Meet the team behind Engaging Texts
Jennifer Glaser, PhD.
Founder and Director of Engaging Texts.
Dr. Glaser leads the Engaging Texts network, contributing to all areas of its development. From 2012-2014 she initiated and led a Covenant Signature Grant “Thinking Together, Philosophical Inquiry with Tanakh” at the JECC in Cleveland which has now expanded to become Engaging Texts. Dr. Glaser is a philosopher whose primary work is in the fields of Jewish education and Philosophy for Children. She is founder and co-director of the Israel Centre for Philosophy in Education – “Philosophy for Life” (ICPE), and served as a senior member of faculty at the Mandel Leadership Institute, Jerusalem for eleven years. Dr. Glaser is recognized internationally as a leading figure in the Philosophy for Children movement. She is a past president of the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC) and currently serves on the ICPIC executive.
Rabbi Dr. Howard Deitcher
Senior Bible consultant to Engaging Texts Network
Dr. Deitcher works on the development of curriculum, leads professional development seminars, and engages in strategic thinking around the development of the Engaging Texts network. Dr. Deitcher is a senior lecturer at the Melton Centre for Jewish Education at the Hebrew University and its former director. He is the current educational director of the Revivim Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, training students to teach Bible in Israeli national secondary schools. Dr Deitcher spent a sabbatical year working with Professor Gareth Matthews in schools and has been active in the field of Philosophy for Children for over 25 years.
Professor Maughn Rollins Gregory, J.D., Ph.D.
Senior consultant to the Engaging Texts Network
Maughn Gregory is a senior consultant to Engaging Texts, collaborating around the articulation its theoretical conceptualization, developing evaluation tools, and taking part in professional development workshops. He succeeded Matthew Lipman as the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children at Montclair State University – the world’s oldest organization devoted to young people’s philosophical practice. Gregory is a Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair. He publishes and teaches in the areas of philosophy of education, Philosophy for Children, pragmatism, political philosophy, gender, Socratic pedagogy and contemplative pedagogy.
Web developer and Webmaster, Engaging Texts
Benjamin Barnett is co-owner of media schmedia LLC. He and his wife / business partner, Halle, provide branding, marketing, and web design services for small businesses, non-profits, educators, artisans, and other small-but-beautiful ventures throughout greater Cleveland, across the US, and around the world. Benjamin is also a volunteer educator trained in Philosophical Inquiry. He facilitates a group of 5th-7th grade students in an ongoing Philosophical Inquiry with Parshat Hashavuah on shabbat mornings at Kol HaLev, Cleveland’s Reconstructionist Jewish Community.
Meet Engaging Text’s Partnerships
Jewish Education Center of Cleveland
Director of Philosophical Inquiry in Jewish Education at the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland (JECC)
Judith Schiller coordinates the JECC Community of Practice which supports local educators and Jewish professionals utilizing Philosophical Inquiry in their work. She works in close partnership with Engaging Texts in developing Cleveland as a regional hub for advancing Philosophical Inquiry in Jewish Education. In addition, Schiller is the Director of the Retreat Institute (RI) of the JECC. The RI works in collaboration with Jewish institutions in the Cleveland community to develop and integrate informal/experiential Jewish education retreats and programs with more formal Jewish education, for youth, families, and educators.
Shoolman Graduate School of Education, Hebrew College
Director of Educational initiatives at Hebrew College in Newton, MA Marion Gribetz teaches in, oversees and directs a variety of professional learning programs at Hebrew College, including the Pardes Educator Program and community initiatives in teacher learning.
Marion is working in close partnership with Engaging Texts in developing Boston as a regional hub for advancing Philosophical Inquiry in Jewish education. As a faculty member at Hebrew College she has taught on a variety of topics in Jewish Education including Strategic Planning for Jewish Education, Arts and Jewish Studies in the Jewish School, Foundations of Congregational Education, Seminar in Jewish Pluralism, Theory and Practice of Experiential Education,Issues in the Teaching of Israel and the Graduate Research Seminar. Marion holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, an MA from Tufts University, was a doctoral candidate at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Jerusalem Fellow.
Studio 70: Jewish Learning Innovation Corps, Berkeley CA.
Rabbi Joshua Fenton (Yoshi)
Coordinator of Philosophical Inquiry in Jewish Education in the Bay area. Rabbi Fenton is the Executive Director of Edah and Studio 70. He leads a two year Fellowship program: The Jewish Learning Innovation Corps (JLIC). JLIC is a full-time, two-year, paid professional development program for early career education professionals, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. JLIC corps members work as educators in Edah, an experimental Jewish afterschool program, while receiving extensive training, mentorship, and professional development. Gaining proficiency in building communities of philosophical inquiry is a core element of the Fellowship program.
Graduates of our Professional Training Seminars, who are bringing this approach into their fields of work , and taking part in local and national Communities of Practice.
Together with Rabbis, Cantors, Staff and lay leadership who help create the environment and conditions that support the development of this work and of the Engaging Texts network
Students of all ages
Children, Youth and Young Adults
from a wide variety of backgrounds and Institutional settings, including Synagogue Schools, Jewish After School programs and Day Schools, whose insight and interests contribute to the development and shaping of curriculum, inspire our teachers and whose growth and presence in the world gives meaning to the work of the network.