Where Do We Draw the Line? The Importance of Highlighting Multiple Perspectives in Jewish Education

By :  Meredith Katz Former Clinical Assistant Professor of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education Posted On Dec 19, 2022 / 5783 | Dangerous Ideas Monday Webinar

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Part of the series, “Dangerous Ideas: Censorship Through a Jewish Lens”

This session is generously sponsored by:

  • Karen Price Rafalowicz in memory of her mother, Ruth Epstein Price, and
  • Dr. Ronald and Mrs. Ruthe Golden in honor of their daughter, Dr. Meredith Katz, of whom they are very proud.

With Dr. Meredith Katz, Clinical Assistant Professor of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education

Jewish educators address many goals, including building Jewish literacy and Jewish identity. To these ends, they make decisions constantly as curricular gate-keepers, or censors with a purpose. Why and how should they introduce students to the perspectives of those with whom they might not agree, both within and outside the Jewish community? This session explores the importance of highlighting multiple perspectives and helping students develop the skills to navigate conversations with those with whom they disagree, as a key component of civic education in Jewish settings. 


Throughout Jewish history, certain texts and ideas have been deemed too dangerous to circulate—whether by outsiders who banned Jewish writings, or Jewish leaders who suppressed ideas considered heretical or beyond the pale. In this series, JTS scholars will examine efforts to control knowledge from ancient to contemporary times, exploring the ways in which censorship both reflects and shapes broader ideological struggles. They will discuss the varying motivations for controlling or revising narratives, and consider whether and under what circumstances it might make sense to suppress certain ideas. These discussions will illuminate past struggles and help us understand the battles over censorship and free expression playing out today. 


At JTS, we are committed to providing the Jewish community with outstanding classes in Judaic studies. We hope you will partner with us so that we can continue to do so. Did you know that you can sponsor a learning session to honor a loved one, celebrate an occasion, or commemorate a yahrzeit? You can find sponsorship information here.
Questions? Contact learninglives@jtsa.edu