Dr. Shalev-Marom’s Article on Ethiopian Jewry Selected as 2023’s Best by Journal of Jewish Education


Dr. Marva Shalev-Marom, the Golinkin Chair in TALI Jewish Education at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, has been awarded Article of Year Award for 2023 (shared) for her article, “Eat, Pray, Wait: The Informal Jewish Education of Ethiopian Youth Awaiting Aliyah,” published in the Journal of Jewish Education.

The Journal of Jewish Education referees consider Dr. Shalev-Marom’s article, along with co-winner Esther Friedman for “Gray Matters in Institutional Ideology,” “written beautifully, addressed issues in fresh and interesting ways, used creative methodologies and taught all of us something new.” The four judges put those two articles in “our top three.” The articles, “were thoughtfully reflective, as well as being robust in their content and structure.”

Dr. Shalev-Marom’s article vividly describes youth in Gondar, Ethiopia waiting for the opportunity to make Aliya to Israel. She shows how Jewish informal education keeps Jewish Ethiopian refugees’ dreams of Jerusalem alive at the Tikvah summer camp in Gondar, Ethiopia while simultaneously reinforcing Israeli gatekeeping practices.

She portrays how the ethnic and religious ideologies underlying Israeli nation-building and statecraft surface in the campers’ exterritorial encounter with Israel’s vision of an “ideal” Jew. Her collaborative, community-based approach provides a holistic representation of Tikvah as a world suspended between Israeli socialization and informal Jewish education, exposing the distance between the diverse traditions and identities of Jews across the world and Israel’s reconfiguration of what it means to be a “Jew.”

“I learned a great deal from my students about what it means to be a Jew in Ethiopia and in Israel. I was privileged to hear echoes of the ancient tradition that brought them all the way to Israel and of their heroic journey through the desert. But in Israel, they found a distortion of not only their Judaism but of Jerusalem and lifestyles. It is a great honor for my article to be one of the best articles printed in the Journal of Jewish Education and I will use my expertise to assist the dreams of Ethiopian Jewry become a reality in Israel.”

Prof. Ari Ackerman, President of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem notes, “Dr. Shalev-Marom is a young scholar bringing a special brand of research and writing into academia. Schechter is proud that her scholarship is receiving recognition from her peers.”

Dr. Shalev-Marom’s article is available free for three months to the general public via the Journal of Jewish Education’s website.

LINK:  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15244113.2023.2242516?scroll=top&needAccess=true

Dr. Marva Shalev Marom, an educational innovator, researches communal educational projects and initiatives among various populations in and outside of Israel. Dr. Shalev Marom is the academic director of the YAMAH M.A. Community Leadership Program, which trains educators in creating innovative pedagogies for studying Judaism via encounters between Jewish sources and education. She obtained her PhD. from Stanford University and writes music, plays the Sitar and guitar, and received her M.A. on mystical scripture in Hebrew and Sanskrit from Tel Aviv University.


image: Jerusalem Ethiopian Jews Memorial (by Djampa)

Join our mailing list

Sign up to our newsletter for the newest articles, events and updates.

    * We hate spam too! And will never share or sell your email or contact information with anyone