Engaging Ways to Inhabit Life Spiritually
Praise for A Philosophy of Havruta
A Philosophy of Havruta: Understanding and Teaching the Art of Text Study in Pairs
has been chosen the winner of the
2014 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD
in the category of
Education and Jewish Identity
“A Philosophy of Havruta is an extraordinary accomplishment. Sophisticated and insightful, this book investigates a classic Jewish pedagogy in a way that both unpacks its theory and gives assistance to practitioners. A Philosophy of Havruta is a landmark study—for scholars, for curriculum planners, and for classroom teachers. It will be an essential resource for years to come.”
Barry W. Holtz, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
“No one understands this form of peer learning as deeply.”
Lee S. Shulman, President Emeritus, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
“The authors’ first-hand experience with this practice as participants, guides, and researchers and the nuanced philosophical, educational, and Jewish lenses that animate their discussion give rise to a ‘must-read’ book for theorists and practitioners who seek to develop a deep, conceptually rich, practice-relevant understanding of havruta-learning.”
Daniel Perkarsky, Emeritus, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Praise for Attuned Learning
Practice-oriented educational philosopher Elie Holzer invites readers to grow as teachers, students, or co-learners through “attuned learning,” a new paradigm of mindfulness. Groundbreaking interpretations of classical rabbinic texts sharpen attention to our own mental, emotional, and physical workings as well as awareness of others within the complexities of learning interactions. Holzer integrates pedagogical pathways with ethical elements of transformative teaching and learning, the repair of educational disruptions, the role of the human visage, and the dynamics of argumentative and collaborative learning. Literary analyses reveal that deliberate self-cultivation not only leads to ethical and spiritual growth, but also offers a corrective for the pitfalls of the contemporary calculative modalities in educational thinking. The author speaks to the existential, humanizing art of learning and of teaching. This book can serve as a companion volume for A Philosophy of Havruta: Understanding and Teaching the Art of Text Study in Pairs, adding a new dimension of its model of joint learning.
“This highly original book offers readers an opportunity to study rabbinic texts on education with a gifted teacher and to experience a process of learning which touches the mind and heart. To help readers grow into attuned learners, Holzer presents a way of studying ancient texts that cultivates the ethical dimensions of learning. Anyone interested in dialogical approaches to education and empowering text study will benefit greatly from reading this book.”
Sharon Feiman-Nemser, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Professor of Jewish Education, Brandeis University
"Your latest book, Attuned Learning, is just a beautiful, beautiful work. It is practical, helpful and provides wonderful direction ; but also poetic , soulful and very very moving. In my teaching , I will turn to it again and again."
Arna Poupko Fisher, Adjunct Professor, Judaic Studies, University of Cincinnati & Core Faculty, Wexner Heritage Program.
"There is a good deal to be absorbed here for the theological educator, especially as an antidote to teaching that is either sterile and concerned with subject matter alone or views the student as an object of deconstruction."
Frederick Schmidt, Book Review in Reflective Teaching.
"Elie Holzer enables to reflect on rabbinic tradition and its contribution to a future growth of social, emotional and spiritual learning. Holzer’s deep reading of rabbinic texts shows us what he calls “an awakening effect”; that is, how these texts enable us to think in a complex way about relationships of teacher to learners and to their subject matter. As the rabbis debate and record rabbinic halacha, they also use aggada to reflect on their own work and argumentation. This leads us to an ethic of teaching and learning which could have been an alternative subtitle for this book. Holzer believes attuned learning builds a sense of responsibility toward the other person’s growth and confidence in learning as part of the teacher’s responsibility for student transformation. He believes it cultivates self-awareness on the teacher’s part including being able to identify disruption and the ability to repair it. It transcends technical rationality and effectiveness to another realm of being; that of holy work with ethical dimensions. Attuned learning means that Jewish education can be expanded in its definition to fully encompass the aim to educate one self and others for the purpose of becoming more fully human."
Michael Shire, PhD, Dean, Shoolman Graduate School of Education, Hebrew College. Book Review in The Journal of Jewish Education.