Annual Conferences

What is the Mishnah?
A workshop sponsored by
The Center for Jewish Studies  
The Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law
The Littauer Chair in Hebrew Literature and Philosophy
Harvard University
January 2021

Register via zoom, for more details:

Tuesday January 5, 11am – 1pm EST  

Opening Remarks   

Panel 1: The Mishnah and History  

Martin Goodman        The Presentation of the Past in the Mishnah  

Hayim Lapin                The Mishnah as a Historical Document  

Thursday January 7, 11am – 1pm EST

Panel 2: The Mishnah in its Historical Context  

Vered Noam                Mishnah and the Second Temple/Qumran  

Catherine Hezser        Mishnah and Greco-Roman Law  

Jonathan Milgram      Mishnah and Ancient Near East Law  

Tuesday January 12, 11am – 1pm EST

Panel 3: Social World of the Mishnah  

Jonathan Klawans       Priests and Pietists  

Adiel Schremer           Heretics  

Ishai Rosen-Zvi            Gentiles                

Gail Labovitz                Women and Gender  

Thursday January 14, 11am – 1pm EST

Panel 4: The Mishnah in its Literary Context  

Yair Furstenburg         The Literary Evolution of the Mishnah  

Shamma Friedman      Mishnah and Tannaitic Literature  

Azzan Yadin                 Mishnah and Tannaitic Midrash  

Monday January 18, 11am – 1pm EST

Panel 5: Mishnaic Discourse  

Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal          Mishnaic Hebrew/Language  

Beth Berkowitz                        Rhetoric (including mahloket)

Moshe Shoshan                       Narrative  

Tuesday January 19, 11am-1pm EST

Panel 6: Composition, Transmission and Reception  

David Stern                  Early Transmission/Publication of the Mishnah  

Uziel Fuchs                  From the Geonim to the Age of Print  

Chanan Gafni              From the Age of Print to the Nineteenth Century  

Thursday January 21,  11am – 1pm EST

Panel 7: The Mishnah and Judaism  

Chaya Halberstam      Mishnah and Torah  

Sarit Gribetz                Holiness in the Mishnah  

Naftali Cohn                Mishnah as Utopia

Conference Program:

Please see below for select Video Clips from the Mizrahi Legal Studies Conference
December 10-11, 2019

Roundtable: Mizrahi Methodologies
Hadar Aviram, Yifat Bitton, Sapir Slutzker-Amran, Yofi Tirosh

Knowing Mizrahi Identity: Criterions, Records, Adjudication
Chair: Rabea Eghbariah
Issi Rosen-Zvi
: The Right to Mizrahi Culture v. The Right of Mizrahim to Culture
Yofi Tirosh: Dance Club Door Profiling Adjudication: The Ambiguity Trap of Mizrahi Identity
Sigal Nagar-Ron: Statistical invisibility and its Implications: the Case of an Ethnicity-blind Approach and the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.
Hadar Aviram: The Ethnic Djinn Comes Out from the Tin

Yifat Bitton, Chairwoman, Tmura, the Israeli Anti-Discrimination Center, COMAS Striks Law School

Mizrahi Jews and Jewish Law

Chair: Noah Feldman
Zvi Zohar
: Core Characteristics of Sephardic Halakhic Thought in Modern Times
Benjamin Brown:  Mizrahi/Haredi Legal Interactions
Chagai Schlesinger: The Dual Chief Rabbinate in Israel: Centralism, Pluralism, Discrimination

SHAS Roundtable
Chair: Noah Feldman
Moshe Arbel: 
SHAS and the Emmanuel Affair
Sagit Peretz-Deri
: A Feminist Critique of the Evolution of SHAS

 Mizrahi Discrimination and Clinical Education

Chair: Emily Broad Leib
Reut Cohen: Challenges and Dilemmas of a Clinic Director in Representing Mizrahi Jews in Poverty Law Issues
Efrat Fudem: Anti-Mizrahi Discrimination and Legal Education
Vardit Avidan: Representing Mizrahi Women
Neta Ziv and Sapir Slutzker-AmranMizrahi Cause Lawyers in Israel: Harnessing Ethnic Consciousness and Legal Professionalism

Mizrahi Representation and Speech Regulation
Chair: Oshra Shaib Lerer
Magi Otsri
: David Levy Walks into A Bar: Regulating offensive anti-Mizrahi humor on Israeli TV
Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber: The Politics of Mizrahi Representation, and the Fight for Justice: The Yemenite Babies Affair
Natalie Haziza: Traces of Absence: How the trauma of the Yemenite, Mizrahi and Balkan Kidnapped Children Affair is presented in home-movies and photographs
Joshua Lipson: The Ashkenazi Revolution Affair and the Forming of Mizrahi Ethnic Politics

