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Women's Torah Study: The Idea and the Meaning
By Dr. Hanah Kehat

Center Updates

Applications for the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Grants (Student, Research, Travel, Translation) can be submitted untill January 1 , 2014.

For more information please contact jwmn.biu@gmail.com

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Research Awards

One of our goals at the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Center for the Study of Women in Judaism is assisting young scholars further their research concerning women and Judaism. Every year the Center grants a number of research awards that include student prizes, grants for staff members and those who completed a doctorate at Bar Ilan University. All academic studies and projects receiving grants or allocations must be connected to the study of women in Judaism.

A call for submission for student grants goes out every November and grants are given to recipients at a ceremony which is usually held towards the end of the academic year.

Travel Grants

From 2006 onwards the Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Center for the Study of Women in Judaism also offers a travel grant to graduate students writing their thesis or dissertation on a topic connected to the study of women in Judaism who need to travel to libraries or archives abroad to complete their research. Applications for this grant may be submitted throughout the year. Applicants should address a letter to the Center Director or coordinator in which they describe their research, list their advisor and the reasons for needing a travel grant and attach a letter of recommendation from their advisor.

 

Research Grants for University Teaching Staff and for Bar Ilan Ph.D Graduates

The Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Center for the Study of Women in Judaism offers research grants to university teaching staff and Bar Ilan Ph.D. graduates who are involved in outstanding research connected to the academic study of women in Judaism. Applications for these grants may be submitted throughout the year.  Applicants should address a letter to the Center Director or coordinator in which they describe their research, their research framework and the connection between their research and the topics which the Center supports. These grants are usually given to recipients at a ceremony which is usually held towards the end of the academic year together with student research awards.

 

Translation and Publication Grants for University Teaching Staff and for Bar Ilan Ph.D Graduates

The Fanya Gottesfeld Heller Center for the Study of Women in Judaism offeres translation and publications grants for university teaching staff and Bar Ilan Ph.D graduates who request assistance to translate their research that is connected to the study of women in Judaism or to assist in publishing their academic manuscripts on such topics. Applications for these grants may be submitted throughout the year. Applicants should address a letter to the Center Director or coordinator in which they describe their research, their translation framework or list their potential publisher and estimated costs. These grants are usually given to recipients at a ceremony which is usually held towards the end of the academic year together with student research awards

 

 

Past Award Recipients

Past award winners are listed below:

5769 (2008-2009)

Prize Recipients:

Tsippy Levin-Byron (PhD, Department of Literature)

Spiritual Idealism and Traces of Family Memory as Jewish Identity in the Writings of Natalia Ginzburg and Clara Sereni

Tsippi Levin-Byron’s research argues that Natalia Ginsburg and Clara Sereni were two central voices in Jewish secular Italian women's writings. Their writings are an important way of looking for a meaning for their Jewish secular identity. Most of the papers written on their prose relate to their feminist or socialist background and ideology. This study attempts to prove that their Jewish secular identity was a central issue which cannot be ignored. Since 2005, Levin-Byron has been working on her PhD in Comparative Literature. In 2007 Levin-Byron completed a three year course for humanistic rabbinical studies. She is also a poet and has published three books of poetry (published 1998, 2001 and 2006). She is married and has four children.

Irit Kleban (MA, Department of Criminology)

Force or choice in female criminal life course

Irit Kleban’s research explores the life narratives of female offenders in Israel. Existing theories focus on explanations of female delinquency during the life span without comparisons to male delinquency. In addition, there is a paucity of qualitative research on female delinquency. The purpose of this study is to deepen our understanding of female criminals by exploring their subjective interpretation of their criminal life style. Kleban is studying toward her M.A. degree at the Department of Criminology at Bar-Ilan and is as a teaching assistant at the Ashqelon Academic College for the course “Introduction to Criminology”.

