Women of Torah Seminar Series
The Spring 2005 semester of the New York Kollel at
HUC-JIR in New York begins classes this week.
Please visit our website www.huc.edu/kollel
to see all of the the class offerings in
New York Kollel is inaugurating a special new series of individual classes, uniquely designed for small group learning with leading women faculty at HUC-JIR:
Women of Torah Seminar Series
The full list of seminars can also be viewed in the PDF brochure.
Information: 212.824.2296 email@example.com
Join HUC-JIR's leading women scholars
and educators for a series of seminars
exploring Jewish religious thought, text
study, Jewish law, musicology, midrash,
and modern Hebrew literature.
Spinoza and the Quest for Meaning * Professor Carol Ochs
Wednesday, February 23 | 6:30-8:30 PM
Recognizing some truth in Ecclesiastes's statement
"Vanity, vanity, all is vanity," Spinoza resolved
to search for a good that would enable him to enjoy
continuous, supreme, and enduring happiness.
This quest would be dangerous because in order
to seek the genuine good he would have
to abandon the many goods society offered:
fame, riches, and pleasures of the senses.
Spinoza's search for the real good is one
that challenges us in our own time.
Dr. Carol Ochs is Director of the Graduate School
and Adjunct Professor of Jewish Religious
Thought at HUC-JIR where she also serves as
spiritual mentor to its students. Her research and
teaching deal with Jewish spirituality, comparative
religion and Jewish feminism. Her most recent
book is Our Lives as Torah: Finding God in Our
Own Stories (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2001).
The Rabbinic David * Rabbi Ruth Gais
Wednesday, March 2 | 6:30-8:30 PM
David-king, poet, renegade, lover-that's the familiar
David of the Bible. But what did the rabbis of
the Talmud make of the this fascinating character?
We'll also consider how and why the David of
the Jerusalem rabbis differed from the Babylonian rabbinic David.
Rabbi Ruth Gais, Ph.D., is Director of the New
York Kollel. She was ordained by
HUC-JIR in New York. She has a Ph.D from
Princeton University in Classical Archaeology.
For many years she taught about the ancient
world at a variety of institutions. She is
also rabbi of Chavurat Lamdeinu in Madison, NJ.
Trends in Translation of the Torah * Professor Andrea Weiss
Wednesday, March 9 | 6:30-8:30 PM
The recent publication of Robert Alter's translation of
the Torah adds yet another volume to the
growing collection of Bible translations. How does his
translation differ from others? What is at stake
for the reader who relies on translation for understanding
Scripture? We will compare several translations
and explore the unique challenges that confront
both reader and translator of a sacred text.
Rabbi Andrea Weiss, Ph.D. teaches Bible at HUC -JIR
where she was ordained. She received her
Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sibling Rivalry: The Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity *
Dr. Sharon Koren
Thursday, March 10 | 6:30-8:30 PM
Scholars have often compared the relationship between Judaism and Christianity to that of parent
and child. But a closer look reveals that the two are siblings, children of a common parent-Second
Temple Judaism. Explore the birth and early childhood of rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity.
Dr. Sharon Koren teaches at HUC-JIR. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in Medieval
Studies. Her research focuses primarily on Jewish women's spirituality and Jewish-Christian
relations in the Middle Ages.
Keep On Lifting Me Higher:
The Psalms of Ascent as a Shabbat Afternoon Delight * Professor Lisa Grant
Wednesday, March 23 | 6:30-8:30 PM
The ending of Shabbat is a bittersweet moment. Traditionally,
Jews mark this transition through
prayer. To lift our spirits just before we descend back into
the work-a-day world, we linger to
savor the peak experience of Sabbath peace and
perfection by reciting a series of 15 psalms. In
this session, we will closely study these "Psalms
of Ascent" to uncover their ancient rhythms and
meanings and how they still speak to and for us today.
Dr. Lisa Grant is Associate Professor of Jewish
Education at HUC-JIR. She received her doctorate
in Jewish Education from The Jewish Theological
Seminary. She is lead author of A Journey of
Heart and Mind: Transformative Jewish Learning
in Adulthood, (JTS Press, 2004).
When Music Becomes Midrash * Cantor Josee Wolff
Thursday, March 31 | 6:30-8:30 PM
We will explore a prayer from the Friday night
Shabbat liturgy, the familiar "V'shamru," and
experience how different composers added their
"commentary" to the text through their music.
Cantor Josee Wolff is Director of Student
Placement at the School of Sacred Music,
HUC-JIR. She has served Reform congregations
in the U.S. and Europe, and was Director
of the Department of Synagogue Music at the
Union for Reform Judaism. A native of The
Netherlands, Wolff was the first European
woman to be invested as a cantor.
Law and Narrative In The Major Rabbinic Law Codes *
Professor Alyssa Gray
Thursday, April 7 | 6:30-8:30 PM
Going back to the Mishnah (and some would include
the Bible), most Jewish sacred literature
has intertwined law ("halakhah") with narrative
("aggada"). We will study a tiny slice of this phenomenon
by examining the interpenetration of law and
narrative in three of the principal Jewish
law codes: Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, R.
Jacob b. Asher's Arba'ah Turim, and R. Joseph Karo's
Shulhan Arukh. We will study examples of
narrative in these codes to assess what the codifier's
purpose was in composing and including them in his code.
Our discussion will also include reference
to contemporary legal theorists and literary scholars.
Dr. Alyssa Gray, J.D., is Assistant Professor of
Codes and Responsa at HUC-JIR, She has also
taught at The Jewish Theological Seminary
From which she received her PH.D. in Talmud and
Rabbinics. She received her J.D. from
Columbia University and worked as a litigation associate at
Davis Polk and Wardwell. Her book, A Talmud in
Exile: The Influence of Yerushalmi Avodah Zarah
on the Formation of Bavli Avodah Zarah, (Brown
Judaic Studies) will be published in 2005.
Feminist Midrash and Modern Hebrew Women's Writers *
Dr. Wendy Zierler
Wednesday, May 4 | 6:30-8:30 PM
In Standing Again at Sinai, Judith Plaskow called
for the writing of feminist midrash as a means
of engendering the women's stories missing from
our tradition. This seminar juxtaposes rabbinic
and modern women's midrash and shows examples
of feminist Hebrew midrash-making dating
back to the 19th and early-twentieth century.
Dr. Wendy Zierler is Assistant Professor of
Feminist Studies and Modern Jewish Literature at
HUC-JIR. She received her doctorate from Princeton
University and was Research Fellow in the
English Department of Hong Kong University.
Her book, And Rachel Stole the Idols: The
Emergence of Modern Hebrew Women's Writing,
was published in 2004 by Wayne State
Registration: please contact the New York Kollel at 212-824-2296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Seminar: $50
2 Seminars: $90 (save $10)
3 Seminars: $120 (save $30)
4 Seminars: $140 and $35 for each additional seminar
up to 7 (save $60 and $15 for each additional seminar)
8 Seminars: $250 (save $150)
Make check payable to HUC-JIR.