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Duration
More than 90 minutes
Topic(s)
  • Religious Literacy
Grade(s)
  • Educator

Each module reviews how instructors can guide students as they:

  • Introduce themselves to the tradition
  • Investigate the diverse beliefs, behaviors, and experiences of belonging related to Sabbath rituals
  • Explore intersections of Jewish traditions with gender norms and gendered clothing

If this is your first Religious Traditions course, we recommend familiarizing yourself with key frameworks used in religious studies before beginning. Methods of Religious Studies – Review

Reflect

As you begin an exploration of Jewish traditions, consider the following questions:

  • What do you know/think you know about Jewish religious traditions?
  • Where did you learn this information? Do you believe these sources are credible? Why or why not?
  • Have you personally spoken with someone who self-identifies as Jewish about their religious identity or religious tradition?

Introduction

Read the following short essays from Harvard University’s Pluralism Project:

Return to the reflection questions above and review the responses:

  • What have you learned in this module that has changed or deepened your understanding of Jewish traditions?

Investigation

Compare/contrast the nuances of the Reform Jewish blessing (video #1) to the Orthodox Jewish Shabbat blessing (video #2):

  • Did the readings adequately address the internal diversity of the beliefs, behaviors, and experiences of belonging in Jewish traditions? Provide specific evidence.
  • Is it more appropriate to speak of a Jewish tradition or multiple Jewish traditions? Or are there beliefs, behaviors, or experiences of belonging that bind together all people who self-identify as Jewish?

Intersection

  • Pick one reading and discuss what you found surprising about the experiences described in them.
  • How do the readings and video in this module demonstrate how religions are embedded in culture? How are Jewish practices around gender norms and gendered clothing influenced by their embeddedness in different contexts?

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