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Women are from Genesis, Men are from Leviticus! Does Gender Read the Bible?

February 13, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


In theory, gender is fluid. Even so, for many people, the gender they grew up identifying with colours their experiences both academic, personal, emotional and spiritual. For others, gender is “invisible,” but after exploring how others feel and hear things, they may come to see just how much societal definitions have been inculcated into their experiences as well. Does the lens of gender, then, colour even the way we read the Bible? Is the Bible or Bible study ever “neutral”? This session introduces the methodology of feminist analysis of Biblical text, and puts it into practice with several Biblical narratives, positing that a thorough feminist analysis of sacred text helps broaden the way we understand our spirituality. No Hebrew necessary and NOT for women only!

ABOUT THIS SPEAKER: Rabbi Elyse Goldstein is currently the founding Rabbi of a new Reform congregation in downtown Toronto which has grown to 225 families in only 3 years since its founding. You can see it at www.cityshul.com.

She served for twenty years as the Director of Jewish Programs and Kolel at the Prosserman JCC in Toronto. Kolel was an adult education institute which she founded in 1991 and built it, together with her dedicated staff, into a leading institution in the field of Jewish adult education. From 1986 to 1991, she served as Rabbi of Temple Beth David in Canton, Massachusetts, a congregation that grew under her guidance from 80 families to over 200 families. Her first position after ordination was assistant Rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto.

She was graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University in 1978. She took a year off during that university period to pursue full time Jewish textual study at Pardes in Jerusalem, a co-ed yeshiva specializing in the study of traditional texts. In 1981 she earned her Masters Degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was ordained there in 1983. While in Rabbinical School, Rabbi Goldstein served at Temple Beth Or of the Deaf, where she became proficient in sign language and specialized in serving the Jewish deaf, an area in which she remains deeply committed. In May 2008 she received her Doctor of Divinity, honoris causis, from Hebrew Union College and in 2018 was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causis, from Toronto’s Ryerson University for her path-breaking work in Canada.

Rabbi Goldstein is the first woman to be elected as president of the interdenominational Toronto Board of Rabbis and is the past president of the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto. She has been a guest lecturer at universities and Jewish and Christian organizations throughout North America, Israel, and Great Britain, including numerous radio and T.V. appearances, and is highly sought after as a public speaker. She has served as a consultant on adult education to Boards of Jewish Education throughout North America.

She is one of seven women featured in the Canadian National Film Board documentary, “Half the Kingdom.” Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Reform Judaism, Sh’ma, Lilith Magazine, Grail, The Journal of Canadian Women’s Studies and others. Her first book, ReVisions: Seeing Torah through a Feminist Lens, was published by Jewish Lights in the fall of 1998 and won the Canadian National Jewish Book Awards in the field of Bible. Her second and third books, The Women’s Torah Commentary, and The Women’s Haftarah Commentary are anthologies of 54 different women rabbis from different movements on the weekly Torah and Haftarah portions, published by Jewish Lights in 2000 and 2003. Her fourth book, New Jewish Feminism: Probing the Past, Forging the Future, was published in October 2008 by Jewish Lights and won finalist in The National Jewish Book Awards. She is also the author of a self-guided adult study textbook on Women and Judaism called Seek Her Out, published by the URJ Press.

She is the 2005 recipient of the most prestigious award in Jewish education, the internationally recognized Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators.


February 13, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Congregation Beth Israel
10460 N 56th St
Scottsdale, AZ 85253 United States