Meirav Meidan (PhD, Gender Studies Program)

"Happy is she whose creations are formed in her image": Political Appropriation of Canonical Texts in Poems by Women of Learning

Meirav Meidan’s work deals with the poetry of contemporary Jewish women whose works are based on the Bible, Talmud and Rabbinic literature, as well as Kabbalistic and Hassidic writings. These poets are well versed in Jewish sources, dealing with them on a regular basis as part of their work in the academia and seminaries. In her work they are refered to as ” women of learning”. Meidan is a PhD candidate in the Gender Studies Program at Bar-Ilan University. While studying for her bachelor´s degree in Jewish Thought, she was particularly interested in Kabbalistic research. Her master´s degree thesis presented a gendered reading of a 16th century Kabbalistic text. Meidan has two children, a son and a daughter.

Channa Pinchassi (PhD, Gender Studies Program)

Gender Construction in Midrash Eicha Rabbah

The book of Eicha (Lamentations) laments the destruction of the Temple. Several women, along with men appear in the text and their voices are also heard. Midrash Eicha Rabbah which deals with Lamentations offers not only a variety of interpretations but in addition, greatly enhances gender considerations. Pinchassi’s research delves into the varied ways in which masculinity and femininity are entrenched in Midrash Rabbah and how all this comes together as a wholesome picture. The essence of Midrash Eicha Rabbah is the heart wrenching struggle of dealing with the trauma of destruction and accordingly, the redefinition of Jewish order and evolvement. This historically cathartic occurrence gives Lamentations its iconic stature and it is precisely this distinctive characteristic which opens up an array of possible reinterpretations pertaining to gender relations. Pinchassi is a doctoral candidate in the Gender Studies Program at Bar-Ilan University and a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. She is a leader of a women's feminist Beit Midrash at the Herzog Center. She is the mother of four children and an active member of Kolech, a feminist orthodox organization.

Naama Shalem (PhD, Department of Literature of the Jewish People)

"Into the Inner Self/ and its Thousand Gates" - Intertextual Codes in Zelda's Poetry

Naama Shalem’s research focuses on an intertextual reading of Zelda's poetry. The purpose of the research is to expose the vast depth of the relationship between Zelda's prose and Jewish canonical texts. In addition, the research reviews these texts and, shows how useful the intertextual method can be at exposing them. Shalem is a PhD candidate in the Department of Literature of the Jewish People at Bar-Ilan University. She is a graduate of Nishmat Institute for Torah Studies and is a Lecturer for the pre-army academy at Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael. Shalem lives in Or Akiva with her husband and four children.

5768 (2007-2008):

Prize Recipients:

Tehilla Be'eri (PhD, Faculty of Law)
"The State of Mind Needed to Constitute the 'Kiddushin' "

Ruti Feuchtwanger-Segel (PhD, Gender Studies Program)
"Becoming a Knower –Acquisition of Knowledge and Status by Religious Women Studying Talmud in Order to Teach"

Ronit Libermansch-Vardi (MA, Gender Studies Program)
"The Construction of Female Menopause in Israeli Popular Medical Discourse"

Ayelet Segal (PhD, Talmud Department)
"Pre-Nuptial Agreements in Jewish Law"

Galia Shiloach (MA, Gender Studies Program)
"Women Renewing Management: From Feminist Theory to Feminist Practices among Women Managers in Israel"

Travel Grant Recipients 2007-2008:

Rafaela Stankevitch (PhD, Department of Jewish History)
This dissertation "The Community of Lackenbach in Burgenland (Austria): Preserving its Religious and Social Uniqueness in the Early Modern and Modern Era (1671-1938)", focuses on nineteenth century Hungarian Jewry. One of the chapters of her study focuses on the family in modern Hungary. The center supported her visit to the archives in the Central Library of Burgenland, Austria.

Michal Shaul (PhD, Department of Jewish History)
Michal Shaul's dissertation "Holocaust Survivors and Holocaust Memory in the Ashkenazi Haredi Community in the Yishuv and in the State of Israel, 1945-1967", investigates the response of the Haredi Community in Israel to the Holocaust. One of her chapters discusses the education system and especially Bais Yaacov teachers. The center supported her trip to YIVO (Institute for Jewish Research, New York) last year.

