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"On Your Own" – The Relationship between the Sexes, Transparent Borders, Dilemmas and Challenges in 21st-Century Feminism

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

HUC-JIR/Jerusalem presented the conference "On Your Own?" – The Relationship between the Sexes, Transparent Borders, Dilemmas and Challenges in 21st-Century Feminism” on May 12th in honor of this year’s Rabbi Sally J. Priesand Fellowship recipients in Jerusalem: Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy of Bar Ilan University and Dr. Andrea Weiss of HUC-JIR/New York.


The conference began with a creative prayer service led by Gadi Raviv and Naamah Dafni Kellen of the Israeli Rabbinic Program, followed by remarks by Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Associate Dean.  A Beit Midrash using "The Torah – A Women's Commentary" and moderated by Dr. Rabbi Andrea Weiss (in English) featured a discussion on Parashat Hashavua:  "BeHar, Be'Hukotai" with Dr. Dalit Rom Shiloni (HUCJIR/Jerusalem) and Dr. Tzvia Valdan (Beit Berl)


Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy presented on "Gender Reforms in the Army: Feminist Dilemmas," followed by Professor Yael Katzir’s discussion of "Women and the Israeli 'Macho' Club – Women in Army Combat Units, and Women of the Wall” with excerpts from her films.

The conference showcased the Womens’ Business Empowerment Project during a lunch session entitled "Cooking up a Business."


Workshops included "Reading Today's Newspaper with a Gender Lens" with Anat Hoffman, Director of Israel  Religious Action Center; "The Mikveh – New Options" with Rabbi Maya Leibovic (Congregation Mevaseret Tzion) and Rabbi Alona Lisitsa (HUC-Jerusalem); and “Home Partners vs. Beit Midrash Partners – Potential Tensions" with Dr. Michal Muskat Barkan and Elhanan Adler, (HUC-JIR/Jerusalem).   


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.