- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Jewish Lights; 1 edition (June 20, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580238734
- ISBN-13: 978-1580238731
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Becoming a Soulful Educator: How to Bring Jewish Learning from Our Minds, to Our Hearts, to Our Souls―and Into Our Lives 1st Edition
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“Gives teachers the keys to opening their students’ inner lives in ways that can animate their active lives, fostering a Jewish life of authenticity, passion and life-giving impact on the world.”―Parker J. Palmer, author, The Courage to Teach, A Hidden Wholeness and Let Your Life Speak
“A trusted guide … gently opens our eyes to the deepest truth about education: without the heart, the head may think but it can neither understand the inner life nor transform the learner.”―Rabbi Rachel Cowan, co-author, Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience and Spirit
“A soulful guide to shaping an inspirational and meaningful Jewish learning experience. A must read for every Jewish teacher!”―Dr. Ron Wolfson, Fingerhut Professor of Education, American Jewish University; author, Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community
“Through his personal journey, and the methodology and authentic questions he has developed, Aryeh Ben David offers us a path to unleash the creative force in our students, our sacred texts and, perhaps most importantly, ourselves.”―Rabbi Marc Baker, Head of School, Gann Academy
“Zeroes in on the most pressing issue within the field of Jewish education today: How can we get young people to truly connect with Torah in a deep, genuine and transformative way?... An essential text for anyone seeking to become ‘soulful’ and impactful educators.”―Rabbi Ari Segal, Head of School, Shalhevet High School
About the Author
Rabbi Aryeh Ben David, a world-renowned educator, is committed to plucking the soul strings of teachers and students alike in order to transform how we learn and grow. He is the founder of Ayeka: Center for Soulful Jewish Education, which trains educators of all denominations, campus professionals, and staff of middle and high schools how to teach Jewish subjects with more soulfulness, personal meaning and impact on life. Formerly he was a senior faculty member and director of spiritual education at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem. He has been the keynote speaker for national conferences of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis, and has served as the educational consultant for Hillel International for three years.
Top customer reviews
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Aryeh Ben David offers his ideas in this short book of only 115 pages that includes an appendix and notes. The author teaches readers how to become “a soulful educator” in “six essential steps.” These include: transitioning into the class, introducing the learning, mindful engagement, heartfelt engagement, summarizing the learning, and transitioning out of the class.
Aryeh Ben David also gives several pages each in his appendix as examples on how to use his technique for teaching Chumash, Talmud, Tefilah, Hanukkah, and halakhah. What he writes will also interest adults.
In her foreword to this book, noted author Dr. Erica Brown writes that this book “is a guide to turning every teacher into an artist of the spirit.”
I had never learned in my five years of rabbinic school the cardinal rule that you are not only to validate your students, but to love them. How I wished I would have had Rabbi Ben David’s challenging book, “Becoming a Soulful Educator”, to instruct me.
In the introduction, the author shouts his thesis, “It’s not about learning, it’s about meaning. When we don’t connect with the hearts, souls and lives of our students, we are just wasting our time.”(p. xv). Practical wisdom flows in the “Ayeka-cizing” sections of the appendixes where the class room rubber meets the academic road as he models soulful teaching of texts, prayer, holidays and ritual in a very personal, dynamic and loving way.
Thank you, Rabbi Ben David, for being a spiritual guide in giving me a monstrous challenge from teaching academics to plucking soul strings as I strive to become a soulful educator!
For example, the agenda of some teachers and schools may be to promote obedience to Jewish law, while others may emphasise the study of text and the pursuit of intellectual rigour. According to Rabbi Aryeh Ben David, ‘it is fair to say that the primary goal of Jewish education, at least for the past fifty years, has been Jewish continuity – the simple preservation of the Jewish people’ which means that ‘Jewish education focused on the transmission of information’.
However, as Rabbi Ben David continues to explain, the time has come to reconsider this agenda and change our focus from preserving identity to discovering identity; from the acquisition of knowledge to the finding of self; from learning to becoming. Rabbi Ben David calls this approach ‘Soulful Education’, and Becoming a Soulful Educator offers wise and considered suggestions to teachers about how they can enable their students to grow and be transformed by what they learn.
For a teacher to engage the souls of their students in their classrooms they need to create a learning environment whose agenda is connection and meaning. They need to model soulful learning through emphasizing the relationship they have with the learning being done, and they need to be prepared to share their own vulnerabilities and yearnings to model personal growth.
In Becoming a Soulful Educator, Rabbi Ben David offers practical suggestions and tangible examples that comes from the heart and speaks to the soul, and I would highly recommend this book to any and every teacher.