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Adventures in Jewish Studies is a podcast produced by the Association for Jewish Studies, the largest learned society and professional organization representing Jewish Studies scholars worldwide. The episodes take listeners on a journey, exploring a wide range of topics, from the contemporary to the ancient, in a way that’s informative, engaging, and fun. Launched in 2018, the Adventures in Jewish Studies series produces five episodes annually.
 
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In this episode of Adventures in Jewish Studies, we’re looking at the intersection of Jewish studies and disability studies. Guest scholars Julia Watts Belser and nili Broyer, along with host Avishay Artsy, talk about everything from the story of Moses to the founding of the Jewish state through a disability lens. They also consider current efforts…
 
Akiva Carr is a passionate Jewish educator with 10 years of experience across varied age groups. He is in search of a meaningful way to transfer the skills and experience he has built over the years to others in the field. Akiva has recently moved into the field of crowdfunding for the non-profit sector with Charidy. Contact Akiva via email: akivac…
 
Akiva Carr is a passionate Jewish educator with 10 years of experience across varied age groups. He is in search of a meaningful way to transfer the skills and experience he has built over the years to others in the field. Akiva has recently moved into the field of crowdfunding for the non-profit sector with Charidy. Contact Akiva via email: akivac…
 
Joshua Sevitz on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshua-sevitz-mba-4a13a9109/ Do you want to learn about management in Jewish education? Listen to this episode to hear about the day-to-day ins and outs of a real-life on-the-ground leader of Jewish education teams. Josh brings wisdom and insight as he talks eloquently about the issues that Jew…
 
Newly published book: What Would You Do? You Write the Book on Being a Mensch https://www.amazon.com/What-Would-You-DO-Mensch/dp/B0B28HWFLQ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-would-you-do-rabbi-dr-david-s-bauman/1141491349 Rabbi Dr. David Bauman Bio Rabbi Dr. Bauman has taught Tanakh and Talmud at Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chi…
 
Are bugs kosher? What about CBD/THC edibles or Impossible Pork? Can entirely new substances - like lab grown meat - be categorized and certified? How does social justice interact with kosher restrictions? In this episode, join host Erin Phillips and guest scholars Roger Horowitz, David Zvi Kalman, and Jordan D. Rosenblum as they seek answers to the…
 
Following World War II, Jewish Honor Courts in Europe and criminal courts in Israel handled accusations of collaboration by Jews who were believed to have assisted the Nazis in some way. These trials were meant to heal communal wounds and rebuild trust, meting out social punishments. In this episode, guest scholars Dan Porat and Laura Jockusch disc…
 
We are currently in a sabbath, or shmita year, a biblically-mandated year of rest where fields lay fallow and debts are forgiven. From nearly the beginning, however, shmita has been more of an ideal, rather than a fully-observed year, and any practice was limited to Israel. In this episode, guest scholars Adrienne Krone and Hava Tirosh-Samuelson co…
 
We welcome Rav Ramon Widmonte, Dean of The Academy of Jewish Thought and Learning to the podcast. In this brilliant episode, he describes the work that The Academy does, both in the Adult Education space and in Teacher Upskilling. One small statistic: Almost 40 participants have done or are doing an MA in Jewish Education over the last couple years…
 
What if you could speak to a student who graduated from Jewish day high school two years ago to ask them about their experiences? Well, in this episode, I tracked down a Jewish day school graduate who was willing to speak to me. "Bob" generously agreed to spend some time chatting informally. As an aside, you will note that I did not have an intervi…
 
This is a fascinating overview of the Midrasha Institute for Adult Jewish Learning in Cape Town, from Viv Anstey, the director. Not only is Viv a "Serial Social Entrepreneur" in the Jewish community - her influence is felt in a diverse array of communal programmes - she is also a fountain of information about Adult Jewish Learning. Today, we focus …
 
What is the purpose of Jewish education? What is the trick of Jewish education? What is the core challenge that, if navigated successfully, can lead to success in the form of student learning? What is one way to sum up this core issue? Is traditional or progressive pedagogy more appropriate? Does it even matter? Is this a false dichotomy? Maybe it …
 
Hello again! It has been over a year since I posted. I had grand intentions for this podcast in 2021, but alas, the podcast fell by the wayside. Nevertheless, I had many interesting things happen and the future looks bright at the moment. Most of 2021 was challenging but in a good way. I share a bit about the year that passed and look into the futu…
 
