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Adult Education: Sister Scholars, Or How Orthodox Women Took the Torah into Their Own Hands

  • 1:00 PM
  • Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Avenue, Room 318

Prof. Naomi Seidman

Presented by Prof. Naomi Seidman (University of Toronto)

In 1917, a seamstress with an eighth grade education named Sarah Schenirer founded Bais Yaakov in her dressmaking studio, a school that taught Torah to Orthodox girls. If this radical idea was accepted by the rabbinical establishment, it was only because a tidal wave of defections by Orthodox girls (boys were “protected” from heresy by their education) made them desperate for new solutions. Over the next two or three decades, Bais Yaakov grew to hundreds of schools throughout Europe and beyond. It continues to flourish today in thirteen countries.

This talk will explore Bais Yaakov through a history of the movement and through a 1931 school songbook I discovered in the YIVO Archive.  I hope you’ll sing along!

This program will take place after our Shabbat Kiddish.