Spring 2023 Learning Series

The Space In Between: Thresholds and Borders in Jewish Life and Thought

Mondays, January 30–May 22, 2023 
1:00–2:30 p.m. ET 

Please note that there will be no sessions on February 20, April 3, or April 10. 

We are living in an undefined time: our daily existence is no longer dominated by the pandemic, yet neither have we settled into a new normal. This sense of being in transition—neither here nor there—can feel destabilizing; but is the time in between really temporary, or are we always living in between moments, identities, and phases of life?  

In this series, JTS scholars will delve into the idea of liminality—the time or space in between—which we encounter often in Jewish ritual, identity, law, and life. Join us to consider what these many manifestations of “in-between-ness” can teach us about ourselves and about Judaism, and to explore how we might find strength and meaning in an orientation not of “either/or” but of “both/and.” 

Note: Each Monday series has a new Zoom link. Please register for the series in order to receive the Zoom link for the current series.   

Courses, Faculty, and Dates

January 30

The World as Liminal: Genesis and the Incompleteness of Creation   

With Dr. Benjamin Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages, JTS  

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February 6

Between This World and the Next: Rabbinic Visions of Purgatory 

With Dr. Rachel Rosenthal, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS  

February 13

The Tent of Meeting: Central or Marginal? 

With Dr. Benjamin Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages, JTS 

February 27

Between Law and Narrative in the Talmud

With Dr. Sarah Wolf, Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS

March 6

Between Obligation and Free Choice  

With Rabbi Gordon Tucker, vice chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement, JTS 

March 13

Jewish-American, American-Jew: The Complexities and Joys of Living a Hyphenated Identity 

With Dr. Arnold Eisen, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor of Jewish Thought, JTS 

March 20

On the Margins: Conversos and the Question of Jewish Belonging Throughout History

With Dr. Jonathan Ray, Samuel Eig Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Georgetown University, and JTS Alumnus  

March 27

Gender Identity in Rabbinic Literature 

With Dr. Marcus Mordecai Schwartz, Assistant Professor, Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS 

April 17

Defying All Categories: Witches in the Talmud  

With Dr. Marjorie Lehman, Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics, JTS 

April 24

The Blasphemer in Leviticus: A Marginal Figure 

With Dr. Alan Cooper, Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies, JTS 

May 1

Sarah’s Laugh: Doubt, Trust, and the Ambiguity of the Womb  

With Rabbi Mychal Springer, Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and Adjunct Professor, JTS  

May 8

Talmudic Writings on the Passage from This Life to the Next  

With Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics  

May 15

Between Suns: Twilight in Rabbinic Sources  

With Dr. Sarit Kattan Gribetz, JTS fellow and assistant professor of Classical Judaism, Fordham University  

May 22

Kiddush and Havdalah: Marking the Boundaries of Sanctified Time 

With Dr. Judith Hauptman, E. Billi Ivry Professor Emerita of Talmud and Rabbinic Culture, JTS  

Note: Each Monday series has a new Zoom link. Please register for the series in order to receive the Zoom link for this series.