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Shema & Iqra’: Fall Course for Jewish and Muslim Women

Shema & Iqra’: Interfaith Text Study for Jewish and Muslim Women with Shari Golberg and Nevin Reda

With common restrictions in the areas of marriage and divorce, ritual and political leadership, Muslim and Jewish women have similarly complicated relationships with their classical religious texts. This course allows women of both faith backgrounds to study these textual traditions together. Please note that this course is only open to Jewish and Muslim women.

Each week, the class will explore texts from the Torah, Quran, Talmud, Hadith, midrash, and tafsir, as well as academic, feminist, and other contemporary women’s interpretations of traditional Islamic and Jewish sources.

This class is presented in partnership with the Noor Cultural Centre,  Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (MNJCC), and the University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre for Spiritual Study, with classes taking place at all three centres.

Course Outline

October 18: Introduction Location: MNJCC Examining Islamic and Jewish dietary laws and how they pertain to women

October 25: Modesty Laws Location: MNJCC Exploring religious modesty requirements for women, addressing terms like ervah and sheitel in the Jewish tradition; and awra, hijab, jilbab, and khimar in the Muslim tradition.

November 1:Women & Leadership Location: MNJCC Studying female leaders in the histories of both religions, including figures like Queen Sheba, wise women Beruriah and Aisha, and ‘trouble makers’ Miriam and Umm Waraqa

November 8:Women, Prayer, & Sacred Spaces Location: Noor Cultural Centre Looking at prayer obligations and customs for Jewish and Muslim women, gender arrangement in prayer spaces, and female innovators of prayer ritual Hannah and Maryam.

November 15: Menstrual Laws Location: Noor Cultural Centre Understanding the perceptions of, and rules pertaining to, menstruating women in Muslim and Jewish texts, and discussing sex taboos in both communities.

November 22: Marriage & Divorce Location: Noor Cultural Centre Determining how laws of kiddushin (Jewish marrige) and nikah (Muslim marriage) affect women, and issues with get (Jewish divorce) and talaq (Muslim divorce)

November 29: Perceptions of the Other Location: University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre Learning about the depictions of Jews and Judaism in Islamic sources and those of Muslims and Islam in Jewish sources.

Dates/Locations: October 18, 25; November 1 – MNJCC (750 Spadina Avenue, Toronto) November 8,15,22 – Noor Cultural Centre November 29 – University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre (569 Spadina Avenue, Toronto) Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm Course Fee: General – $200 Youth (Age 18-30) – $35 This special youth rate is made possible through a generous grant by the University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre

To register, please click here.


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