The Shalom Hartman Institute is addressing the thorny issues being raised by feminists regarding Orthodox and traditional Judaism, and of Judaic scholarship in Israel, in a number of ways. This fall, the Institute is starting two new programs aimed at delving into this matter and in aiding female scholars of Judaism:
Seder Nashim will explore the intersections of Jewish studies and gender studies, and will provide a research and underwriting framework for 15 promising young Israel graduate students.
Maskilot is a new fellowship program that will provide outstanding female doctoral students with a new edge in completing their PhD’s and pursuing their rightful place in Israel’s elite circle of Jewish studies academics.
But that’s not to say nothing has been done in feminist and Orthodox scholarship at the Institute. One of the Institute’s leading thinkers in this field, Hannah Kehat, has a strong piece in the debut issue of Havruta that throws down the gauntlet right at the oepning:
There is no escaping the fact that hierarchical divisions among people are intrinsic to the Jewish tradition. Perhaps the most blatant of these is the distinction between men and women. The Tenth Commandment, which prohibits envy of one’s neighbor’s wife as well as his other property, is emblematic of this hierarchical structure.
Click here to read the rest of “Beyond apologetics: Orthodox feminism in the 21st century.”
And don’t forget Midrashiya, the Institute’s new girl’s high school, where girls are taught Torah, Talmud, and secular courses at the same high level as the Institute’s renowned Charles E. Smith High School for Boys. The girl’s school, located on the edge of Jerusalem’s Rehavia neighborhood is becoming a popular alternative for progressive and religious families and their daughters.
Final note: Please remember that the Institute made waves and headlines when it announced a new rabbinic ordination program associated with its Melamdim program for Jewish studies. The four-year program will ordain rabbi-educators of both genders and from all Jewish denominations.