The story of Israeli pop music is a story of constant evolution, a reflection of Israel's complex and ever-changing history. From its pre-state origins, to music outside of the mainstream music industry, to its current more cosmopolitan and international feel, in this episode guest scholars Uri Dorchin and Daniel Stein Kokin look at the songs and m…
 
For decades, the rate of intermarriage among American Jews has been rising. Among many traditionally-minded Jews and Jewish organizations, the number of Jews marrying outside the faith is cause for concern, calling into question the long-term viability of American Jewry. However, according to the recent Pew Research Center “Jewish Americans in 2020…
 
The first American bat mitzvah took place on March 18, 1922. As the 100th anniversary of this first bat mitzvah nears, guest scholars Carole Balin, Melissa R. Klapper, and Deborah Waxman consider the history of the bat mitzvah and its evolution over time. They also explore how the bat mitzvah helped pave the way for greater inclusion of women in pu…
 
Welcome to a new episode with another outstanding educator! This is a wonderfully varied conversation with Dr Helena Miller (bio below) in which we discuss all sorts of things - from her research on a massive longitudinal study to teaching an MA in Jewish education online to students all over the world (and especially in South Africa). I hope you f…
 
For this episode, we joined forces with Theatre Dybbuk to co-produce a special episode exploring Henry Ford’s publication of The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem, a four volume series containing newspaper articles which were originally published from 1920-1922. These writings were based on – and included elements of – the notorious, …
 
If most of what you know about the history of Jews in Persia comes from the Book of Esther, when the wicked Haman (boo!) tried to massacre the Jewish population, you might get the idea that Persia was a place of great danger for Jews. And given the modern Iranian government's vehement anti-Israel rhetoric and support of Hezbollah, Hamas, and other …
 
"If you harm the environment, you harm yourself.” This mini-episode of the Adventures in Jewish Studies podcast series asks the question “Is there a Jewish environmental ethic?” Guest scholar Tanhum Yoreh considers the “New Year of the Trees” holiday Tu Bishvat, and the concept of “bal taschit,” which prohibits wastefulness and destruction, with re…
 
In this episode, Ronnie Gotkin, a veteran Jewish educator, shares some of the key challenges that confront Jewish education and Jewish educators today in Cape Town. A sample of the topics we cover in the episode: Ronnie's roles and career If you have the motivation, Hebrew fluency is attainable Hebrew education The role of Jewish history in Jewish …
 
What educational work goes on in Jewish Cape Town beyond schools? Rachel Bootcov joins us to discuss her role in the community, her views on various educational questions and challenges, the main considerations when creating programming for youth, and other issues. Rachel is deeply involved in Jewish youth education. Currently, her roles are: Youth…
 
If you have not read Chaya Herman's book, Prophets and profits, then what have you been doing?! In this magnificent book, Herman presents a critical account of the upheaval surrounding a Jewish day school in South Africa. She records various stakeholders' experiences as the school community navigates the treacherous waters of restructuring, new man…
 
This episode introduces the listener to M.E. Katz, a prominent Jewish education personality in Cape Town. His prominence is twofold. First, his professional career was spent as a Jewish educator and principal of Herzlia. Second, he produced (in 1980) a work on the history of Jewish education in Southern Africa that is unparalleled in its breadth an…
 
Having introduced Isaac Goss and his significance to the South African Jewish education landscape, I read an excerpt from his book entitled "Reflections on Jewish Education in South Africa" (1951). The first essay is a letter written to Goss by a frustrated, yet well-intentioned and thoughtful parent. In it, he poses some challenging questions on t…
 
This is the first of two episodes dedicated to Isaac Goss, perhaps the most influential Jewish Education Personality in 20th century South Africa. Director of the Board of Jewish Education for four decades and a dedicated educationalist his entire life, Goss's influence is still felt today in the structure and ideology of the Jewish educational sys…
 
Since the 1930s, around 70% of American Jews have consistently voted Democrat. However, in earlier decades, the Jewish vote was spread widely across the American political spectrum. In this episode, we explore why the overwhelming majority of American Jews have come to support the Democrats. Featured guests include Kenneth Wald and Beth Wenger.…
 
