Program Activities

The Great Jewish Books Teacher Summer Seminar is a four-week exploration of the vast, multilingual body of modern Jewish literature. Participants read and discuss a wide variety of authors from I. L. Peretz to Ayelet Tsabari, crossing centuries and continents. Each participant also develops their own curriculum unit to bring back to their classroom.

Films, concerts, and field trips are part of the seminar schedule, as is time for reading and for exploring the many cultural and recreational amenities of Western Massachusetts in the summertime.

After the seminar is over, participants stay connected and continue to build a learning community throughout the following academic year via online discussion and video conference check-ins. This provides support as teachers take what they learned at the seminar and develop new syllabi, pilot new courses, and integrate new materials into their existing courses.

I learned how to be a better teacher and how to authentically include Jewish literature in my classroom.
2019 Participant

Teacher Seminar: Sample Daily Schedule

9:00 a.m.: Seminar 1—Yiddish writers in immigrant New York, 1881-1924

10:30 a.m.: Seminar 2—Jewish literature and the Russian Revolution

12:00 p.m.: Lunch

1:30 p.m.: Time to work on curriculum development

3:00 p.m.: Trip to Smith College’s Rare Book Room

5:15 p.m.: Dinner

6:30 p.m.: Film—Joel and Ethan Coen, dirs., A Serious Man (2009)