Spatial Dimensions and Mizrahi Positionality

Chair: Derek Penslar
Yael Berda
: Reversing Internal Colonialism – Towards Administrative Principles of Affirmative Inclusion
Yishai Blank
Mizrahi Legal Studies at a Crossroad: Between Classical Critique and Critique in an Era of Liberal Decline.
Alexandre Kedar: Mizhrahi Jews under the Israeli Land Regime: Between Asheknazi Founders and Indigenous Palestinians
Fady Khoury: The Ambiguity of Segregation Regulation in Israel in Relation to Palestinians and Mizrahim


Please see below for Video Clips from the Progressive Halakhah Conference
December 19-20, 2018




Video Clips from the Progressive Halakhah Conference, December 19-20, 2018 at Harvard Law School:

Opening Remarks by Noah Feldman  (

Session I: “Communal Boundaries I: Who or What is a Jew?” with presentations by Toba Spitzer (“Beyond Halakhah: Identity, Status, and the Value of Inclusion”), Seth Farber (“Conversions in the State of Israel: Past, Present, and Future?”), Michael J. Broyde (“Half Breeds? Zera Yisrael, Jewish Souls and Conversion after Intermarriage”), and Hannah Kehat (“Judaism as a Choice: The Case of Religious Feminism”) (

Keynote Address:   “Incremental Change and Paradigm Shifts: Pathways Forward for Progressive Halakhah,”by Ethan Tucker (

Session II“Roundtable on Contemporary Challenges: Gender, Sexuality and Beyond,” with presentations by Emily Blake (“Adapting a Centuries Old Tradition of Circumcision to Our Ever Evolving Times”), Lisa Fishbayn Joffe (“Agunah Activists: Perspectives on Halakhic Change”), Carrie Bornstein (“Welcoming Fluidity: Exploring Transgender Empowerment at the Mikveh”), Steve Greenberg (“Envisioning an Orthodox Gay Wedding Ritual: An Inquiry Into The Meanings Of Marriage”) (

Session III“Movements and Post-Movements,” with presentations by Benay Lappe (“A Queer Take on Halakhah from a Traditionally Radical Yeshiva”), Shaul Magid, (“Is ‘Post-Halakhah’ Averah Lishma?”), Devorah Zlochower (“The Role of the Questioner in the Halakhic Conversation”), Leonard Matanky (“Engagement and Boundaries: The RCA and the Ordination of Women”) (

Lunchtime Discussion: “Kashrut: Do Jewish Ethics Matter?” with Barry Shrage, Moshe Taub, and Ayalon Eliach (

Keynote Address “Teaching, Learning, and Living Halakhah in a Pluralistic Context: A View from the Hebrew College Rabbinical School,” by Sharon Cohen-Anisfeld, Jane Kanarek, Ayalon Eliach (

Session IV: “Progressivism, Zionism and Messianism,” with presentations by Don Seeman (“Secular Apostasy and the Limits of Progressive Law: The Case of the Feres Mura Jews in Israel”), Ronit Irshai (“Religious Feminism, Trapped between Halakhah, Essentialism and Nationalism”), Yehudah Mirsky (“Reflections on Teleology, Change, and the Nationalization of Halakhah in the State of Israel”) (

Introduction to Session V:  “Who or What is an Orthodox Rabbi?” by Adam S. Ferziger (

Session V: “Communal Boundaries II: Who or What is an Orthodox Rabbi?” with presentations by Lisa Septimus, “Yoetzot Halachah: Playing by the Rules or Reinventing Them?”), Rahel Berkovits (“Freedom of Thought: Orthodoxy in Modern Israel”), Lila Kagedan (“The View from a Congregational Rabbi, Ethicist, Poseket: Wearing Several Hats”), Ezra Y. Schwartz (“Moving Forward Traditionally, Without Paralysis”) (


The debate over whether Halakhah evolves is evergreen. But among those who accept its evolution, there remains a deep set of descriptive and normative questions about how Halakhah changes over time. Is Halakhah changed by conscious effort or unconscious development? May we seek to shape the direction of Halakhah? If so, according to what values? Can we retain fidelity to the practice of Halakhah (assuming that is desirable) while seeking concord with values drawn from outside the Jewish tradition? Does the contested value of “progress” fit the Halakhic process, and if so, how? This conference seeks to address these questions from multiple standpoints, historical and normative, and across the full range of possible attitudes toward Halakhah and its binding or guiding character. In this day and half long conference, our goal is to generate conversations that will help map the full contemporary scene of Halakhic thought and also enable thoughtful exchange about the normative questions that pervade the realm of thinking around Halakhah.

