Blog Archive: 2022
December 9, 2022
HBI is proud of our current scholars in residence and research associates who will be presenting at the 54th annual conference of the Association for Jewish Studies, Dec. 18-20. This conference, the largest annual gathering of Jewish Studies scholars in the world, will feature more than 1,200 attendees and 190 sessions along with programming, awards ceremonies and a major book exhibit of leading publishers.
November 1, 2022
Grace Paley thought no one would read her stories. Sylvia Plath "felt sick" when she read back her work. Had I never visited the Smith College archives as part of the 2022 Gilda Slifka Internship Program, I might not have known about the widespread self-doubt among some of the geniuses of the 20th century.
September 8, 2022
Twenty-five years ago, in a small office at Brandeis, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute opened its doors to a single scholar, published one book, and gave out 20 HBI Research Awards. Today, we have more than 60 books still in print, publish a leading journal and have hosted hundreds of scholars, interns, artists, and authors, and funded research all over the world. Most importantly, we are a crucial collaborator in the field of Jewish women's and gender studies.
August 5, 2022
When Katayoun started the HBI Gilda Slifka Summer Internship program in June, the last thing on her mind was sharing her wedding with a group of people she had just met. When Cheryl Weiner accepted the job as the summer internship's academic advisor, she was not expecting to host a wedding in a home that she didn't yet live in. Madison Cissell, had recently married another couple by getting a license for one day, but she was not expecting to adapt her service while completing her work as an HBI summer intern. And, no one expected to be dying their hair purple.
June 23, 2022
Every summer, HBI welcomes interns from across the country and world who complete original research related to the HBI mission of fresh thinking about Jews and gender worldwide and support the work of scholars affiliated with HBI and Brandeis. During the eight-week program, the interns also attend educational lunch sessions with scholars, visit Jewish sites of interest in the Greater Boston area including Mayyim Hayyim, and a walking tour of Jewish Boston. The Gilda Slifka HBI Summer Internship is supported by a generous gift from Gilda Slifka.
June 3, 2022
My youngest daughter spent the last three months in Israel with her high school graduating class. While she had a wonderful experience, she was so ready to come home near the end of the trip that she was counting down the Shabbats until she was home. As we're in the period of counting the omer, I've wondered what it is about counting that resonates so strongly — just as I found my daughter's own counting so endearing. To learn more, I turned to the books.
May 16, 2022
New Year's Day 2020 saw a crowd of over 90,000 assemble in freezing temperatures at New Jersey's Metlife Stadium. Rather than the usual football game, they had come for the Siyum ha-Shas of Daf yomi, the ritual "completion" ceremony celebrating study of all 2,711 folios of the Talmud ( Shas ) over the course of a 7.5-year daily regimen. The nearly five-hour convocation included public prayers, speeches by eminent rabbinical authorities, musical performances and inspirational films.
April 6, 2022
When the pandemic hit, frequent research collaborators Elly Teman and Zsuzsa Berend, already accustomed to working on Zoom and across multiple time zones, decided to have some fun with their research. "We were both going a little bit crazy, me with my kids and Zsuzsa with the Zooms, and we decided to translate our ethnographic research into something visual," Teman said. "We wanted to do something that would be shared with more than other scholars."
March 22, 2022
Like Blanche Moses in 1942, the scion of one of the oldest American Jewish families in Dr. Laura Arnold Leibman's "Once We Were Slaves," the magnificently researched groundbreaking work featured in the February Sandra Seltzer Silberman HBI Conversations Series, I too am an obsessive amateur family genealogist. Unlike Blanche, whose goal was to preserve the grandeur and history of her family, my passion stems from the desire to uncover what’s been lost to time and distance — and nothing so far shows any grandeur.
March 15, 2022
The day before Purim is marked by many Jews as the Fast of Esther, commemorating Queen Esther’s bravery in speaking up for her people when they were threatened. In more recent years, it has also been marked around the world as International Agunah Day; a day to remember and speak out on behalf of agunot, women trapped in dead marriages until their husbands issue a get, a decree of Jewish divorce that can only be issued with the consent of the husband.
January 18, 2022
The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute begins a new year and a new term today. Brandeis is online temporarily, but we look forward to welcoming students and the community back to campus. We continue to host a wide range of online programs that share new research by and about Jewish women in all their diversity, and which explore pressing questions facing the Jewish community and the field of Jewish and gender studies.