UCLA Center for Jewish Studies to Host JTS Graduate School Alumni Lecture Series

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950
Email: nijacobson@jtsa.edu

March 25, 2009, Los Angeles, CA

The topic of "Rabbinic Constructs of the Family" will be addressed by two alumnae of The Graduate School of The Jewish Theological Seminary on Wednesday, April 1, at the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies in Los Angeles.

The event, part of JTS's Graduate School Alumni Lecture Series, will feature Dr. Gail Labovitz ('02), assistant professor of Rabbinics at the University of Judaism, who will discuss "Go to Your Ketubbah: Bridewealth, Indirect Dowry, and the Rabbinic Marriage Contract," and Dr. Dvora Weisberg ('94), associate professor of Rabbinics and director of the Beit Midrash at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, who will present "For Love or Money: The Role of Paternity in Shaping Family." The event is cosponsored by the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. Dr. Carol Bakhos ('00) will moderate.

The Graduate School brings together the world's finest scholars and students in a rigorous and inspiring encounter with classical Jewish texts. Unique for the sheer abundance of its course options and depth and range of its faculty, it also affords access to the premier library of Judaica in North America, consortial relationships with institutions that include Columbia, CUNY, Fordham, Penn, NYU, Princeton, Union Theological Seminary, and Yale, and two dual-degree programs with Columbia University.

Dr. Labovitz's doctoral dissertation, "My Wife I Called 'My House': Marriage, Metaphor, and Discourses of Gender in Rabbinic Literature," explored the use of ownership metaphors ("women are ownable," "marriage is an acquisition of property") in rabbinic texts of late antiquity to construct marriage, and by extension, gender and gender relations. Her publications and conference presentations have also explored images of the nursing mother in early rabbinic sources, slavery and marriage in rabbinic thought, and the use of rabbinic sources for the study of women and gender in late antiquity. She has taught at JTS and at the Academy for Jewish Religion. Dr. Labovitz received rabbinic ordination from JTS in 1992.

Dr. Weisberg received her BA at Brandeis University and her MA and PhD at JTS. Before coming to HUC, Dr. Weisberg taught at the College of William and Mary and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Weisberg is especially interested in gender issues in rabbinic texts. Her forthcoming book focuses on levirate marriage and constructs of the family in rabbinic Judaism.

Associate professor of Late Antique Judaism at University of California, Los Angeles, and associate director of the Center for Jewish Studies, Dr. Bakhos has taught at Middlebury College, Vassar College, and New York Theological Seminary. She was a visiting fellow at Princeton University and a Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University. She has won several prestigious research grants and has authored or edited several books, including Judaism in its Hellenistic Context, Ishmael on the Border: Rabbinic Portrayals of the First Arab, and Current Trends in the Study of Midrash. She will serve as director of the Center for Jewish Studies next year.

The Graduate School Alumni Lecture Series will conclude in New York City on April 26. All presenters in the series received their doctorates at JTS. The programs are open to the public at no charge. Reservations are requested and receptions will follow each of the programs. For further information and to RSVP, please call (212) 678-8024 or visit www.jtsa.edu/alumni/events.xml. Information regarding other alumni programming is available by visiting the Wohl Office of Alumni Affairs or calling (212) 678-8909.