Contact firstname.lastname@example.org From North America: (510) 550 1173 In Israel: (077) 662 1230
Women of the Book:
Jewish Women Recording, Reflecting, Revisioning
Women of the Book: Jewish Women Recording, Reflecting, Revisioning is a midrashic (interpretive) scroll based on the form and content of a traditional Torah scroll and created on 54 parchment panels (the number of Torah portions) by 54 Jewish women artists from around the world. It is an international, multi-denominational installation that acknowledges the centrality of women’s voices in the texts of our lives.
Core to the far-reaching impact of Women of the Book is a traveling exhibit of the scroll which will be installed in museums and galleries around the world. Accompanying the exhibit will be an art book featuring the work of the artists alongside ancient and contemporary midrashim (interpretations/commentaries), interviews with and reflections by the participating artists as well as essays by leading Jewish feminist thinkers and curators. An interactive curriculum will provide programming for community education and Jewish learning in a wide range of settings and institutions.
Women of the Book is both a channel for artists who are well-versed in Torah to express their artistic vision and a gateway for those who have not yet found their voices working within the stories of the Jewish people. It supports the emergence of Jewish women artists as intimately connected to text, as storytellers and as visionaries who inform our lives as women, as Jews and as citizens of the world. The collaborative nature of this international project demonstrates one of women’s profound gifts to society and will serve as a model for generations to come.
During this pivotal time in Jewish history when women are, for the first time, emerging as Torah scribes, we are compelled to examine what it means to come to Torah as women, to come to writing, to interpreting, to telling through the experience of womanhood. Nearly as old as the Torah is the tradition of interpreting what is meant by the writings. Commentaries, written by male rabbis, scholars and their students, make up an entire canon of literature. The voices of Jewish women as interpreters of text are underrepresented in the worlds of Jewish education and Jewish thought. Similarly, the work of women artists is underrepresented in galleries, museums and textbooks. Women of the Book addresses these critical gaps by supporting each artist in making personal, visual meaning from the familial, tribal, historical, political, and geographical questions that emerge from within the text. Women of the Book is creating a vehicle for Jewish women artists to enter into the interpretive canon and to initiate, through their artistic and intellectual processes, the creation of new languages of interpretation and midrashic expression. Through international exhibitions and educational programming, we see this midrashic scroll becoming a critical and visionary voice of Judaism.
The Project, by Parsha
The Torah scroll, also known as the Five Books of Moses, is the central text of the Jewish people. It is divided into 54 weekly portions known as parshiot (singular, parsha). Each week, over the course of one year, a new portion is read and studied, often with the addition of modern and traditional commentary from the canon of Jewish thought spanning 2,000 years.
Women of the Book artists are creating their work according to these 54 weekly Torah portions. Each artist has selected one portion to interpret visually. Click on any link below to view completed works and to learn more about each artist.