Month: November 2015

Cantors and Borderlands

My current research project on the education of Cantors has drawn my attention to an obscure corner in contemporary Jewish culture. Apparently, Cantorial music, which was almost completely dominated by the “mainstream” liberal Jewish denominations in the post-WWII era, has been taken up of late by Chassidic Jews. In a recent interview I conducted with Cantor Yanky Lemmer, a star… Read more →

On Literacy

EdJS PhD Candidate Jonah Hassenfeld published this op-ed about the challenges with using multiple-choice tests to assess literacy. It is a pointed critique of the work of the Cohen Center at Brandeis to establish an objective set of measures crafted to assess “Israel Literacy.” You can read the report here and their own press release here. As the report’s authors… Read more →

Dispatch from a Hebrew School

“Put your phone away please,” I said. “Don’t worry, I’m texting someone Jewish.” Yes, it’s true, I’ve finally taken up the mantle of the true Jewish studies graduate student: I am teaching Hebrew school. While of course the money helps, I took this job because I had begun to really miss the classroom and I wanted to know whether everything… Read more →

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