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“And You Shall Teach Your Children”: Teachers as Parents, Parents as Teachers
January 15, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm$18
ABOUT THIS LECTURE: Jewish tradition honors teachers and cultivates respect for the act of teaching. But they don’t always recognize parents and other caregivers as teachers. This session will explore what we can learn from the rabbinic sources and how considering child-rearing as teaching challenges and expands our understanding of this central act of religious life.
ABOUT THIS SPEAKER: Mara Benjamin is an Irene Kaplan Leiwant Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of two books, Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity and The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought.
Benjamin’s first book, Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity, examines the theological and political stakes of reinvigorating the Jewish Bible in a historicist age. Her study focuses on the work of Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929), one of the key Jewish religious philosophers of the modern period.
Benjamin’s most recent book, The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought , investigates the religious dimensions of caring for young children in the context of Jewish thought and tradition. By centering maternal subjectivity, Benjamin offers resources for transforming Jewish thought. The book was a finalist for the 2018 National Jewish Book Awards in the Women’s Studies category.
Benjamin holds a Ph.D. in modern Jewish thought from Stanford University and has taught at the University of Washington, Yale University, and St. Olaf College. Her interests include Jewish textual traditions and practices, including biblical, rabbinic, and contemporary hermeneutics; modern European Jewish history and thought; and feminist religious studies and theology.