Women of the Book: Jewish Women Recording, Reflecting, Revisioning
Women of the Book is a midrashic (interpretive) scroll modeled 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
collaboration that acknowledges the centrality of women’s voices in the texts of our lives as Jews.
Women of the Book was founded in 2007 by social practice artist, Torah scribe and educator, Shoshana Gugenheim. Shoshana’s vision for Women of the Book grew from her experience as a Torah scribe intimately engaging the Torah text and often wrestling with its contents. Tradition dictates that the scroll be copied and recorded exactly how it was received. Any mistake, missing letter or word renders the entire scroll invalid. Therefore, any commentary or interpretation must be left to another form. Traditionally, the form has been men’s written word.
Shoshana was compelled to see how she and other Jewish women artists could interpret these texts, all of the text, in visual imagery — a visual commentary on the Torah. 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 Biblical stories of the Jewish people. It supports the emergence of Jewish women artists as interpreters of text, as storytellers and as visionaries who inform and inspire our lives as women, as Jews and as citizens of the world.
Through international exhibitions, limited edition fine art reproductions and educational programming, Women of the Book, in partnership with Jerusalem Publishing Atelier, is becoming a critical and visionary voice of Judaism.