Herstory and Heritage II



Herstory and Heritage

Melton Graduate Course


Lady Judith Montefiore - portrait from volume 2 of Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore (1890)


Temple Judea Jan 6-Mar. 2, 2004, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Instructor: Marsha B. Cohen


Overview of the Course:


This course will examine the evolution of Judaism from the vantage point of "the other half" of the Jewish people. New research is bringing to light more insight into the involvement of Jewish women in diverse societies, over the centuries and around the world, as scholars and scribes, politicians and poets, traders and teachers, authors and activists. In Part II, our texts will begin with documents from the Cairo Geniza, and include letters, diaries, poetry, journalism and scholarship written by Jewish women describing the eras and environments during which they've lived.


The course is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of either Jewish history or the history of the status of women in Judaism. Rather, it seeks to add to a missing dimension to the way Jewish historical narrative is constructed and discussed and provide examples of what might be done with this approach. It presumes a basic knowledge of Jewish history such as that provided by the Melton Dilemmas course.


Overview of the Course:


The course will consist of 9 sessions:


The Cairo Genizais a treasure trove of discarded documents and letters which give glimpses into the daily lives of Jewish women in the Mediterranean world during the 11-14th centuries.


2. Gluckl of Hameln (1646-1724)


3. Judith Montefiore (1784-1862); Rachel Morpurgo (1790-1860)


4. Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869); Ray Frank (1861-1948)


5. Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919); Emma Goldman (1869-1940)


6. Lillian Wald (1867-1940); Gertrude Weil (1879-1971)


7. Etty Hillesum - 1914-1943


8. Henrietta Szold 1860-1945); Golda Meir (1898-1978)


9. Hannah Arendt (1906-1975)

Click here for Marsha B. Cohen's Jewish Personal Training Website