Pedagogy of the Word: Jewish Writing Practice for Increased Wellbeing
January 2023

Pedagogy of the Word: Jewish Writing Practice for Increased Wellbeing

Naama Sadan
PhD Student in Environmental Studies
UC Berkeley & the Hebrew University
The pedagogy of the word as a tool to achieving inner balance

Balancing production and rest, giving and receiving, is essential to our well-being. The pedagogy of the word (POW) reclaims the most Jewish tool – the word – as a tool to achieve that inner balance. Jewish tradition, for the most part, used writing words for expanding knowledge, writing arguments, and generally – producing. POW is inspired by Jewish teachers who saw the individual’s inner world as a realm to the divine and the quieting and retreating as a counterbalance to the drive of productivity. POW, is a pedagogy that employs writing tools that use words to make space, retreat, and create intimacy with oneself. It uses interpretive tools to demarcate our inner experience, gain more agency in managing the inner experience and make space for a quiet heart. A heart that can rest and hear G-d’s whisper within a world oriented toward productivity.

Naama Sadan is a teacher and a learner. Her interest in systems takes her between different worlds: environmental issues, inner work, Jewish learning, and embodied practice. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student at the Hebrew University, learning environmental policy networks. Additionally, she is the founder of ‘intentional flowers’, a kabbalistic-inspired floral studio, and the lead teacher at the Eiynaich Yonim fellowship for spiritual climate leadership. Her entry into the well-being work was through Yemima, the “Jewish feminine Rebbe”. As a learner and practitioner of the Yemima method for the last 12 years (Hashiva Hakaratit - raising consciousness), she is eager to bring feminine voices to the conversation about Jewish pedagogies of well-being. She lives with her husband in Berkeley, CA.


Le’hitatef: A Pedagogy of Enveloping

Dr. Andrea Lieber

Professor of Religion & Judaic Studies
Dickinson College

Le’hitatef- an invitation to approach Jewish learning as an embodied experience.

Access Resource

The Pedagogy of Mikveh: Removing Barriers in Pursuit of Deep Human Connection

Faith Brigham Leener

Founder, Base Movement and Chief Innovation Officer, Pardes Institute

The ritual of mikvah as a framework for cultivating inspired communication

Access Resource

Davar Acher: Pedagogy of Multi-Stories

Cantor Rabbi Robert Jury

Founder & Clinical Director
Tikvah Center for Jewish Recovery & Healing

Davar Acher as a Jewish pedagogy of multi-stories

Access Resource

The Giving Well: A Pedagogy of Ritualized Tzedakah

Rabbi Neil Janes

Rabbi, Teacher, Lecturer
SBJC (South Bucks Jewish Community), Clore Shalom School,Leo Baeck College

Ritualised giving of tzedakah focuses on the act of giving, the spiritual connection to the Divine and to humanity, and the impact on wellbeing

Access Resource

Let Your Body Learn: An Embodied Pedagogy

Rabbi Dr. Yechiel Hoffman

Independent Consultant and Educator
YH Consulting

The Let Your Body Learn pedagogy provides an opportunity to ritualize embodied learning on a regular basis.

Access Resource

Haburah as a Jewish Pedagogy of Wellbeing

Rabbi Dr. Meesh Hammer Kossoy

Director, Year Program
Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies

How the pedagogy of Haburot, a learning community, can increase individual and group wellbeing

Access Resource