The Religious Educational Methodologies of Dr. Nehama Leibowitz and Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Copperman.
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Nechama Leibowitz and Rabbi Yehuda Copperman were both important Torah educators in Israel, with Nehama featuring primarily in the early and mid-20th century, and Rabbi Copperman in the late 20th century. Nechama Leibowitz taught mainly in the religious Zionist circles as well as in the Israeli universities, while Rabbi Copperman began teaching in the Mizrachi schools but then established his own right-wing religious Zionist school. They were similar in their roles as educators who both placed a focus on carefully learning and analyzing Torah texts with commentaries. They both desired to reinstate the study of the Written Torah and its commentaries to a place of honor, Nehama in response to the secular Bible study of the universities that often disregarded the cannon of Jewish commentaries, and Rabbi Copperman in response to what he saw as a disregard for tradition in the classic national religious Mizrachi educational circles. Rabbi Copperman went further and set another foundation that he believed was essential to genuine Torah study, that of only learning from those who hold a belief in the divinity of Torah and respect for the Sages’ writing. This emphasis was a point of divergence between Nehama and Rabbi Copperman’s otherwise similar methodologies and influenced the way they approached modern Bible scholarship and biblical pedagogy. Despite their differences, they both maintained great respect for one another, and were both always guided in a genuine quest for the Torah truth. (from Introduction)
S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program of Stern College for Women
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