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Jewish History Education: Navigating Jewish Identities and Values

©Jacob Lund/
©Jacob Lund/

Jewish History Education: Navigating Jewish Identities and Values

Hosted by the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America in collaboration with Dr. Ethan Zadoff and Rachel Bergstein.

In Jewish history classrooms, students and teachers approach the dynamic relationship between Jewish identity, Jewish peoplehood, and Jewish religious and political ideologies. The Jewish history classroom stands as a weigh station, a measuring point of Jewish identity and Jewish values – the way we construct our views of the past with our students is often an allusion of how we interpret and define our Jewishness in the present. Jewish history educators have the challenge and privilege of teaching curricular content while navigating the different and at times varying perspectives, values, and sensitivities that emerge.

This two-day convening will bring together practitioners of Jewish history education in Jewish day schools to examine the underlying meaning, questions, and tensions that animate their work.

We invite you to join us as we consider these questions:

  • What role does Jewish history play in cultivating Jewish identity?
  • How can Jewish history educators navigate tensions between Jewish history education in day schools and goals around Jewish identity and Jewish values?
  • How does Jewish historical thinking allow for critical analyses of politically and culturally sensitive topics?

Program Model
The convening will be structured around three main components:

  1. Seminar sessions led by Hartman faculty offering frameworks relevant to Jewish history education
  2. Roundtable discussions providing opportunities for practitioners to share and network around specific questions
  3. Opportunities for reflection and application

Dates and Location
The convening will take place in-person at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY on May 9-10, 2022.

This program is open to educators of Jewish history currently teaching in a Jewish high school. Please feel free to share this opportunity with other educators who would be a good fit.

Funding and Cost
There is no cost to participate, and all meals and materials will be provided. For financial assistance with travel and hotel expenses, we encourage you to seek out professional development funds at your school or in your school district, or alternatively, reach out to your local Federation.

Please register by April 25th, 2022

For questions or more information, please contact Sara Labaton, Director of Teaching and Learning at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America

We look forward to learning with you –

  • Rachel Bergstein, Director of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School Center for Excellence and Engagement in Jewish History.
  • Dr. Sara Labaton, Director of Teaching and Learning at the Shalom Hartman Institute
  • Dr. Ethan Zadoff, Director of Professional Development and Chair of the History Department at Yeshivat Frisch


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