Secular Children's Literature in a Jewish Context

The Talmud in Korean: Rabbinic Literature as Children's Literature


This paper tells the story of the reception of rabbinic literature in South Korea, where a series of books titled Talmud (T'almudŭ) appears on best-seller lists and suggested reading lists for elementary school students, fills university library stacks, and has become the topic of national and diplomatic conversations. Based on a close analysis of dozens of volumes published between 1979 and 2016, we examine the different sub-genres that have been produced, individual editions that exemplify the development and diversity of the editions, and the religious traditions – Jewish, Confucian, and Christian – with which these books engage and that they ultimately merge. The presentation will focus especially on the collection of children's editions of the Talmud, including cartoon Talmuds and prenatal Talmuds; the transformation of Jewish narratives and values for use by children in a Korean context; and the role that these books play in the South Korean educational landscape.


Jewish Values in Secular Children’s Literature


Good quality picture books are an effective way of teaching children acceptance and respect for diversity and individual differences. The selections presented will include books that are appropriate for preschool through elementary grades. Jewish values will be explored in the literature with an emphasis on respect for each other. An annotated bibliography will be distributed and an online version will be available.