Marjorie Lehman

Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Department: Talmud and Rabbinics

Phone: (212) 280-6127

Email: malehman@jtsa.edu

Building Room: Unterberg 308

Office Hours: By Appointment

Biography

BA, Wellesley College; MA, MPhil, and PhD, Columbia University

Dr. Marjorie Lehman is professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary and the Area Coordinator of Rabbinic Literatures and Cultures. She teaches a wide range of courses in Rabbinics, including courses on gender in Talmudic literature, aggadah, halakhah, the history of the Jewish book, and pedagogy. Her scholarly journey reflects a commitment to balancing the historical and intellectual aspects of Jewish texts while also focusing on the ways they speak to and help us to understand our place in the contemporary moment.

Dr. Lehman’s first book, The En Yaaqov: Jacob ibn Habib’s Search for Faith in the Talmudic Corpus (Wayne State University Press, 2012) reflects her interest both in the study of Talmudic aggadah and also in the concept of studying a complete literary work—in this case the early sixteenth century collection, the En Yaaqov. Building on this interest and integrating it with her interest in gender in rabbinic literature, she explored the Babylonian tractate, Yoma, as one cultural unit of study. This book, Bringing Down the Temple House: Engendering Tractate Yoma is forthcoming (Brandeis University Press, 2022). With a staunch commitment to collaborative work, Dr. Lehman has co-edited two books, Mothers in the Jewish Cultural Imagination (Liverpool: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization at Liverpool University Press, 2017) and Learning to Read Talmud: What it Looks Like and How It Happens.

As co-director of an internationally renowned digital humanities project in Jewish Studies called Footprints: Jewish Books in Time and Place, Dr. Lehman has dedicated herself to tracking and analyzing the global movement of copies of Jewish books since the inception of print. As a provenance project, Footprints offers scholars the opportunity to think about the way a book becomes personalized by paying careful attention to the marks individuals leave on its physical form including its owners’ signatures, censors’ marks, marginalia, and the mementoes pasted between its leaves. It brings to the humanities a new approach to studying history that considers book ownership as able to offer insight into the complexity of Jewish life and culture.

A deeply reflective and committed teacher, Dr. Lehman pays great attention to pedagogy and has collaborated on research with members of JTS’s Jewish Education faculty and has conducted workshops in conjunction with the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University. She serves on the advisory board of the Jewish Day School Standards and Benchmarks Rabbinics Initiative and was a rabbinics advisor at the Frankel Jewish Academy in West Bloomfield, Michigan and at the Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, Virginia. Her role on the editorial board of the journal Teaching Theology and Religion has enabled her to be in dialogue with professors teaching religion throughout the United States.

Dr.  Lehman has published articles in the Jewish Studies QuarterlyNashimAJS Review, the Journal of Teaching Theology and Religion and the Journal of Textual Reasoning, and she has lectured and presented scholarly papers at many conferences throughout the United States, Europe, and Israel. She has been awarded fellowships and served as a visiting scholar at several institutions. Currently, she serves on the advisory boards of the Center for Jewish Studies, the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan and the board of trustees at the Ramaz School in NYC.

GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS, AND AWARDS

  • University of Pennsylvania, The Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, Fellow (Fall 2019)
  • University of Pennsylvania/Stanford University, Fellow (Summer 2015)
    • Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Jewish Studies and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford University
    • Project: Feminist Hermeneutics and the Babylonian Talmud
  • Brandeis University, Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, Affiliated Scholar
    • 2013–2014, Project: Learning to Read Talmud
    • 2016–2017, Workshop on Talmud and Pedagogy
  • University of Michigan, Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, Fellow (Spring 2014)
  • Wabash Fellow, JTS
    • 2012–2013, Teaching Mentor to Graduate Students
    • 2008–2009, Grant issued by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion to study teaching at JTS

Publications

Books and Edited Volumes 

  • Bringing Down the Temple House: Engendering Tractate Yoma (forthcoming, Brandeis University Press, 2022)
  • Mothers in the Jewish Cultural Imagination. Co-editors: Marjorie Lehman, Jane Kanarek and Simon Bronner. Liverpool: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization at Liverpool University Press, 2017. The book was a finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Women’s Studies.
  • Learning to Read Talmud: What it Looks Like and How It Happens. Co-editors: Marjorie Lehman and Jane L. Kanarek. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2016. The volume was a finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Education and Jewish Identity.
  • The En Yaaqov: Jacob ibn Habib’s Search for Faith in the Talmudic Corpus. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2012 was a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Award–Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in the Scholarship category.
  • Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues. 28 (2015) in honor of Judith Hauptman. Co-editors: Charlotte Fonrobert, Jane Kanarek and Marjorie Lehman.

