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YU News

Eliezer and David Schnall Coauthor Article on Positive Psychology in Jewish Education

Dr. Eliezer Schnall Dr. Eliezer Schnall

Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Schnall, clinical associate professor of psychology at Yeshiva College, authored an article that was recently accepted for publication in the journal Religious Education (published by Taylor and Francis). The forthcoming article, titled “Positive Psychology in Jewish Education: Gratitude in the School and Synagogue Classroom,” was co-authored by Schnall’s father, Rabbi Dr. David J. Schnall, University Professor of Jewish Culture and Society and Dean Emeritus of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.

The article relates Judaism to the new, rapidly growing field of positive psychology, and introduces this field of psychology to clergy and educators in religious institutions. In particular, the article explores the topic of gratitude—a trait whose benefits have been observed and which has become an area of particular focus among positive psychologists—and how it can be induced in the Jewish religious classroom. The article also illustrates how religious educators in Jewish day schools and synagogues can adapt positive psychology to encourage their students’ personal growth and character development.

The research for this article was supported by the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education, and was originally part of the Azrieli Papers program funded by Henry and Golda Reena Rothman.