Episode 82 - Learning Should Be Free! Henry Abramson on Teaching Jewish History to the Global Classroom
Henry Abramson, Dean of Touro College in Brooklyn, tells us about how he took his Jewish History Lectures online. We talk a bit about the historical shift in communication, information, and education that the internet and YouTube represent and his dealings with feedback, trolling, and algorithms.
Finally, we learn about his biggest influences, and some specific lectures and why the internet has gravitated towards them.
About Henry Abramson
Torah from the Years of Wrath
Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times
Clay Shirky’s Webpage, and Related book from 2008 Here Comes Everybody
Wikipedia on Lev Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development + Explanation in an Abramson Video
Prezi Software for making presentations: https://prezi.com/
Specific Videos we Touched On
Who was Viktor Frenkl? (Short answer: Viktor Frankl was a noted psychologist whose experience in the Holocaust formed the basis of logotherapy, his therapeutic approach to help people find meaning in suffering and in life.)
Who was King Bulan of Khazaria? (the conversion of the Khazar empire)
Who was Josephus? and a more recent lecture on Josephus from the perspective of studying Italian/Roman Jewry. I find these lectures interesting because i have a particular interest in the history of the Roman empire, and Josephus has such detailed writings on historical and current events as understood in the era.
Lecture on Saint Paul - I missed this one, but it has 225K Views making it the most watched video in the set by far!
Who was Babatha? - on a 2nd century woman whose documents were found on the floor of a cave held by Jewish rebels.
Who was King Herod? - I found this one entertaining, perhaps in the same way I enjoy The Sopranos or Game of Thrones
Who was Shmuel Ha Nadid? - This is another one that stands out for me. The idea that a Jew could have led a muslim army in the middle ages! He was no saint - but a very interesting person who worked in a wide variety of fields. This will change your perspective on Jewish-Muslim relations, particularly if you are less familiar with the era.
Who was Abramham Zacuto? An Iberian astronomer and historian during the age of exploration. Lived through the Spanish exile of 1492 and died in Jerusalem.