January 2022

A Pedagogy of Siyyum

Rabbi Rachel Bovitz
Executive Director
Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning
Rachel is the Executive Director of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning. She most recently served as the organization’s Chief Strategy Officer. From 2007-2010, Rachel served as the founding director of Melton School in the Conejo/West Valley of Southern California. In the intervening years, Rachel taught as an adjunct professor of Jewish Studies at American Jewish University and served as the Director of Millennial Engagement at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Rachel began her rabbinic career in 2001 as a congregational rabbi at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, California. Rachel received her B.A. in Jewish Studies from UCLA (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude) and was ordained from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism (now, American Jewish University) with distinction in Talmud.
A pedagogy of siyyum can help raise up a new generation of Jewish learners who feel connected to their heritage in a meaningful, creative way.

A pedagogy of siyyum is described most simply as a closing of a unit of learning that in some way relaunches learners into their next unit of study. While I will suggest certain rituals and components for a siyyum ceremony, this siyyum pedagogy is about the larger, intentional approach to concluding a learning unit that is celebrated in such a ceremony. This approach needs to be considered by a teacher throughout the unit of learning so that the end is kept in mind as an educational moment that will be marked and celebrated.

Rachel Bovitz.mp3