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Tzeniut: Can We Talk About It?

“כִּי אִם עֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפָּט וְאַהֲבַת חֶסֶד וְהַצְנֵעַ לֶכֶת עִם אֱ-לֹהֶיךָ
“do justice and love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

– Three Monday evenings: October 31, November 7 and November 14 –

What does tzeniut really mean? What does it mean to walk humbly in this world? What implications does Micah’s call have for how we dress, how we conduct ourselves, and other personal and communal choices that we make?

Join our next three part Dirshu series to explore these and other questions. Click here to register.

Schedule
6:30 – 7:15 pm – Workshop: Outside-In: Who’s Watching?
Miriam Gedwiser will lead a three-part workshop each Monday evening that will engage with legal and narrative sources about how people–and God–behave in private and public spaces.

7:15 – 7:45 pm – Tefillat Ma’ariv and Refreshments
7:45 – 9:15 pm – Lectures and Panel

MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 – Tzeniut: The Missing Discourse of Modesty
Tova Hartman will present a critique of the ways in which tzeniut is often deployed in our communities and a challenge to reclaim a broader vision of tzeniut.

MONDAY NOVEMBER 7 – Walking Humbly: Personal Decisions
Shira Hecht-Koller, Celene Ibrahim, Jon Kelsen, and Aviva Richman will offer personal reflections about their own choices in relation to the call to walk humbly.

MONDAY NOVEMBER 14 – Values Lived: Tzeniut in Our Personal and Communal Spheres
David Silber will lead an inquiry into texts and ideas about tzeniut and invite us to consider how to actualize this value across the many domains of our lives.

Speakers’ Bios

Miriam Gedwiser is a faculty member at Drisha. She has a BA from the University of Chicago in the History and Philosophy of Science and a JD from NYU School of Law. She studied in the Drisha Scholars Circle as well as at other programs in Israel and Boston, and has taught at several New York area synagogues and Hillels. She practiced commercial litigation at a large law firm, and completed a judicial clerkship in the Southern District of New York.

Tova Hartman is Dean of Humanities at Ono Academic College, the largest private college in Israel, established to foster inclusiveness and multicultural education. She is the author of Are You Not a Man of God?: Devotion, Betrayal, and Social Criticism in Jewish Tradition; Feminism Encounters Jewish Tradition: Resistance and Accommodation; and Appropriately Subversive: Modern Mothers in Traditional Religions as well as of numerous articles. She is currently finishing a  book on male trauma and shame.  Dr. Hartman is a founder of Congregation Shira Hadasha in Jerusalem.

Shira Hecht-Koller is Director of Communal Engagement at Drisha and the coordinator of Drisha’s Dr. Beth Samuels High School Program. She has taught Talmud and comparative ethics for many years, most recently at SAR High School. She is a founding member of the Orthodox Leadership Project and was a fellow at the Paideia Institute of Jewish Studies in Stockholm. Ms. Hecht-Koller is a graduate of the Bruriah Scholars Program in Advanced Talmud Studies at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She received her BA in Biology from Yeshiva University, and she was a Golding Scholar at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, from which she received her JD. Prior to embarking on a career in Jewish Education, she was an associate in the Intellectual Property department at Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP.

Celene Ibrahim holds a joint faculty appointment as the Islamic Studies Scholar-in-Residence at Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School, where she co-directs the Center for Inter-Religious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE) and supports programming at the newly established Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership. She has served as the Muslim Chaplain for Tufts University since 2014 and is an instructor at the Boston Islamic Seminary. Ms. Ibrahim has published widely on academic forums, and her contributions to increasing religious literacy have been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, BBC Persian, Public Radio International, and the Religion Initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations, among other venues. Her research specialties include Muslim feminist theology, Islamic intellectual history, and interreligious leadership. Ms. Ibrahim holds an AB in Near Eastern Studies with highest honors from Princeton University, an MA in Women’s and Gender Studies and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School. Ms. Ibrahim is completing a doctorate in Arabic and Islamic Civilizations in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Department at Brandeis University.

Jon Kelsen is a faculty member at Drisha and Rosh Kollel of the Drisha Kollel. He also teaches Talmud at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and serves as adjunct faculty at the Pardes Institute. Rabbi Kelsen received ordination from Rabbis Daniel Landes and Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg, holds an MA in Jewish Civilization from Hebrew University, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Education and Jewish Studies at New York University as a Wexner Graduate Fellow.

Aviva Richman is a faculty member at Yeshivat Hadar, where she teaches Talmud and halakhah and directs the winter learning seminar.  A graduate of Oberlin College, Rabbi Richman studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars Circle and received ordination from Rabbi Daniel Landes in Jerusalem. Her interests include halakhah, gender and sexuality in Judaism, and niggunim. A Wexner fellow, Rabbi Richman is currently pursuing a doctorate in Rabbinics at New York University.

David Silber is the Founder and Dean of Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He received the Covenant Award in 2000. He is the author of A Passover Haggadah: Go Forth and Learn (JPS, 2011) and is currently working on a book about Megillat Esther. 

There is no fee for this program. We welcome contributions to support our work.

Dirshu: Confronting Challenges with Mind and HeartPast Dirshu Series:
Confronting Mental Illness – April/May 2014
Holiness – October/November 2015
Hunger: What Can We Do?
 – February 2015
Prayer: What Are We Doing? – March/April 2014
Why Learn Talmud? – October/November 2014