What are the issues facing Jewish women today? The role that women may play has the power to divide Jewish communities like no other: does the Torah have a positive message for women or does it condemn them to second-class status? And what effect does that have on how Jewish women are treated or mistreated in the modern day? JWN took part in a Limmud panel of women debating these issues. Read the report here.
Hearing Women's Voices
"...let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely."
The Song of Songs 2:14
Be inspired by creative women and be moved to creative action
10.30am - 4.00pm
Elaine Feinstein: on being a Jewish woman writer
Women are invited to display and sell their creative work: paintings, pottery, sculpture and more. Limited space: phone to book. £5.00 per exhibitor
Bring your own dairy or vegetarian picnic for lunch. Tea and coffee provided.
regret there will not be a crèche at this event.
Telephone Spiro Ark for disabled access details.
£15: non-members (£7.00 concessions)
£10: JWN members;
Friends / students of Spiro Ark (£5.00 concessions)
For further details of this London event, call
Jewish Women's Network: 020 8896 2050
Spiro Ark: 020 8958 6272
For more details of our speakers and workshop leaders, click here
'Three Cheers for Vashti! Was she as bad as my cheder teacher said? A study of classical midrashim'.
Sally Berkovic is the author of 'Under My Hat' and has taught Jewish women's literature in a variety of communal organisations.We will look at the description of Queen Vashti in Megillat Esther and at what some classic midrashim (rabbinic exposition) and contemporary scholars have written about her role and her relationship to Esther in the Purim story.
b) Berta Freistadt
'Messages From the Heart - Women Writing Poetry'.
Freistadt is an award winning poet and short story writer. She is
also an enthusiastic and experienced teacher.
An exciting session of creativity. Bring paper, pen and something you've never told anyone before. Alternatively, something you're always saying.
c) Ruth Rosenfelder
'Can You Hear Me? Kol Isha, Woman's Song in Traditional Judaism'.
Rosenfelder is a musicologist whose current doctoral studies into
women's music include fascinating insights into current women's song
in London's ultra Orthodox communities.
She will be examining the origins and history of Kol Isha, the Talmudic ban on men hearing women's voices. Intriguingly, Ruth finds in this exercise a metaphor for Judaism in 21st Century Western society. Afternoon session:
'Through dark and rose tinted spectacles: stories of traditional Jewish women'.
Spiro is well known as an educator and Hebrew enthusiast, and
co-founder of the Spiro Institute and now Spiro Ark.
Our view of these women can change, sometimes taking opposing interpretations. Nitza will guide us through this maze of fascinating contradictory views.
e) Yudit Weil
'The unlikely Mother of Kingship: How does the Midrash view Ruth?
Yudit lectures regularly in Jewish Literature, History and Culture. Her specialist subjects include Midrashic Literature and the study of Mysticism & Kabbalah. Is Ruth the Moabite fit to be King David's grandmother? How does the Midrash deal with this question? We will be looking at selected texts & Midrashim from the book of Ruth with the aim of creating our own "Midrash".
f) Shelley Weiner
'Writing your first novel - an introductory workshop'.
Shelley is a widely published novelist and short story writer and teaches creative writing. She is on the Creative Writing Teaching Panel at Birkbeck College, where she lectures for the Extramural Studies Department. Her published novels include A Sister's Tale, The Last Honeymoon, The Joker and Arnost. This session will focus on the creative writing process, from the perspective of being a Jewish woman. Books by our speaker & workshop facilitators will be on sale.
We look forward to your participation in this event.
'Speaking the Unspeakable'
Jewish women do have the courage to speak up about the unspeakable and we will make change happen. We can't wait for others to wave a magic wand; it is up to each of us to take charge and act.
for all women
"That's funny - you don't look working-class"
"The Joy of Jewish Sex"?
Power & control in Jewish families: the myth of the Jewish matriarch?
Read further details
2000 & EVENT
was held on Sunday 14th May 2000
Minding the Body Zone
Inspired by the response to Susan Weidman-Schneider's workshop on body image in 1997 we decided to dedicate a whole session to matters of health. I saw a news item on the medical world's shift in favour of 'integrated' orthodox and complementary medicine. So, health is on the agenda... Our timing couldn't have be more perfect!
Art of Dis/Appearing - Jewish Women and Mental Health
Exploring our mental health as Jewish women - raising the profile of mental health issues, challenging stereotypes and misinformation. With performance Poet Leah Thorn. Click for further information.
We Slaves to the Image 'Experts' ? - Ageing and Appearance:
"You don't have to have cosmetic surgery. You don't have to be perfect. Or do you?". Helen Franks invites you to discuss the pros and cons of keeping up with the image "experts". Click for further information.
There is Always an Alternative! - Alternative Responses to Questions of Health : on combining orthodox and complementary medicine with Sharon Seager , a Healer, trained in Aromatherapy , Cranioscral therapy and Reiki. Click for further information.