L. Wiseman

Associate Professor, Koschitzky Family Chair in Jewish Teacher Education

Location(s) / Contact Info:

247, Winters College - WC
Keele Campus
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext. 77366

Email: lwiseman@edu.yorku.ca

Available to supervise graduate students
Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers


 Professor Laura Wiseman, Koschitzky Family Chair in Jewish Teacher Education, holds an Honours B.A. in Jewish Studies and Education, McGill University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem; an M.Ed. in Curriculum with a concentration in second language acquisition, University of Toronto; an M.A. in Hebrew Language & Literature, a Ph.D. in Hebrew Language and Literature, and a collaborative doctorate in Jewish Studies, also from the University of Toronto.

Wiseman’s dissertation is called Lamentations of a Lovelorn Soul: Self Portraits in the Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch. The study employs literary analysis to read the portraits with an eye/ear for intertextual reverberations of classical Hebrew sources—biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and early modern—and their influence on the poet’s contemporary Hebrew writing. The study also addresses broad brushstrokes of écriture féminine, self-writing and postmodern poetics in the poet’s oeuvre.

In the Faculty of Education, Wiseman oversees the Jewish Teacher Education Program, and teaches the related courses: The Teaching of Modern Hebrew Language Arts (communicative language aspects), and The Teaching of Classical Hebrew texts in Jewish Studies (heritage language aspects). She also teaches Literacy and Culture, an education elective. Wiseman is jointly appointed to the Department of Humanities in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies where she teaches Society, Culture and Values in Israel through literature (Jewish Studies), and Picture Books in Children’s Culture (Children’s Studies). She looks forward to teaching a new course she developed for Children’s Studies and Jewish Studies: Holocaust Literature of Children and Youth. In the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Literature, she teaches Modern Hebrew.

In the Faculty of Graduate Studies she teaches Research on Adolescents’ & Children’s Literature, Research in Teaching and Learning in Jewish Schools, Visual and Verbal Portraiture in Nonlinear Life Writing, Reading the Holocaust and Memory, Love Actually: Hebrew Love Poetry (biblical, medieval and modern - in translation), and directed reading courses in Hebrew literature—such as Wine, Women and Death—and women’s self-writing.

Formerly a teacher, principal, then Director of Jewish Studies at USDS—an independent Toronto Hebrew day school—and part of the Solomon Schechter network of Hebrew day schools of North America—Wiseman comes to York University from the Board of Jewish Education of UJA Federation of the Greater Toronto Area. She began working with students of the Jewish Teacher Education Program in 2002 as BJE liaison, teaching courses in Jewish education and supervising practicum placements in the independent Hebrew day schools.

Wiseman’s current research initiatives in education focus on the use of paradigmatic short stories AS pedagogy for emergent teachers, and include a longitudinal study of the significance of community Hebrew high school education for its graduands and graduates. Ongoing research initiatives in Humanities focus on the writing of Nobel Laureate for Hebrew literature, S. Y. Agnon, the medieval maqaamot of Ya‘aqov ben El‘azar, and the poetry of Sivan Har-Shefi.  

Scholarly Interests

Layers of Hebrew language & literature; adolescent & children's literature; pedagogy for second language acquisition; research in teaching & learning in Jewish schools; pedagogy for teacher education; arts and artifact in education

Professor Wiseman's research in Hebrew Language & Literature focuses on the significance of intertextual reverberations in Hebrew prose and poetry. She is particularly interested in women's Hebrew poetry, nonlinear life writing, instances of poetry AS life writing, and écriture féminine. Her work takes into account classical Hebrew sources as well as medieval and modern belles lettres. Wiseman’s present research is on the sacred and the sensual in contemporary Hebrew love poetry by Sivan Har-Shefi. 