Yifat Monnikendam, (PhD, Bible Department)
"Halakhic Issues in the Writings of the Syriac Church Fathers Ephrem and Aphrahat" Yifat Monnikendam is studying 4th century Syriac texts which include legal and exegetical materials. Thse texts are very close in nature to Amoraic literature and to early Judeo-Christian writings. The dissertation examines the relationship between the Syriac and the Jewish texts. Ms. Monnikendam traveled to the library in leiden where she examined many documents relevant to her research

Jennifer Roskies (PhD, Gender Studies Program)
Jennifer Roskies is writing her dissertation "In Their Own Words: Jewish Women on Gender and Identity". This summer, Jennifer will be traveling to the Hadassah Brandeis Institute in Boston, where she will work with Prof. Sylvia Barrack Fishman.

 

5767 (2006-2007):

Prize Recipients:

Ruti Glick (MA, Gender Studies Program)
"Reshaping the Immigration Experience and Identity in Hanna Szenes ' Personal Writing"

Anat Kutner (Ph.D, Department of Jewish History) 
"Night in the Middle Ages in Ashkenaz"

Naama Sat (PhD, Faculty of Law)
"Rabbi Ben Zion Meir Hai Ouziel’s Halakhic Approach to Family Law"

Efrat Seckbach (MA, Land of Israel Studies)
"Bereavement and Gender in Memorial Books for the Casualties of Israel's War for Independence",

Anat Granit-Cohen (Ph.D, Land of Israel Studies)
"Hebrew Woman to the Flag! : Military Service of Jewish Women from Palestine in the British Forces in WW2 – National and Gender Perspectives"

Smadar Sinai (Ph.D, Land of Israel Studies)
"Gender Relations in “Hashomer” Organization and in Kefar –Giladi , 1909-1939"

Dorit Yosef (MA, Gender Studies Program)
"Motherhood, Nationality and Identity: A Comparison between Two Bereaved Mothers, Rivka Guver and Manuela Dviri"

Ilan Fuchs (Ph.D, Department of Jewish History)
"Women as Legal Functionaries in the Halachic Legal System: An Historical and Jurisprudencial Analysis"

Travel Grant Recipients:

Dr. Natalie Goldberg's work focused on Esther Gad, one of the first Jewish women in modern times to approach the issue of women's emancipation. Gad, born in Breslau in 1767, entered the public sphere as an accomplished writer, at a time when gender ideology inhibited women from writing and publishing.

Dr. Ronit Ir-Shai's work is on "Fertility, Gender and Halakhah". Ir-Shai's work discusses the importance of counting the feminist perspective when analyzing fertility issues in halakhic contexts, despite the fact that halakhahand feminist theory are often at odds.

Dr. Elisheva Rosman-Stolman's work, "Empowering People: The Gaza Disengagement as a Test Case for the Mediating Function in the Garinim Program of Women Midrashot". This paper discusses the response of women from midrashot to the orders that they were given regarding the Disengagement, and how the preparation they received from their study programs contributed to their attitudes and behaviors at that time.

 

5766 (2005-2006):

Prize Recipients:

Baruch Alster (PhD, Dept. of Bible)
"Human Love and Its relationship to Spiritual Love in Jewish Exegesis on the Song of Songs"

Fanny Hirshenberger (PhD, Dept of Hebrew Literature)
"Aspects of Moroccan Judeo-Arabic in Woman's Poetry"

Dana Keren Yaar (PhD, Dept. Of Hebrew Literature)
"Historiographical Stages in Hebrew Children's Literarure (1880-1980)"

Bella Layosh (PhD, Dept of Talmud)
"Changes in the Life of Haredi Women in the Areas of Studies, Work and Leisure and Their Meaning in Her Eyes"

Anat Sharbat (PhD, Dept of Talmud)
"The Concept of Sexuality in the World of the Sages; Exploring the Attitudes towards Sexuality in Rabbinic Literature Considering the Theological Aspects and Disputes of their Period"