Listen to a roundtable discussion about pedagogy and public engagement from the December 2018 Association for Jewish Studies conference in Boston, where Lori Lefkovitz, Sara Wolkenfeld, Matt Williams, and Jason Lustig, along with Pamela Nadel, who chaired the roundtable, talked about the role of scholars in the public sphere and how it relates to teaching, pedagogy, and technology.
We put together the panel in the context of rapid developments in public humanities, digital humanities, and delivery systems for education. Today, scholars are increasing their efforts to communicate their works’ importance to a broad public — and this podcast is just one such example. Further, we wanted to explore how Jewish Studies faces distinct opportunities and challenges in translating scholarly work for multiple audiences.
We hope this roundtable, which we recorded to share as an episode of the podcast, will continue to spark conversations about how Jewish Studies engages multiple publics—with students, Jewish communities and organizations, and the wider world—and the role of scholars in shaping public conversations. Considering pedagogy in a broadly defined sense, we wanted to address how we combine teaching with public engagement: how and why teaching reaches outside the classroom and what tools (digital and otherwise) we use to present Jewish Studies as a topic of vital public need.
Lori Lefkovitz is the Ruderman Professor and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Northeastern University and the Director of the Humanities Center there.
Matt Williams serves as the Director of the Center for Communal Research at the Orthodox Union.
Sara Wolkenfeld is the Director of Education and Community Engagement at Sefaria.org.
Jason Lustig is presently a Harry Starr Fellow in Judaica at Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies and the Gerald Westheimer Early Career Fellow at the Leo Baeck Institute. He also is the host of Jewish History Matters.
Pamela Nadel, who chaired the session, is a professor and Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History at American University. She also is a past president of the Association for Jewish Studies.