Faculty & School/Dept

  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studie

    Courses Taught

    • Adolescent and Children's Literature (GS/EDUC 5340)
    • Teaching Classical Hebrew Texts in Jewish Studies (ED/HEB 3030)
    • Teaching Modern Hebrew Language Arts & the Jewish Year (ED/HEB 2030)
    • Visual & Verbal Portraiture in Nonlinear Life Writing (GS/EDUC 5522)

    Selected Publications

    • Wiseman, Laura (2022). Love Urgently, Wistfully, Playfully, Sacredly (Parts One and Two). In Daniel Maoz and Esti Mayer (Eds.), From Knowledge to Interpretive Transmission: Critical (Canadian) Readings of Jewish History and Thought. Cambridge Scholars Publishing
    • Wiseman, Laura (2022). Lament Poetry: Voices of Protest. In S. Nombuso Dlamini and Angela Steinem (Eds.), Spatialized Injustice in the Contemporary City: Protesting as Public Pedagogy (pp. 114-133). AbingtonUK: Routledge/Taylor & Francis
    • Wiseman, Laura (2021). Word on the Street in the State Book Satires of S.Y. Agnon. In Shalom Carmy and Jeffrey Saks (Eds.), Agnon's tales of the Land of Israel (pp. 151-165). Eugene: Wipf and Stock
    • Wiseman, Laura R. (2016). Voice of Responsibility: Dahlia Ravikovitch's 'Egla 'Arufa (Felled Heifer) (Glenda Abramson, Ed.) Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, Taylor & Francis, 1-17. doi:10.1080/14725886.2015.1133178.
    • Wiseman, Laura R. (2016). Shelom 'Olamim--Eternal Peace by S.Y. Agnon: Yishuv-Era Society on the Brink of Statehood. (Steven T. Katz, Ed.) Journal of Modern Judaism, Oxford Journals, 36 (2), 163-185. doi:DOI 10.1093/mj/kjw007.
    • Wiseman, Laura (2016). Agnon Acumen: A Review [Essay] of the Toby Press S.Y. Agnon Library (12 Vols. 2008-2016). Hebrew Studies: A Journal devoted to Hebrew Language and Literature., 57, 439-448.
    • Wiseman, Laura R. (2015). Telling and Retelling Rachel. In Daniele Kahn-Paycha et Bernard Zelechow (Ed.), Twice Told Tales (Vol. Parcours Judaiques XIII, pp. 139-156). NanterreFrance: Universite Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense.
    • Wiseman, Laura R. (2014). Lament in Hebrew Poetry: In Search of an Equitable Calculus of Voices from Antiquity to Modernity. (Myer Samra, Ed.) Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, 28, 152-189.
    • Wiseman, Laura (2013). Creating Spaces at the Edge of Thought: Crystal-clear Consciousness in Selected Poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch. In Daniele Kahn-Paycha et Bernard Zelechow (Ed.), Creation and Transformation (Vol. Parcours Judaiques XII, pp. 85-96). NanterreFrance: Universite Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense.
    • Wiseman, Laura (2012). Craving Pure Essence: Portret [Portrait] by Dahlia Ravikovitch. (Serge Frolov; Smadar Shiffman, Ed.) Hebrew Studies: A Journal Devoted to Hebrew Language and Literature., LIII, 2012, 317-333.
    • Wiseman, Laura (2011). Summoning Memory and Deliberate Forgetting: Zikkaron Tamim by Dahlia Ravikovitch. In Daniele Kahn-Paycha et Bernard Zelechow (Ed.), Thinking and Imagining Existence (Vol. Parcours Judaiques XI, pp. 197-214). NanterreFrance: Universite Paris Ouest Nanterre La Defense.

    Research Projects

    Significant Schooling

    Role: Principal Investigator

    Year Funded: 2015

    Duration: 2

    Funded by: Other...

    Paradigmatic Short Stories AS Pedagogy in Teacher Education

    Role: Principal Investigator

    Funded by: Other...

    Professional Affiliations

    York University Affiliations/Cross Appointments

    • Faculty of Education and Department of Humanities - jointly appointed