Faculty Publications

Back to School: Jewish Day School in the Lives of Adult Jews
Pomson A, Schnoor R. Back to School: Jewish Day School in the Lives of Adult Jews. Wayne State University Press; 2008. Buy itAbstract

Beyond the walls of their synagogues, Jewish adults are creating religious meaning in new and diverse ways in a range of unconventional sites. In Back to School, authors Alex Pomson and Randal F. Schnoor argue that the Jewish day school serves as one such site by bringing adults and children together for education, meeting, study, and worship-like ceremonies. Pomson and Schnoor suggest that day school functions as a locus of Jewish identity akin to the Jewish streets or neighborhoods that existed in many major North American cities in the first half of the twentieth century.

Back to School began as an ethnographic study of the Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School (DJDS) in Toronto, a private, religiously pluralistic day school that balances its Jewish curriculum with general studies. Drawing on a longitudinal study at DJDS, and against the backdrop of a comparative study of two other Toronto day schools as well as four day schools from the U.S. Midwest, Pomson and Schnoor argue that when parents choose Jewish schools for their children they look for institutions that satisfy not only their children's academic and emotional needs but also their own social and personal concerns as Jewish adults. The authors found an uncommon degree of involvement and engagement on the part of the parents, as genuine friendships and camaraderie blossomed between parents, faculty, and administrators. In addition, the authors discovered that parents who considered themselves secular Jews were introduced to or reacquainted with the depth and meaning of Jewish tradition and rituals through observing or taking part in school activities.

Sitting on the cusp between the disciplines of education and the sociology of contemporary Jewish life, Back to School offers important policy implications for how Jewish day schools might begin to re-imagine their relationships with parents. Jewish parents, Jewish studies scholars, as well as researchers of educational and social trends will enjoy this evocative volume.

Mirror Images: Popular Culture and Education
Silberman-Keller D, Bekerman Z, Giroux H, Burbules N ed. Mirror Images: Popular Culture and Education. (Silberman-Keller D, Bekerman Z, Giroux H, Burbules N). Peter Lang Publishing Inc.; 2008. Buy itAbstract

"Few books capture as clearly the critical place and influence of popular culture on education. Silberman-Keller, Bekerman, Giroux, and Burbules have launched a collaboration that helps educators understand the learning process outside the confines of classroom pedagogy but provides the conditions of possibility for improving schools. Its expert contributors travel through social experiences that no educator can take for granted any longer as extra-curricular. If schooling is education of the whole person then this book takes us one step closer to that transformation." —Zeus Leonardo, University of California, Berkeley

Modes of Educational Translation
Cohen J, Holzer E ed. Modes of Educational Translation. (Cohen J, Holzer E).; 2008. Publisher's VersionAbstract
We are proud to present our readers with Volume 13 of our series: Studies in Jewish Education. This volume is concerned with the possibility of “translating” insights derived from areas of knowledge sometimes thought to be outside the purview of education – to issues and problems on the agenda of educational thinkers, researchers and practitioners.
As we have learned from our teachers, Prof. Seymour Fox, of blessed memory, and Prof. Michael Rosenak (may he be granted many more years of fruitful creativity) – “translating” from philosophical systems or lead concepts, from principles deriving from the tradition of Jewish thought, or from cultural visions – to educational thought and practice,is a most complex matter. Some prefer to work in the “normative” mode, wherein normative world views are “translated” from fundamental philosophical “principles” to educational “ideals,” “goals” and “means.”
In the transition from one category to the next, however, certain terms must necessarily be modified or reinterpreted. This process is both enriching and impoverishing – as certain understandings are inevitably “lost” in translation even as other insights are gained. Others prefer to work in the “deliberative” mode, beginning from symptoms of malaise emanating from the field of educational practice, accessing world-views and disciplines of knowledge in order to arrive at an informed formulation of the “problem,” then generating alternative solutions to the “problem” – alternatives from among which some will be chosen for implementation and others, perhaps just as promising, will have to be discarded or shelved. For those who feel more at home in this mode – world-views, concepts, disciplines and cultural visions do not function as overarching norms, but rather as “resources,” drawn upon to the degree that they are seen to address problems as experienced by those affected by them. As if this were not complex enough, Prof. Rosenak has reminded us that neither mode – normative or deliberative – is, or should be sufficient unto itself.
On the one hand, normative discourse that does not also have its “ears tothe ground,” picking up on current educational problems and addressing them in terms intelligible to those who suffer from them, will end up being sterile and hortatory. Deliberative discourse, on the other hand,is always anchored in normative assumptions, without which one could not articulate what it is about the “problem” that is “problematic,” or in need of amelioration. According to Rosenak, there must be a constant, dialectical interaction between the normative and deliberative modes if educational issues are to be addressed both honestly and intelligently.
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Cultural Education-Cultural Sustainability: Minority, Diaspora, Indigenous and Ethno-Religious Groups in Multicultural Societies
Bekerman Z, Kopelowitz E ed. Cultural Education-Cultural Sustainability: Minority, Diaspora, Indigenous and Ethno-Religious Groups in Multicultural Societies. (Bekerman Z, Kopelowitz E). Routledge; 2008. Buy itAbstract