For many people, the narrative about Black-Jewish relations goes something like this: In the 1960s, there was a strong alliance between the two groups, perfectly encapsulated by the image of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel walking arm-in-arm on the civil rights march from Selma, Alabama. Then, with the rise of black nationa…
 
Since the 1920s, American Jewish kids have spent many summers at Jewish summer camp. But how and why did sleepaway camp become such a staple of American Jewish life? In this episode we explore the history of American Jewish summer camp and its promise of providing an immersive Jewish experience. This episode features guests Sandra Fox and Nicole Sa…
 
On Shavuot, a Jewish holiday celebrating the people of Israel receiving the Torah from God at Mt. Sinai, we the read the Book of Ruth, the story of a Moabite woman, Ruth, who marries an Israelite man and, when he dies, remains loyal to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and returns with her to Judea. So, why do we read this story on Shavuot? It may have som…
 
We are privileged to host Professor Adam Mendelsohn in this episode. He discusses important findings from a recent set of surveys conducted by the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies. Although at first glance, the South African community survey is not immediately relevant to Jewish education, it is obvious to me that these results are very significant…
 
This was fun! In a very flexible, generative discussion, Efraim and I bounce ideas off each other. Some of it is pretty theoretical and abstract, but other parts clearly have practical applications for the teacher in the classroom and for the school within its societal context. Efraim shared his personal background that shaped his desire to help st…
 
Join us for a brilliant episode with Dr. Sharon Silverman, the incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees of Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. She is an educator, academic, and published author. Scroll down for a full bio. Student Voices: We Believe in You Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership This discussion is fill…
 
Saul Kaplan shares some of his experiences and wisdom about Jewish education in this short interview. Some of the powerful ideas he mentioned are: The importance of ownership an example of what this looks like The importance of the teacher Considering the input/output process to ensure the system has coherence Education as "the opening of minds" (m…
 
What are the implications of Jewish education's obsession with programmes? Why do we have a proclivity to deploy programmes? In this episode, which is based on personal experience rather than objective findings, I explore this issue and the potential for a different approach. The key theoretical claim I make is to view programmes as a positioning a…
 
Along with teachers and schools around the world, we have, in a matter of days, transferred to 'remote/digital/online' teaching. I have found it difficult to transfer the cultural aspects of the school - those Jewish aspects that rely heavily on a physical presence at the school. For me, this includes things like Tefilla, ceremonies for significant…
 
Join Rabbi Gavi Ziegler and me for a meandering conversation - I ramble, he is direct and clear! - about Jewish education. We explore what he enjoys about his work, what goals his school has for Jewish education, the challenges they face, their focus on values and integrating values across the school. Gavi's recommended resource is Rabbi J. Sacks's…
 
I share Basil Bernstein's three fields of knowledge: production recontextualization re-production Using this as a lens, I present a second idea about the quandary that Jewish day schools face in trying to meet the diverse needs of a diverse community. Since no real philosophy of Judaism within the community can be 'imported' into the school to meet…
 
I know, I know, it's all tricky!! But hear me out and what I have to say in this overly simplistic analysis. In essence, I want to point out that the difficulty in education, the real sticky bit that we have not quite figured out, is how the integration of knowledge in the individual cultivates a particular lens/identity (perhaps this is a spectrum…
 
Yael Fish is Head of Department - Jewish Life and Learning at a Jewish day school. She shares a few golden tips for early or starting teachers. Briefly, they are: You can learn from your mistakes Balance what works for you versus what the team (or school) requires Don't take it too seriously Make your students feel good Have a mentor (who 'works fo…
 
The Passover Haggadah is among the most popular and fascinating texts in the Jewish liturgy. There's a Haggadah for every for sensibility and persuasion, from those steeped in orthodox tradition to seder celebrants wanting to craft a ritual reflecting modern times. But where did the Haggadah come from? Why do we ask four questions? What's the origi…
 
I hope that everyone is indoors and safe. Here are a few thoughts about the challenges that this pandemic has created. Obviously, there are many more challenges than this and much more to say about it. Please stay safe and take the time, fifteen minutes every day, to zone in and think meta - think about the things you can do to make your days bette…
 
Topics in this epsiode My background as a teacher with EdTech My background as a student (online/distance) Interaction between teachers and vendors EdTech community hype Over-emphasis on EdTech What type of research is done Things that are missing in an online environment Support through the 'grief' process in learning new stuff Teachers are expect…
 
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