Women encouraged to study Talmud with launch of international day of learning

International Women’s Talmud Day will take place on Sunday, May 13


The first International Women’s Talmud Day is to take place - with British participants able to join sessions online.

While the UK is not one of the four countries staging events on Sunday week, London-based artist and educator Jacqueline Nicholls will be one of those leading internet sessions.

Running in Australia, France, Israel and the United States and backed by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance and its British branch as well as the New York women’s seminary Yeshivat Maharat, the event is designed to encourage woman to study a text which is still regarded as for men only among the most conservative religious circles.

Sharon Weiss-Greenberg, Jofa executive director, said: “Having passed the 100-year mark of the beginning of the Beis Yaakov movement and Orthodox girls’ education, we are now in a place where women have greater access to Talmud than any period before in Jewish history.”

Ms Nicholls, a member of JW3’s art and culture team, will present a session on “drawyomi”, her unique project to illustrate the Daf Yomi daily cycle of Talmud study.

Online resources help to “create a very rich, diverse Torah conversation,” she said.

Today participants in the Daf Yomi cycle - which takes more than seven years to complete to cover the whole of the Talmud - exchange views on Twitter, she said.

Dina Brawer, founder of Jofa UK, who is due to become the first student from Britain to graduate from Yeshivat Maharat’s ordination programme, said: “We are inviting women and girls to explore new horizons.

“In highlighting the advance of women and offering role models, I hope that more women and girls will discover the rigour, fulfilment and joy of Talmud study.”

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