A unique, first-time event between HUC-JIR and Beit Daniel, the center for Progressive Judaism in Tel Aviv, will celebrate and launch the new anthology, The Torah: A Women's Commentary in Israel on March 27, 2008. For the past fourteen years, more than 100 theologians, historians, sociologists, scholars, anthropologists, poets, rabbis, and cantors from the United States, Canada, Israel and South America – all of them women – took a fresh look at the Torah. The Torah: A Women's Commentary is the result of their exhaustive research, thought, and discussion. The event will be held at the new center, Mishkenot Ruth, which serves as a community, cultural and educational center and guesthouse and offers the greater Tel Aviv area a wide range of cultural and educational activities and religious services.
The evening will open with a reception honoring Rabbi Hara Person, managing editor of the commentary. It will include a panel discussion of some of Israel's most influential academics and writers, including: Dr. Yairah Amit, Professor of Bible at Tel Aviv University and a contributor to the commentary; Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Associate Dean at HUC-JIR/Jerusalem and a contributor to the commentary; Dr. Malka Shalked, a writer and editor of a significant anthology of Hebrew poetry and the Bible; and Dr. Zvia Walden, lecturer at Beit Berl College and a board member of Beit Daniel. After the panel, a musical performance will follow that is a creative interpretation based on Biblical text.
This Tel Aviv event is part of many events featuring the women's commentary in North America. HUC-JIR/Jerusalem believes it will draw a diverse crowd from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and that the commentary will play a significant role in understanding women's roles in Biblical study.
This lecture is sponsored by Barbara Freidman, Chair of HUC-JIR's Board of Governors, to promote HUC-JIR in Israel. It will be the first of a series of lectures for outreach to the Israeli public.