Tag Archives: Jewish
Call for Papers: “What Pertains To a Man”? Transcending Gender Boundaries in Jewish and Israeli Law Conference
Call for Papers: “What Pertains To a Man”? Transcending Gender Boundaries in Jewish and Israeli Law Conference, at the University of Chicago Law School, March 1, 2010.
This conference will be structured around two documentary films, Praying in her Own Voice and Paper Dolls (Bubyot Niyar), each centered on ways in which Israeli law and culture deal with individuals and groups who transcend the gender boundaries of Jewish law. The conference title is taken from Deuteronomy 10:22, which declares it to be an abomination for a woman to put on what pertains to a man and for a man to wear women’s clothing.
The conference is coincident to the feast of Purim, commemorating Esther’s saving the Jewish people by crossing uninvited from the women’s quarters to the king’s inner court and is traditionally celebrated with masquerades including some cross-dressing. Purim and the megilla of Esther are also important to the subjects of Praying in her Own Voice, the Women of the Wall, whose decades- long quest to pray and read from Torah scrolls wearing tallit at the Western Wall in Jerusalem led them several times to the Israeli Supreme Court.
The conference will juxtapose the Women of the Wall’s attempt to transcend gender boundaries with that of a very different group, the Paper Dolls, a drag performance troupe whose members are transgendered Filipino care workers in Israel.
Confirmed speakers include Aeyal Gross of Tel Aviv University, Pnina Lahav of Boston University, and Martin F. Manalansan IV of the University of Illinois. We will be adding additional speakers and are seeking proposals in the form either of an abstract or draft paper dealing with any aspect of Transcending Gender Boundaries in Jewish or Israeli Law (by no means limited to the subjects of the two films).
We welcome papers from all disciplines.
The conference sponsors include the University of Chicago Law School’s Workshop on Regulating Family, Sex and Gender, and the University’s Center for Gender Studies, Program in Jewish Studies and Program in Human Rights.
E-mail proposals to Mary Anne Case firstname.lastname@example.org .
Proposals rec’d before Jan. 6 receive full consideration.
Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community
(North Atlantic Books, June 2010), edited by Noach Dzmura and with
essays contributed by:
Rachel Biale, Kate Bornstein, Chav Doherty, Aaron Devor, Noach Dzmura,
Charlotte Fonrobert, Ari Lev Fornari, Lynn Greenhough, Eliron
Hamburger, Elliot Kukla, Joy Ladin, Tucker Lieberman, Jane Litman,
Catherine Madsen, Beth Orens, Judith Plaskow, Rachel Pollack, Martin
Rawlings-Fein, Maggid Jhos Singer, Max Strassfeld, Ri J Turner, Julia
Watts-Belser, Tobaron Waxman, Margaret Moers Wenig, Reuben Zellman is available for PRE-ORDER from Random House Books.
Southern Voice, GA, USA
‘Torah Queeries’explores Judaism, LGBT identities
Essays seek new approach to discussing sexuality, spirituality
Oct 02, 2009 | By: LAURA DOUGLAS-BROWN
Rabbi Joshua Lesser, leader of Atlanta’s GAY-founded Congregation Bet
Haverim, believes it is time for LGBT people to move beyond simply
defending their identities from biblically based attacks. As one of
three editors of “Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew
Bible,” he hopes to push such discussions to a new, more complex
Most previous books about sexuality and spirituality “are about
defending homosexuality, while most of our essays are more about what
does this text say to LGBT people,” Lesser says.
Lesser reads from “Torah Queeries” Oct. 8 at Charis Books & More.
The collection follows the Hebrew tradition of reading the Torah in
weekly segments through a calendar cycle, and the essays it includes
offer a variety of interpretations and meditations that should
interest not only LGBT Jews, but also all people who are interested in
faith, social justice, or LGBT issues.
“I hope it is the beginning of a second generation of these kinds of
works,” Lesser says. “I have always thought that books that defend
homosexuality and transgender identities are agreeing to be on the
religious right’s playing field and address this question of
“I think it is time to assume that legitimacy and speak from that place.”
Lesser edits the book, published by NYU Press, with Gregg Drinkwater
and David Shneer, life partners who work with Jewish Mosaic, the
Jewish Center for Sexuality & Gender Identity. Proceeds from sales
will benefit Jewish Mosaic and the Rainbow Center, an Atlanta resource
for LGBT Jews.
Two of Lesser’s essays are included in “Torah Queeries.” He describes
one, an exploration of the story of Abraham and Sarah, as a “very
tame” look at how the couple formed their family, and the meaning that
holds for LGBT families.
“We are all cursed by this ideal of a Jewish family that is not even
represented by our primary matriarch and patriarch, so why have we
taken that on?”
Lesser’s second, riskier piece is titled “Fear Factor: Lesbian Sex and
Gay Men,” which he describes as an “opportunity to talk about how
there is a segment of gay male culture that demeans women’s bodies.”
Rabbi Joshua Lesser with ‘Torah Queeries’
Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Charis Books & More
1189 Euclid Ave.