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Open Your Hand: Teaching as a Jew, Teaching as an American

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Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University

617 Kent Hall

New York, NY

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Fifteen years into a successful career as a college professor, Ilana Blumberg encounters a crisis in the classroom that sends her back to the most basic questions about education and prompts a life-changing journey that ultimately takes her from East Lansing to Tel Aviv. As she explores how civic and religious commitments shape the culture of her humanities classrooms, Blumberg argues that there is no education without ethics. When we know what sort of society we seek to build, our teaching practices follow.

In vivid classroom scenes from kindergarten through middle school to the university level, Blumberg conveys the drama of intellectual discovery as she offers novice and experienced teachers a pedagogy of writing, speaking, reading, and thinking that she links clearly to the moral and personal development of her students.
Writing as an observant Jew and as an American, Blumberg does not shy away from the difficult challenge of balancing identities in the twenty-first century: how to remain true to a community of origin while being a national and global citizen. As she negotiates questions of faith and citizenship in the wide range of classrooms she traverses, Blumberg reminds us that teaching - and learning - are nothing short of a moral art, and that the future of our society depends on it.

Join us for a lively lunchtime conversation with Prof. Ilana Blumberg and Prof. Ari Goldman.

Supported by the generosity of the Kaye Family.

Ilana M Blumberg is a senior lecturer in English literature and director of the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Israel. She is the author of Victorian Sacrifice: Ethics and Economics in Mid-Century Novels and the Sami Rohr Choice Award-winning memoir Houses of Study: a Jewish Woman among Books.

Ari L. Goldman has taught at Columbia University's Journalism school since 1993. He is the director of the school’s Scripps Howard Program in Religion, Journalism and the Spiritual Life. The Scripps Program has enabled Professor Goldman to take students in his “Covering Religion” seminars on funded study-tours abroad during spring break. In the past, his class has visited India, Russia, Ukraine, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. To learn more about his most recent trip to India visit his class blog. ore coming to Columbia, Goldman spent 20 years at The New York Times, most of it as a religion writer.



Additional Information: Seating will be available on a first-come first-served basis. Doors open at 11:45 am. A light kosher lunch will be served.
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Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University

617 Kent Hall

New York, NY

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