Joint Education Symposium 2009 Schedule, Featured Scholars and Workshops
Our Symposium program is in its final stages of development.
The program will begin on Monday, November 2 at and conclude on Wednesday, November 4 at .
Monday, November 2,
Welcome & Opening
Jewish Identity: The Story Dr. Michael
The New Normal:
Multiple Selves and Jewish Identity Dr. Bethamie Horowitz
on your own
Shacharit and Text Study - Rabbi Jan Katzew
Field Guide to Jewish Identity in the Next Generation Dr. Ari Y. Kelman
A panel about Technology and Jewish Identity Dr. David Bryfman, Scott
Hertz, Dr. Dan Mendelsohn Aviv facilitated by Rabbi Karen Thomashow
on Jewish Identity with Dr. Ari Y. Kelman and Dr. Bethamie Horowitz,
facilitated by Dr. Michael Zeldin
Workshop Block 1
Workshop Block 2
Dinner on own
Tribe - Rabbi Jonathan Blake
Identity through Music - Cantor Brad Hyman
Open Space Program
Closing Remarks Dr. Michael Zeldin
Wrap up and Evaluation Rabbi Jan Katzew
Our featured scholars bring different perspectives that will challenge our operating assumptions and thereby enrich our understanding of Jewish identity
Dr. Bethamie Horowitz
Socio-psychologist Bethamie Horowitz has studied major issues and problems facing the Jewish people for more than two decades. She has an active research and consulting practice, working with a wide range of audiences: decision-makers, organizational and communal leaders, strategic planners, and the scholarly community.
She began her professional career studying images in conflict in the Middle East. As research director at New York UJA-Federation in the 1990s she designed and conducted the 1991 NY Jewish Population Study, and subsequently developed the groundbreaking Connections and Journeys
Study documenting patterns of Jewish engagement among baby boomer and younger American Jews. Her Trend Spotting columns about noteworthy developments affecting American Jewry appeared monthly in The Forward from 2003-2007.
She teaches the core doctoral seminar in the Education and Jewish Studies at NYUs Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.
Dr. Ari Kelman
Ari Y. Kelman is an assistant professor of American Studies at UC Davis, where he also serves on the Jewish Studies Program Committee and the Executive Committee of the Graduate Group in Religious Studies. He is the author of "Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio in the United States" (UC Press, 2009), and the editor of "Is Dis a System?: A Milt Gross Comic Reader" (NYU Press, 2010). He is the co-author with Steven M. Cohen on a number of influential studies of contemporary Jewish identity and culture including "The Continuity of Discontinuity," (2007) "Uncoupled," (2008) and "Jewish Cultural Events and Jewish Identity" (2006). He is the co-author of "Sacred Strategies: Transforming Functional Synagogues into Visionary Congregations" (Alban Institute Press, 2009), a national study of synagogue transformation projects. He has spoken and taught to audiences across North America, and has published in places as diverse as American Studies, The Journal of Jewish Communal Service, and Guilt and Pleasure. Currently, Ari is working on a book about Evangelical Christian worship music. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Dr. Michael Zeldin
Michael Zeldin is Professor of Jewish Education and Director of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education. He is also the Director of DeLeT Day School Leadership through Teaching, an innovative program to recruit, prepare and retain high quality teachers for Jewish day schools.
Dr. Zeldin is the Senior Editor of the Journal of Jewish Education, the premier research and scholarly journal in Jewish education. He has written widely on the field of Jewish education focusing on Jewish day schools, summer camps, educational change, curriculum and mentoring. His articles have appeared in Journal of Jewish Education, Religious Education, Studies in Jewish Education, CCAR Journal, Journal of Reform Judaism, Jewish Education News, Agenda: Jewish Education, Journal of Jewish Communal Service (co-authored with Bruce Phillips), Private School Monitor, Pedagogic Reporter, and Compass. He has authored chapters in A Place of Our Own: The Rise of Reform Jewish Camping, The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism (co-authored with Isa Aron and Sara Lee), The Jewish Educational Leader's Handbook, The Jewish Principals Handbook, Curriculum, Community, Commitment: Views on the American Jewish Day School in Memory of Bennett J. Solomon, Brit Milah in Reform Perspective, and Jewish Education Worldwide: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. He is also the author of teachers' guides for Behrman House, KTAV and the UAHC Press.
Dr. Zeldin is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. He received his M.A. in Hebrew Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.
Workshops and Workshop Presenters
We are please to offer a variety of workshops that address
some of the salient issues raised in our conversations about Jewish
identity. Our workshop presenters each
make valuable contributions to our dialogue and challenge our thinking. Our
workshop offerings are:
Workshop Block 1
Lessons from Jewish
Adults: The challenges of
constructing Jewish identity in a non-Jewish world Alena Strauss
This workshop will present findings of Alenas research into
the experience of being Jewish in a non-Jewish world with an examination of the
contextual influences on this experience, encounters with everyday prejudice
and responses to these encounters.
