29 2024

Women's Torah Study


Online with Jewish Federation of NENY 184 Washington Avenue Extension
Albany, NY 12203
(518) 783-7800

Contact KB Goodkin
(518) 783-7800

Our ancient rabbis studied Torah with intensity and dealt with its verses creatively, in order to forge a strong and lively connection between the text and their lives.  But patriarchal perspectives sometimes offer a limited or mistaken understanding of what Torah should be at its best: a reflection of the Divine.  For the past 50 years, contemporary women have been bringing their knowledge, commitment and creativity to expand the meanings of Torah. You can join the process in this class: Study the weekly Torah portion with Reb Deb Gordon through the lens of women's and gender-queer commentaries and forge your own connection with this ancient, much-loved text.

$18 per person | January to June semester | REGISTER HERE:

You can read the weekly portion on (look for "Weekly Torah Portion" under "Learning Schedules).  

In addition, you are encouraged to use at least one of these books/sites:

  • Dr. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, editor, The Torah: A Women's Commentary (2007)
  • Ellen Frankel, PhD, The Five Books of Miriam (1996)
  • "Beit Toratah," "The House of Her Torah" -- an ongoing project to create "the Regendered Bible" by rewriting Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, reversing the gender of all the characters.  Very little has been translated into English, but see "Tamar's Blog" and "Yael's Notes."
  • Joy Ladin, "The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective," which isn't a commentary on the whole Torah but looks at certain stories.
  • Aviva Gottleib Zornberg, PhD, several volumes (1995-2022)
  • Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, Women's Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions (essays)  (2000)
  • Tamar Biala, Dirshuni: Contemporary [Israeli] Women's Midrash (English translation 2022)

Also available in its original Hebrew on Sefaria in 2 volumes, Dirshuni I and Dirshuni II.
SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva.  SVARA’s mission is to empower queer and trans people to expand Torah and tradition through the spiritual practice of Talmud study.  Not a translation but a resource.

Sponsor: Jewish Federations of NENY