This volume is a path-breaking contribution to the study of efforts of diaspora, indigenous, and minority groups, broadly defined, to use education (formal and informal) to sustain cultural continuity while grappling with the influences and demands of wider globalizing, nationalizing, or other homogenizing and assimilatory forces. Particular attention is given to groups that use educational elements other than second-language teaching alone in programs to sustain their particular cultural traditions. The focus of the book on cultural sustainability changes the nature of questions posed in multicultural education from those that address the opening of boundaries to issues of preserving boundaries in an open yet sustainable way.

As forced and elective immigration trends are changing the composition of societies and the educational systems within them -- bringing a rich diversity of cultural experience to the teaching/learning process -- diaspora, indigenous, and minority groups are looking more and more for ways to sustain their cultures in the context of wider socio-political influences. This volume is a first opportunity to consider critically multicultural efforts in dialogue with educational options that are culturally particularistic but at the same time tolerant.

Academics will find this an excellent reference book. Practitioners will draw inspiration in learning of others’ efforts to sustain cultures, and will engage in critical reflection on their own work vis-à-vis that of others. Teachers will realize they do not stand alone in their educational efforts and will uncover new strategies and methodologies through which to approach their work.

The Hebrew Language in the Era of Globalization
Nevo N, Olshtein E ed. The Hebrew Language in the Era of Globalization. (Nevo N, Olshtein E).; 2007.Abstract

12th volume of the series "Studies in Jewish Education"

Editors: Nava Nevo and Elite Olshtain

The Hebrew University Magnes Press, Jerusalem

The book 'The Hebrew Language in the Era of Globalization' is designed for researchers, for teachers of Hebrew in educational frameworks, and for those who love the language, and allows for a comprehensive study of varied aspects of the language. The book brings to center stage research issues regarding Hebrew in its cultural, social, and linguistic contexts, discusses the state of Hebrew in Israel and in the world, and looks into current curricula for the teaching of Hebrew as a second language. The book is comprised of three sections. The first section covers the following topics: The state of Hebrew in the context of Israel-Diaspora relations; Hebrew in European and American universities; the dilemma of the language of prayer; challenges that the modern reader confronts in a classical text; linguistic and socio-linguistic trends in modern Hebrew; achievements of new immigrant students in academic Hebrew; the theoretical basis for the development of curricula for the teaching of Hebrew as a first and second language; and language policy in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural society such as Israel. The second section presents the new curriculum for learners of Hebrew in the Arab sector as well as curricula for the teaching of Hebrew in the Diaspora for kindergarten children, elementary school students and junior-high and high school students. The third section expresses concern about the future of Hebrew both inIsrael and in the Diaspora in the era of globalization.

The book is unique in that it combines theory and practice; deals with different representation of Hebrew - as a first, second, and heritage language; relates to learners of different ages and of a number of different populations – native speakers of Hebrew, new immigrants, the Arab sector in Israel, and Jewish communities in the Diaspora.

Addressing Ethnic Conflict through Peace Education: International Perspectives
Bekerman Z, McGlynn C ed. Addressing Ethnic Conflict through Peace Education: International Perspectives. (Bekerman Z, McGlynn C). Palgrave Macmillan; 2007. Buy itAbstract

The volume brings together an outstanding group of international scholars from the field of peace/co-existence education and education for social cohesion to build understanding of the impact of sustained educational efforts towards peace, co-existence and reconciliation in countries emerging from protracted conflict. It explores the impact of innovative long term methods of pursuing peace and reconciliation such as the creation of integrated schools and/or policy whose central aim is the celebration of diversity and rejection of prejudice in countries where prolonged interracial or interethnic conflict has scarred society.