Articles

  • “Who Gets a Voice at the Table?: Eating and Blessing with Rav Naḥman  (forthcoming: New York: JTS Press, 2020).” Festschrift honoring Joel Roth’s retirement; eds. Robbie Harris and Jonathan Milgram.
  • “The Priesthood in the Rabbinic Imagination and the Prohibition against Wearing Shoes on Yom Kippur.”  AJS Review 44:2 (2019), 319-338. This is one article in a collection of articles on the Temple that emerged from a seminar I co-convened with Hayim Lapin at the AJS.
  • Redemptive Readings: Grappling with Rabbinic Homophobia.” Journal of Textual Reasoning 10:1 (2018). 
  • “Old Texts and New Media: Jewish Books on the Move and a Case for Collaboration.”  In Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Partnerships. Eds. Kate Joranson and Robin Kear.  Chandos Elsevier, (March 2018), with Michelle Chesner, Adam Shear and Josh Teplitsky.
  • “Reading Beruriah through the Lens of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Yentl.” Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues. 31:1 (2017): 123-145.
  • “And No One Gave the Torah to the Priests: Learning to Read the Mishnah through the Lens of the Priests and the Temple.”  In Learning to Read Talmud: What it Looks Like and How it Happens. Eds. Jane Kanarek and Marjorie Lehman. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2016, 85-116.
  • “Making Choices: Yom Kippur is Upon Us, What Text Should I Teach?”  Gleanings: Dialogue on Jewish Education from the Davidson School. 2:4 (2015).
  • “Rabbinic Masculinities: Reading the Ba’al Keri in Tractate Yoma.”  Jewish Studies Quarterly 22 (2015): 109-36.
  • “Imagining the Priesthood in Tractate Yoma: Mishnah Yoma 2:1-2 and BT Yoma 23a.”  Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues. 28 (2015): 88-105.
  • “Teaching to, with and against Faith.”  Teaching Theology and Religion. 18:4 (2015): 363-386.
  • “Dressing and Undressing the High Priest: A Talmudic View of Mothers.”  Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues 26 (2014): 52-74.
  • “Assigning Integration: A Framework for Intellectual, Personal, and Professional Development in Seminary Courses.” Teaching Theology and Religion 16:1 (2012), 18-32. Co-author, Jane Kanarek.
  • “Reading the Gendered Rhetoric of Yom Kippur.”  In Introduction to Seder Qodashim, Eds., Tal Ilan, Monika Brockhaus, and Tanja Hidde. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012, 33-56.
  • “Levisohn’s Orientations: A Response from the Classroom.” Journal of Jewish Education 76 (2010): 117-119.
  • “Reimagining Home, Rethinking Sukkah: Rabbinic Discourse and its Contemporary Implications.”  In Jews at Home: The Domestication of Identity. Ed., Simon J. Bronner. Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2009, 107-139.
  • “Making a Case for Rabbinic Pedagogy.”  In The International Handbook of Jewish Education. Eds. Lisa Grant and Alex Pomson, 581-596. New York: Springer, 2011 (co-author, Jane Kanarek).
  • “The Gendered Rhetoric of Sukkah Observance.”  Jewish Quarterly Review 96:3 (2006): 309-335.
  • “Examining the Role of Gender Studies in the Teaching of Talmudic Literature.”  Journal of Jewish Education 72:2 (2006): 109-121.
  • “The Babylonian Talmud in Cognitive Perspective: Reflections on the Nature of the Bavli and its Pedagogical Implications.”  Journal of Jewish Education, 69:2 (2003): 58-78.
  • “Dialogue and ‘Distance’: Cognitive-Developmental Theories and the Teaching of Talmud.” Jewish Education News, Spring 2004 (co-author, Jeffrey Kress).
  • “Women and Passover Observance: Reconsidering Gender in the Study of Rabbinic Texts.” Studies in Jewish Civilization 14 (2003): 45-66.
  • “For the Love of Talmud: Reflections on the Study of Bava Metzia, Perek 2.” The Journal of Jewish Education, 68:1 (2002): 87-103.
  • “The Ein Yaakov: A Collection of Aggadah in Transition.”  Prooftexts 19:2 (1999): 21-40.

Book Reviews

  • Book Review: Jews, Gentiles, and Other Animals: The Talmud after the Humanities. Mira Beth Wasserman, Journal of Religious History (December Special Issue). 43:1 (2019).
  • Book Review: Rabbinic Tales of Destruction: Gender, Sex and Disability in the Ruins of Jerusalem by Julia Watts Belser. Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues. 34 (2019): 189-192.
  • Book Review: Tractates Tamid, Middot, Qinnim by Dalia Marx. Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues. 27 (2014): 178-181.
  • Book Review: Rereading the Rabbis by Judith Hauptman. Prooftexts 19:3 (1999): 292-98.

Blogposts; Online and Magazine Articles