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Adult Jewish Learning Resource Conference

Adult Jewish Learning Resource Conference

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 9:30 am to 4:00 pm


For professionals and volunteers involved with the design, implementation, or teaching of Jewish educational programs for adults.

For further information, contact Beth Schenker, Assistant Dean for Jewish Studies, at bschenker@spertus.edu.


The Chicago Adult Jewish Learning Initiative presented a day-long Resource Conference for professionals and community lay leaders who work to present adult Jewish programming to our community.

The conference featured a presentation by Dr. Stephen Brookfield, one of the leading figures in adult learning.

Over lunch there were panel discussions about how adults learn, with presenters from around the country. The conversation was moderated by Dr. Catherine Marienau of DePaul University.

After lunch, attendees enjoyed expert-led breakout sessions followed by a hands-on workshop on applying theory to practice.

Sessions choices included:

  • Depaul University Education Professor Dr. Catherine Marienau on how experiences help or hinder new learning
  • Longtime WFMT General Manager and award-winning radio producer Steve Robinson on podcasting
  • Kevah Director of Education Dr. Julie Lieber on facilitating group learning
  • Brandeis University Associate Professor of Jewish Communal Innovation Dr. David Starr on using technology
  • Orot co-founder and recent recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award Jane Shapiro on adult Jewish education 

Dr. Stephen D. BrookfieldDr. Stephen Brookfield is the John Ireland Endowed Chair at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.

He has worked in England, Canada, Australia, and the United States, teaching in a variety of educational settings. He has written, co-written, or edited books on adult learning, teaching, critical thinking, discussion methods and critical theory, six of which have won the Cyril O. Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education. His work has been translated into German, Korean, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Farsi, and Albanian. In 2008, he was awarded the Morris T. Keeton Award of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning for "significant contributions to the field of adult and experiential learning."

After 10 years as a Professor of Higher and Adult Education at Columbia University in New York, he now holds the John Ireland Endowed Chair at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where he recently won the John Ireland Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Teacher/Scholar. 

Dr. Catherine Marienau is a faculty member at DePaul University's School for New Learning. She writes, teaches, and consults in areas concerning higher education for adults, including program development, curriculum design, and assessment. She earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota.

Spertus Institute proudly spearheads the Chicago Adult Jewish Learning Initiative with funding from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

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