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This article discusses an action research study of a week-long Summer Teachers Institute which immersed teachers in the study of Jewish historical and cultural texts. We investigate how this kind of cultural immersion created opportunities for transformative learning – the kind of learning that would not merely be the application of “new lessons,” but that would also help teachers reconceptualize their teaching practices regarding Jewish religion and culture. Our findings suggest that text study practices of challenging – in tandem with practices of supporting and voicing – were central in constructing a “relational learning community.” Such a community was a necessary condition for transformative learning.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an Article published in Journal of Jewish Education, March 5, 2014, available online at: 10.1080/15244113.2014.875348