HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal

Teaching Tanakh

Teaching Tanakh

Tanakh (the Jewish Bible, Prophets and Writings) is the cornerstone of Jewish tradition; but how do we take our most ancient text and make it come alive for contemporary Jews? Read how educators deploy an array of methodologies and pedagogies to unlock the treasures of the Tanakh for today’s students.

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Terms for Biblical Study

by Editor Jul 21, 2012

The following are some of the terms used in the articles in this issue.

Good and Welfare Posts from RAVSAK Schools

by Editor Jul 21, 2012

The East Valley Jewish Day School in Chandler, Arizona, held its 1st Annual 5K Family Fun Run on April 24th. It was our goal to bring the community together to support the school while promoting health awareness. Even though our school has an enrollment of 24 students this year, over 100 people attended the event. It was a huge success and we will continue it for years to come.

From the Desk of Arnee Winshall, RAVSAK Chair

by Arnee Winshall Jul 21, 2012

As we approach Shavuot, we cannot help but think about the giving and receiving of the Ten Commandments and how these key tenets have been at the core of what it means to be Jewish, to be a good human being, to develop awe and respect for God and God’s creation, and to respect and care for each other. We think about the significance of relationships between God and humankind and between people. What are the obligations and qualities that ensure these relationships will be strong, nurturing and infused with moral compass?


by Editor Jul 21, 2012

Presented here is a sample of the responses to Michael Berger’s article “Developing a Theory of Jewish Day School Leadership” on pages 24-26 of the spring issue. The article generated a robust discussion with many contributors; to see all of the responses, go to ravsak.org/hayidion/avichai.

From the Editor

by Barbara Davis Jul 21, 2012

The second most wonderful thing about serving as an editor of HaYidion (the first is working with Elliott Rabin and the members of the editorial board) is the opportunity it provides for me to engage in my own Jewish learning. In addition to the in-depth reading of the work that appears in each issue, I have the chance to do some research in order to write an introduction that measures up in some degree to the scholarship and experiences embedded in our contributors’ pieces.

The Quality of Life Wheel: A Tool for Reading, Understanding and Living

by M. Evan Wolkenstein Jul 21, 2012
RELATED TOPICS: Jewish StudiesPedagogy

The author has developed a map of qualities that students apply to biblical stories and use to navigate the relationship between Tanakh and their own lives.

Promoting Torah Literacy: Strategies from the Field of Literacy Education

by Yael Sacks Jul 21, 2012
RELATED TOPICS: Jewish StudiesPedagogy

Tools from the field of literacy education provide ways for teachers to introduce critical thinking skills into the study of Tanakh.

Museum Learning: Entering Torah through Pictures

by Ian Silverman and Michael Druin Jul 21, 2012
RELATED TOPICS: Jewish StudiesPedagogyArts

A set of beautiful drawings, rendered by a rabbi who is also an artist, depicting scenes from the weekly parashah gives all students, especially visual learners, a different kind of portal to reflect upon the meaning and interpretation of Biblical stories.

Doing the Work: Interpretative Experience as the Fulcrum of Tanakh Education

by Allison Cook and Orit Kent Jul 21, 2012
RELATED TOPICS: Jewish StudiesPedagogy

The tasks of translation and personalization, finding relevance, should not be confused with interpretation, a true engagement with the text’s meaning.

Authentic Tanakh Assessments: a Typology

by Alex Sinclair Jul 21, 2012
RELATED TOPICS: Jewish StudiesPedagogy

A professor involved with the Tanakh Standards and Benchmarks Project at JTS suggests creative ways of assessing student achievement in Tanakh and points out some of the common pitfalls.