Category: Uncategorized

Being Muslim on Campus: Pressures and Possibilities

In light of recent political events, The Atlantic published an article on The Muslim Student’s Burden in the Wake of Terror, noting how Muslim students are under pressure to respond to international events.  As I read the article, I found myself thinking about Shabana Mir’s (2014) ethnography, Muslim American Women on Campus, and the burden on her subjects. Mir studied… Read more →

Theology and the Study of Religion: A Conversation?

This past week, I had the privilege of attending a conversation between Graham Ward and Anne Taves at the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion. The dialogue between two prominent scholars, one of theology and the other of religion, revolved around the concept of “normativity” – or whether or not religious studies should contain a central constellation of ideas or… Read more →

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 →

The Mangled Call to Action

  Andrew Pickering, the influential historian of science, likes to tell a story about the Mississippi River. Pickering calls it one of the great rivers of the world, mighty and vital, an artery for commerce, energy, and agriculture. For the past one hundred years, the army corp of engineers has been, as they describe it, at “war” with the river.… Read more →

CFP: Social Scientific Study of Jews and Education

I’m pleased to spread the word about a special issue of Contemporary Jewry focusing on education. Contemporary Jewry is proud to announce a Call for Papers for a special issue focusing on education. Guest edited by Professor Ari Y Kelman (Stanford University), the special issue will feature articles and studies that take a social scientific approach to scholarship at the… Read more →

Getting to meet the “real Israel”

It seems like mifgashim, meetings between American Jews and Israeli Jews, have quickly become a core element of Israel education. Proponents of mifgashim both in universities and in the field argue that they are essential not merely because they are effective in fostering participants’ deep and lasting connections to Israel, but because they offer participants an “authentic” experience that replaces… Read more →

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