For centuries, Jewish learning was largely the domain of men. There are records of prominent women who were teachers in their own right, though they were few and far between. We are immensely privileged today to live at a time in which access to Torah learning has become more widely available than ever before. Alongside this general increase in access has come the absolute flourishing of Torah learning by and for women across the spectrum of Jewish practice and experience.
Women’s voices, wisdom and lived experience contribute immeasurably to the centuries-long Jewish sacred textual conversation, often shining light on issues that are of particular significance to women. As more and more people gain access to these contemporary jewels of Torah learning, our understanding and perspectives are enriched. Turn it, turn it, for everything is in it, as we learn in Mishnah Perkei Avot.
This eight-class course with Rabbi Lauren Tuchman is an opportunity to mine these treasures for the wisdom within. The eight sessions will each focus on the parsha or Torah portion read that week around the Jewish world. We will begin with an exploration of the first parsha in the Book of Numbers, Bamidbar and will end with an exploration of Parashat Pinchas, in which we encounter a story of five brave, bold women whose courage results in a legislative change.
The commentaries we will examine encompass a wide range of spiritual perspectives and are all written by women, trans and cis alike. We will encounter commentaries from across the spectrum of Jewish thought and practice, lifting up a chorus of trans and cis women’s voices and lived experiences. Each session will begin with a teaching, and will be anchored by time for contemplative practice and sharing. People of all gender identities and expressions are warmly encouraged to be a part of this sacred community of study and practice.
All sources will be provided in the original Hebrew and English translation. This course is appropriate for all learners. No previous background or knowledge is required.
How does it work?
The course consists of eight weekly live online sessions, of approximately 1.25 hours each. Each session includes studying primary texts as well as a guided practice to ground the learning in embodied experience.
Each session will be recorded, allowing participants who cannot attend the live sessions to watch the classes at their own convenience. The recordings will be shared with all the participants after each session.
There will also be an optional online forum for connecting with the teacher, and other participants, in-between sessions.
This is an eight-session course which will take place on Thursdays, beginning May 20, 2021 through July 8, 2021.
Each online class will be 75-minutes, from 9am Pacific / 12pm Eastern / 5pm UK / 7pm Israel time.
Sessions can be joined live and/or listened to or watched via recordings at your convenience.
"Engaging with the Torah of Rabbi Tuchman is an absolute gift. She brings insight and profound perspective to our texts and traditions -- and her teaching style is warm and inclusive and encouraging. If there's an opportunity to learn with or from Rabbi Tuchman -- take it."
- Ariele Mortkowitz, Founding Director, SVIVAH
"Rabbi Lauren Tuchman is the rare soul who combines fierce determination with deep spirituality. She mixes integrity and dignity with a sense of fun and joy. Rabbi Tuchman wears God’s grace with panache."
- Dr. Burton L. Visotzky, Professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
"Rabbi Tuchman is the whole package. She is smart and learned, kind and justice-oriented, and is always conscientious of the fullness of the people she interacts with. Her teachings are relevant and grounded, and always meet the moment and the participants, bringing them closer to the sources that she has profoundly mastered and deeply loves. She is a model of bringing our ancient texts into our current context, and teaches with an honesty and vulnerability that we as her students can only strive to emulate."
- Rabbi Sarah Krinsky
"Rabbi Lauren Tuchman's teaching is of the highest caliber. She is organized, speaks clearly, and is well sourced. She encourages her students to cultivate creative thinking and does not shy away from respectful "push back." Actually she welcomes this and encourages her students to think for themselves. Her passion to share her Torah combined with her sense of this being her inner calling sets her apart as distinguishable and unique possessing a true magnetic personality. However, what I have come to appreciate and value mostly about this rare gem educator is her consistent and unapologetic emphasis of always reminding us that Torah texts are sacred in our Jewish tradition and are one way or another a manifestation of the Divine's wisdom, will and presence."
- Yiscah Smith, Faculty Member, AJS and Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies