undergraduate Research Has Given Me in the Pandemic
by Gavriella Troper-Hochstein, SCRoLL Lab Student Researcher, March 2020-present

. . . Once a week, first on zoom and then in-person at last, I have had the privilege of gathering with the other Lab members to work on our research. These weekly meetings have become more than a job for me. They have become an opportunity to learn from and with other students who I might not have connected with otherwise. . . [more]

News and Updates

Attend the Presentation at the Undergraduate Research Symposium

Lab student researcher Gavriella Troper-Hochstein presents on narrative resources among 4th and 5th grade students studying biblical texts in Biblical Hebrew. This research presentation developed out of our Science of Reading Tanakh project.

Lost In Translations: Case Studies Of 4th And 5th Grade Biblical Hebrew Translation
May 3, 2022 4:15-4:30 p.m.
Hassenfeld Conference Center, Luria 3

Listen to the Podcast What We Learned From Online Learning

Professor Ziva Hassenfeld discusses research conducted by SCRoLL Lab on Online Jewish Education on Prizmah's podcast, Research Corner, with Elliot Rabin and veteran educators Aviv Matzkin and Michal Bessler - November 17, 2021.

Prof. Ziva Hassenfeld stands in a conference room addressing a group of her student researchers sitting around a table. All are wearing masks.

SCRoLL Lab in action - fall 2021.

  • Prof. Ziva Hassenfeld and a teacher sit outside at a picnic table. They are looking at a laptop screen.

    Truly fun to work on the Science of Reading: Tanakh project with these amazing day school educators and Brandeis students - summer 2021.

  • A laptop screen showing a Zoom meeting in progress with teachers and student researchers.

    Truly fun to work on the Science of Reading: Tanakh project with these amazing day school educators and Brandeis students - summer 2021.