Rabbi Jane Kanarek, Associate Professor of Rabbinics at Hebrew College and Marjorie Lehman, Associate Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological seminary undertook a fascinating research project to uncover some answers to this question with with the support of the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University, They selected eight Talmud professors from secular and religious settings of higher education who turned their classrooms into research sites to focus on the experiences of their students as they learned to read these ancient and complex texts.

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Their rich findings are captured in Learning To Read Talmud What It Looks Like and How It Happens, (edited by Jane L .Kanarek and Marjorie Lehman, Academic Studies Press, 2016). As Kanarek and Lehman explain “our research made us better teachers and our students, better learners. Much as we asked our students to be conscious of the cognitive processes utilized in order to read Talmud, the practice of researching our classrooms demanded that we become similarly engaged in defining the steps and processes of our teaching.”

The work provides a rare view into the pedagogical choices of master teachers and contributes to the growing field of the scholarship of teaching and learning well beyond the walls of the Talmud classroom.

Hebrew College is delighted to host master teachers Kanarek and Lehman for an interactive inquiry into “Learning to Read Talmud with Habits of Heart and Mind” at Hebrew College on March 23, 7:30 pm. Register here.

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