Marjorie Lehman

Marjorie Lehman is associate professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Dr. Lehman's scholarly interests are focused on the En Yaaqov, an early 16th-century collection of talmudic Aggadah. She recently published The En Yaaqov: Jacob ibn Habib's Search for Faith in the Talmudic Corpus (Wayne State University Press, 2012). The book was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award-Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award in the category of Scholarship.

Her research also concentrates on the study of women and festival observance in the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmudim. She approaches rabbinic material from the perspective of gender and ritual theory, and has published numerous articles on the subject.

Dr. Lehman has recently begun an in-depth study of Tractate Yoma (Bavli and Yerushalmi), and will confront the ways in which gender is used throughout the work. In addition to constructing a history of the holiday of Yom Kippur, her interest in this project is fueled by a desire to particularize the broader fundamental question of why one should study the Talmud using gender as an interpretive tool. She aims to explore more deeply the impact that methodologies rooted in gender can have on the way we think about the Talmud, the Rabbis, and Yom Kippur. What does our use of such methodologies in examining the Talmud contribute to the field of gender studies more generally, and to the fields of ritual and religious studies? Dr. Lehman will be a fellow at the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan in spring 2014, and will use the time to expand upon her research in this area.

As the co-chair of a scholars' working group at the Center for Jewish History, Dr. Lehman has contributed to defining the group's current topic of study, the Jewish book trade. Along with the scholars' working group, she wishes to explore how an increased knowledge of the Jewish book trade illuminates aspects of the interplay between text and context, and helps scholars to investigate further the ways in which material texts shed light on cultural and religious history.

A dynamic, stimulating, and passionate teacher, Dr. Lehman is known at JTS for her attention to pedagogy. She has published works on pedagogy, Talmud, and Jewish education. She has also collaborated with members of JTS's Jewish Education faculty, including a project with Dr. Jeffrey Kress, assistant professor of Jewish Education, on cognitive developmental theories as a means of enhancing scholarly understanding of the role of dialogue in the sugyot of the Babylonian Talmud. 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. She has also recently collaborated with Professor Jane Kanarek of Hebrew College in Boston. Together they are spearheading a project overseen by the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education of Brandeis University that is focused on the way students are taught to read rabbinic texts.

Dr. Lehman's love of teaching is not limited to the classroom. She has lectured widely to adults and children in various settings, including The Jewish Museum, Jewish Educators Assembly, 92nd Street Y, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, JTS's Day School Leadership Training Institute, KOLLOT, Camp Ramah, and various synagogues throughout metropolitan New York. Prior to her position at JTS, Dr. Lehman was assistant professor of Talmud and the director of Rabbinic Civilization at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia.

Dr. Lehman received a bachelor of arts degree from Wellesley College (magna cum laude) and a master of arts, master of philosophy, and doctorate in Religion from Columbia University.

Published Works


The En Yaaqov: Jacob ibn Habib's Search for Faith in the Talmudic Corpus. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2012.


"Teaching to, with, and Against Faith." Teaching Theology and Religion (accepted for publication, forthcoming 2013).

"Assigning Integration: A Framework for Intellectual, Personal, and Professional Development in Seminary Courses." Teaching Theology and Religion 16:1 (2013). (coauthor with Jane Kanareck)

"Reading the Gendered Rhetoric of Yom Kippur." In Introduction to Seder Qodashim, edited by Tal Ilan, Monika Brockhaus, and Tanja Hidde, 33-56. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012.

"Reimagining Home, Rethinking Sukkah: Rabbinic Discourse and its Contemporary Implications." In Jews at Home: The Domestication of Identity, edited by Simon Bronner, 107-139. Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2009.

"Making a Case for Rabbinic Pedagogy." In The International Handbook of Jewish Education, edited by Lisa Grant and Alex Pomson, 581-596. New York: Springer, 2011. (coauthor with Jane Kanarek)

"Reenacting Ancient Pedagogy in the Classroom." Spotlight on Theological Education: American Academy of Religion 2:1 (2008).

"The Gendered Rhetoric of Sukkah Observance." Jewish Quarterly Review 96:3 (2006).

"Examining the Role of Gender Studies in the Teaching of Talmudic Literature," Journal of Jewish Education 72:2 (2006).

"The Babylonian Talmud in Cognitive Perspective: Reflections on the Nature of the Bavli and Its Pedagogical Implications." Journal of Jewish Education 69:2 (2003). (coauthor with Jeffrey Kress)

"Dialogue and 'Distance': Cognitive-Developmental Theories and the Teaching of Talmud." Jewish Education News, spring 2004. (coauthor with Jeffrey Kress)

"Women and Passover Observance: Reconsidering Gender in the Study of Rabbinic Texts." Studies in Jewish Civilization 14 (2003).

"For the Love of Talmud: Reflections on the Study of Bava Metzia, Perek 2." The Journal of Jewish Education 68:1 (2002).

"Patriarchy and the Status of Women in Rabbinic Judaism." Prooftexts 19:3 (1999).

The Ein Yaakov: A Collection of Aggadah in Transition." Prooftexts 19:2 (1999).


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