Philosophers and Scholars: Wolfson, Guttmann and Strauss on the History of Jewish Philosophy
Cohen J. Philosophers and Scholars: Wolfson, Guttmann and Strauss on the History of Jewish Philosophy.; 2007. Buy itAbstract

Jonathan Cohen brings together the views of three of the greatest scholar-thinkers in the area of Jewish philosophy of the twentieth century, Harry Austryn Wolfson (1887-1974), Julius Guttmann (1880-1950), and Leo Strauss (1899-1973). Each thinker's construction of Jewish philosophy is presented through individual definitions of Judaism and philosophy, understandings of its historical development, and analyses of the canons used in interpretations of Jewish philosophical texts.

Learning in Places: The Informal Education Reader
Silberman-Keller D. Learning in Places: The Informal Education Reader. (Burbules N, Bekerman Z).; 2006. Buy itAbstract

Learning in Places is a concerted effort undertaken by an outstanding group of international researchers to create a resource book that can introduce academic, professional and lay readers to the field of informal learning/education and its potential to transform present educational thinking. The book presents a wealth of ideas from a wide variety of disciplinary fields and methodological approaches covering multiple learning landscapes—in museums, workplaces, classrooms, places of recreation—in a variety of political, social and cultural contexts around the world. Learning in Placespresents the most recent theoretical advances in the field; analyzing the social, cultural, political, historical and economical contexts within which informal learning develops and must be critiqued. It also looks into the epistemology that nourishes its development and into the practices that characterize its implementation; and finally reflects on the variety of educational contexts in which it is practiced.

Multiple Case Narrative: A Qualitative Approach to Studying Multiple Populations
Shkedi A. Multiple Case Narrative: A Qualitative Approach to Studying Multiple Populations.; 2005. Buy itAbstract

This book introduces a methodology for the construction of a comprehensive narrative description and narrative-based theory from the study of multiple populations. The book has two parallel foci. On the one hand, it is a conceptual treatise, focusing on the principles of the Multiple Case Narrative. On the other hand, it also has a practical "how-to" focus with a step-by-step guide to conducting a Multiple Case Narrative. The book is accessible and comprehensive and addresses both those in the field as well as those with little background in the methodologies of narrative study and qualitative research. This book is also relevant to those who are interested in other qualitative varieties like single and collective narrative inquiry, single and collective case study, as well as ethnography, because each of the procedures and techniques described here can be easily utilized for conducting other types of qualitative research.

Tree of Life: Tree of knowledge - Conversations with the Torah
Rosenak M. Tree of Life: Tree of knowledge - Conversations with the Torah.; 2003. Buy itAbstract

Viewing education through the prism of the Torah, Tree of Life, Tree of Knowledgetakes the reader through the stages of learning, growth, and self-development that characterize human lives. The journey begins with education as it happens in the home, moves on to the institutions of society, especially schools, and then on to the questions of identity and commitment which constitute the hidden agenda of "informal educational networks." The self-education of the individual is explored: When does one "grow up"? What is really worth knowing? How does one cope with memories, illness, and anticipation of what lies ahead? This book examines some of the millennial conversation in an attempt to discover an educational philosophy in the Torah that can be relevant to life in the contemporary world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

On Second Thought: Tradition and Modernity in Jewish Contemporary Education
Rosenak M. On Second Thought: Tradition and Modernity in Jewish Contemporary Education. Jerusalem: The Hebrew University Magnes Press / The Center for Jewish Educational Thought, Lifshitz Academic College; 2003.
The Gaon of Vilna: The Man and his Image
Etkes I. The Gaon of Vilna: The Man and his Image.; 2002. Buy itAbstract

"A pathbreaking book in Jewish Studies. Etkes is careful to separate the man himself from the mythic role he later came to occupy in the modern Jewish landscape. This emphasis upon 'image,' and not only upon the 'man,' gives the Etkes volume a unique and broad flavor."--David Ellenson, author of Between Tradition and Culture

"Etkes probes the image and reception of the Vilna Gaon in the movements he spawned (Haskalah) and opposed (Hasidism) and provides a sophisticated sense of the dynamism and power of historical images in forging battle lines in the highly fractious world of nineteenth-century Eastern European Jewish culture."--David N. Myers, author of Re-Inventing the Jewish Past