Teaching Mahshevet Yisrael: The Universalist / Particularist Issue

Posted On Feb 14, 2017 | Jewish Learning and the Non-Jew | Interreligious Philosophy

Elie Holzer: “Jews, Non-Jews, and Teaching the Hasidic Homily: Hermeneutic Approaches and Pedagogical Deliberations”

Avinoam Rosenak: “Machshevet Yisrael as an Encounter: Jewish Philosophy or Judaism as a Philosophy—Educational Implications”

Chair: Jonathan Cohen

This session was part of “Jewish Learning and the Non-Jew,” the 2017 Melton Coalition for Creative Interaction conference, hosted by JTS’s William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. The Melton Coalition for Creative Interaction is a collaboration of the three centers endowed by Samuel M. Melton z”l at JTS, the Hebrew University, and The Ohio State University.

Elie Holzer is a practice-oriented philosopher of Jewish education, who serves as Associate Professor at the School of Education, directs the Stern Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Education and holds the R. Dr. David Ochs Chair for Teaching Jewish Religious Studies, at Bar Ilan University. He also serves on the faculty of the Mandel Teacher Educators Institute in the US. His research integrates text-based Jewish studies, philosophical hermeneutics, pedagogy, and ethical-spiritual traditions. His book, A Philosophy of Havruta: Understanding and Teaching the Art of Text Study in Pairs (Academic Studies Press), won the 2014 National Jewish Book Award in Education.

Avinoam Rosenak is a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University. Rosenak was the head of the department of Jewish Thought and he teaches in the Melton Centre for Jewish Education and the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University. He is a research fellow at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem and The Israeli Democracy Institute. His books include: The Prophetic Halakhah, (Magnes 2007); Rabbi Kook (Zalman Shazar 2006); Halakhah as an Agent of Change: Critical Studies in Philosophy of Halakhah, (Magnes, 2009); Cracks: Rabbi Kook, his Disciples and their Critics, (Resling press 2013); and Jewish Thoughts: In the Teachings of Aviezer Ravitzky (Zalman Shazar Center, 2015).

Jonathan Cohen teaches Philosophy of Education at the Hebrew University’s Seymour Fox School of Education and is currently the Director of the University’s Melton Centre for Jewish Education and co-director of the Melton Coalition for Creative Interaction. He is chiefly interested in the implications of modern Jewish thought for the philosophy of Jewish education. Within this sphere, he has placed special emphasis on the hermeneutic perspectives of modern Jewish thinkers and their importance for the teaching of canonical Jewish texts. He is the author of Philosophers and Scholars: Wolfson, Guttmann and Strauss on the History of Jewish Philosophy (1997) and the editor, with Dr. Elie Holzer, of Modes of Educational Translation (2008). His article on “Concepts of Scripture in Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig” appeared in the collection edited by Benjamin Sommer: Jewish Concepts of Scripture (2012).