Participants will reflect on their own experiences and the impact those
experiences may have had on their Jewish identity. We will consider what this dialogue between
academic research, personal experience and knowledge of adult Jewish experience
through our work can tell us about how to enrich and support the Jewishness of
ourselves and our community.
Jewish and : A Global Jewish Community Lacey Schwartz
Approximately 20 percent of the Jewish population is
racially and ethnically diverse, including African, African American, Latino
(Hispanic), Asian, Native American, Sephardic, Mizrahi and mixed-race Jews by
heritage, adoption, and marriage. Lacey Schwartz,
New York director of Be'chol Lashon and
herself a Jew of color, will discuss how to talk about diversity in the Jewish
community in educational settings. How do we define Jewish diversity? All
Jews have different backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives on their
relationship to Judaism that are informed by their geography, socioeconomic
class, ideology, culture, skin tone, language, paths to Judaism, and many other
factors. Learning more about the diversity of the global Jewish community
expands everyones Jewish identity and is particularly engaging for younger and
unaffiliated Jews who want Judaism to reflect the global community in which
they live. We will identify tools that can be used to expand the concept of the
global Jewish community.
Israel: What place does Israel
have in Jewish identity? Ilan Wagner
Israel can be both a catalyst for the strengthening of Jewish
identity and at times an impediment. The dynamics by which Israel impacts Jewish identity depends on what is the perceived
meaning of Israel as presented in the educational context. By expanding
understandings of what Israel is and by developing a more nuanced and inclusive type of
educational approach to Israel, educators can minimize the ways in which Israel impedes Jewish identity formation and maximize the ways in
which it can serve as a catalyst.
Things We Can Learn About the Future of the Jewish People -
From the (Future) of the Jewish People? Dr. David Bryfman
While it is true that there are aspects of adolescence that
have remained constant over time, this workshop will also present some findings
that indicate that life for Jewish teenagers today is very different than at
any other time in history. Understanding this demographic is not only essential
for our understanding of who Jewish teens are today but also because it gives
us a strong insight into what the Jewish world may look like in the years to
come. Utilizing technology, popular culture and the voices of teens themselves
this workshop will open up many discussions that are important for
professionals and institutions to continue if they are dedicated to engaging
Jewish teens today in meaningful and relevant activities.
Workshop Block 2
Back to School: The
impact of Day School on the Jewish identities of parents Dr. Randal Schnoor
The greater part of the research literature on schooling
focuses on the experiences of students and/or teachers. Based on a book
published by Dr. Schnoor with Alex Pomson in
2008, this workshop will examine the ways that Jewish day schools impact on the
Jewish identities of the parents of whose children they serve. Based on a
case-study of a pluralistic day school located in downtown Toronto, as a group, participants will discuss the ways
that Jewish day schools may serve many of the spiritual, social and
intellectual needs satisfied historically by the synagogue as a house of
worship, meeting and study. Dr. Schnoor will
argue that the outcomes and relationships identified have profound consequences
for how to conceive of the role of schools in societies, and more particularly
for how to imagine the cultivation of Jewish community in a post-modern
context. The Jewish day school may serve as a gateway to engaged Jewish
life for adults no less than for children.
This workshop will provide historical and sociological
background on the changing role of institutional affiliation since the post-war
period, and facilitate a conversation about the evolving relationship between
institutional affiliation and Jewish life/identity. How can we build community,
cultivate Jewish identity and learning in a "dis-organized" Jewish
world? What steps are organizations and communities taking to adapt to this
changing landscape? We will examine the
meaning of community "membership" and consider its relationship to
Jewish identity and education.
Formal and Informal Learning: What can we learn from past practices for
educating youth into the future? Dr. David Bryfman
Can school be more like summer camp? Can youth group be a
venue for serious learning? These are just some of the questions that educators
and learners alike are asking. As the boundaries between formal and informal
education are increasingly more blurred than ever, this workshop will explore
how both settings can inform another as we strive to achieve the best learning
possible for our youth and young adult populations. The session will also look
at what is meant by experiential Jewish education as a philosophy and pedagogy
of education, as well as provide practical examples, that can help bridge these
Worship, Music, Identity:
What can we learn from Evangelical Christians? Dr. Ari Y. Kelman
Most Reform synagogues are organized around weekly worship,
yet most Reform Jews have a difficult time with creating and sustaining a
regular worship practice. Does this mean that worship, as a primary site
of connection to Jewish community and Jewish identity, is often more
troublesome than beneficial? Taking a look at current worship practices
among Evangelical Christians will help us reflect on our own worship and its
role in fostering spiritual and personal connections for and among Reform Jews.