Special Issue "Jewish Religious Teaching and Learning"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Elie Holzer

School of Education and Head of the R. David Ochs Chair for Teaching Jewish Religious Studies, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 5290002, Israel
Website | E-Mail
Interests: practice oriented philosophy of Jewish education; text based Jewish studies; philosophical hermeneutics; pedagogy and ethical-spiritual traditions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

Teaching and learning constitute a pedestal of rabbinic Judaism and its multiple historical branches to date. It not only has served purposes of socialization and the acquisition of traditional Jewish knowledge, but also has operated as a devotional activity believed to transform the learner's values, beliefs, character, and practice. Consequently, essential questions about teaching and learning Judaism have been (re)examined and discussed across generations and in encountering new opportunities or challenges in changing cultural environments. Present scholarly work on Jewish education rarely focuses on essential aspects of Jewish religious teaching and learning broadly understood. One important anthology of essays on Jewish education contains very few articles relating to Jewish teaching and learning (Miller, Grant and Pomson, International Handbook of Jewish Education, 2011). One collection addresses the practices and the purposes of the study of classical Jewish texts (Jon A. Levisohn with Susan P. Fendrick's Turn It and Turn It Again: Studies in the Teaching and Learning of Jewish Texts, 2013), and another one discusses the initial elemental stages of teaching Talmud in a variety of learning contexts (Jane L. Kanarek and M. Lehman, Learning to Read Talmud: What It Looks Like and How It Happens, 2016).

Still, to this date the "religious" (as either a noun or an adjective) of Jewish religious teaching and learning has not served as a subject of critical and constructive reflection. What might be examples or ways to conceptualize what makes Jewish teaching and learning "religious"? Such exploration of Jewish religious teaching and learning is particularly vital in the wake of broad cultural phenomena such as secularism, post-modernity, gender awareness, new forms of fundamentalism, the digital revolution and globalization, and quests for Jewish spirituality.

The aim of this volume is to engage this exploration. It will bring together groundbreaking articles about any aspect pertaining to Jewish religious teaching and learning by both scholars in the field of Jewish Studies and scholars and practitioners engaged in Jewish religious education, while the term 'religious' will be specified. It will feature scholarship across research disciplines of Judaism, with the goal of identifying ideas in the past as well as in the present, that might fertilize the furthering of Jewish religious teaching and learning in a wide variety of contemporary settings. The following represents a sampling of possible topics:

  • "Religious" is an equivocal term: In what ways might the term "religious" (re)define the purposes of Jewish religious teaching and learning nowadays? What makes Jewish teaching and/or learning distinctively "religious"? "Religious" versus "spiritual": what's the difference and what are its implications, if any?
  • What is the contemporary task of Jewish religious teaching and learning?
  • Revising the curriculum: What ancient and/or new (Jewish as well as non-Jewish) subjects are essential nowadays for Jewish religious teaching and learning?
  • What should a teacher of Jewish religious learning know, be able to do, and ideally become as a person?
  • What might Jewish religious teaching and learning have in particular to contribute to today's broader culture?
  • What distinctive educational opportunities and/or challenges do Jewish religious teaching and learning encounter, given the impact of the digital revolution as well as of the consumerist, neo-liberal economic culture, on people's habits of mind, heart, and hands?

Topics might refer to specific learning contexts, particular subject matter, or distinctive student bodies. Authors are encouraged to address their topics by engaging hermeneutically with ideas and texts of different historical periods and from different Jewish religious orientations, or to submit empirical research. They also should offer a critical reflection on their research topics' contributions toward furthering Jewish religious teaching and learning.

Prof. Dr. Elie Holzer
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 550 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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