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VIRTUAL: Sukkot Session: Welcoming Yiddish Women Poets Ushpizin

Sunday, October 4, 2020 16 Tishrei 5781

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Sukkot Session: Welcoming Yiddish Women Poets Ushpizin

For the traditional ushpizin (sukkah guests) we will virtually welcome Dr. Zohar Weiman-Kelman from Tel Aviv, who will introduce some favorite Yiddish women poets. Writing poetry allowed Jewish women of the early twentieth century to break free from oppressive realities, challenging the boundaries of their Jewish worlds, and engaging many different aspects of Jewish tradition. In turn, as Zohar Weiman-Kelman shows, these women’s poems connect us across history to them in a uniquely personal and powerful way, challenging our assumptions about the Jewish past.

This session will focus especially on the commandment “Lo Tin’af,” the commandment forbidding adultery. As we face the passive position this prohibition allocates women, we will listen for a different voice, coming from the Yiddish speaking past. We will focus on two writers, Celia Dropkin (1887-1956) and Kadya Molodowsky (1894-1975), turning both to their published poetry and to rare archival findings. Through their lives and their writing, we will glimpse a new version of the Jewish past and a new understanding of poetry and sexuality.

Bio: Zohar Weiman-Kelman is a senior lecturer in the department of foreign literatures and linguistics and holds the Blechner Career Development Chair in East European Jewish Culture at Ben-Gurion University. They received a PhD in comparative literature from the University of California Berkeley and were a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Jewish Studies and the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto.  Zohar was a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and an associate scholar at the Humanities Forum on Sex, both at the University of Pennsylvania. Their first book, Queer Expectations: A Genealogy of Jewish Women’s Poetry, was published by SUNY Press in 2018.

RSVP here to receive the Zoom link for the program. Questions? Contact Rena Fraade at rfraade@judeareform.org. Sponsored by the Adult Education Committee.

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Wed, February 1 2023 10 Sh'vat 5783