Day 1 (December 19, 2018)

12pm: Noah Feldman, Opening Remarks

12:30- 3:00pm:

 Session I: “Communal Boundaries I: Who or What is a Jew?”

  • Toba Spitzer, “Beyond Halakhah: Identity, Status, and the Value of Inclusion”
  • Seth Farber, “Conversions in the State of Israel: Past, Present, and Future?”
  • Michael Broyde, “Half Breeds?  Zera Yisrael, Jewish Souls and Conversion after Intermarriage”
  • Hannah Kehat, “Judaism as a Choice: The Case of Religious Feminism”

3:00-3:15pm: Break


Keynote: Ethan Tucker

“Incremental Change and Paradigm Shifts: Pathways Forward for Progressive Halakhah”

3:45-4:00pm: Break


Session II: “Roundtable on Contemporary Challenges: Gender, Sexuality and Beyond”

  • Emily Blake, “Adapting a Centuries Old Tradition of Circumcision to Our Ever Evolving Times”
  • Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, “Agunah Activists: Perspectives on Halakhic Change”
  • Carrie Bornstein, “Welcoming Fluidity: Exploring Transgender Empowerment at the Mikveh”
  • Steve Greenberg, “Envisioning an Orthodox Gay Wedding Ritual: An Inquiry Into The Meanings Of Marriage”

6:30pm: Dinner for conference participants and guests

 Day 2 (December 20, 2018)

9:00am: Noah Feldman, Opening Remarks


Session III: “Movements and Post-Movements”

  • Benay Lappe, “A Queer Take on Halakhah from a Traditionally Radical Yeshiva”
  • Shaul Magid, “Is ‘Post-Halakhah’ Averah Lishma?”
  • Devorah Zlochower, “The Role of the Questioner in the Halakhic Conversation”

11:45am-12:00am: Break

12:00pm – 1:15pm:

Lunchtime Discussion: “Kashrut: Do Jewish Ethics Matter?” moderated by Barry Shrage

  • Morris Allen
  • Moshe Taub

1:15pm-1:30pm: Break


Keynote: Sharon Cohen-Anisfeld, Jane Kanarek, Ayalon Eliach

“Teaching, Learning, and Living Halakhah in a Pluralistic Context: A View from the Hebrew College Rabbinical School”

2:00-2:15pm: Break


Session IV: “Progressivism, Zionism and Messianism”

  • Don Seeman, “Secular Apostasy and the Limits of Progressive Law: The Case of the Feres Mura Jews in Israel”
  • Ronit Irshai, “Religious Feminism, Trapped between Halakhah, Essentialism and Nationalism”
  • Yehudah Mirsky, “Reflections on Teleology, Change, and the Nationalization of Halakhah in the State of Israel”

3:30 – 3:45pm: Break

3:45pm – 5:45pm:

Session V: “Communal Boundaries II: Who or What is an Orthodox Rabbi?” (moderated by Adam S. Ferziger)

  • Leonard Matanky, “Engagement and Boundaries: The RCA and the Ordination of Women”
  • Lisa Septimus, “Yoetzot Halachah: Playing by the Rules or Reinventing Them?”
  • Rahel Berkovits, “Freedom of Thought: Orthodoxy in Modern Israel”
  • Ezra Y. Schwartz, “Moving Forward Traditionally, Without Paralysis”
  • Lila Kagedan, “The View from a Congregational Rabbi, Ethicist, Poseket: Wearing Several Hats”

5:45 – 6:00pm: Noah Feldman, Closing Remarks

Speakers and Moderators:

  1. Morris Allen, Rabbi, Beth Jacob Congregation
  2. Rahel Berkovits, Senior Lecturer, Pardes Institute
  3. Emily Blake, M.D., certified mohel
  4. Carrie Bornstein, Executive Director, Mayyim Hayyim
  5. Michael Broyde, Professor, Emory University School of Law
  6. Sharon Cohen-Anisfeld, President, Hebrew College
  7. Ayalon Eliach, Director of Learning and Strategic Communications, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah
  8. Seth Farber, Director, ITIM
  9. Adam S. Ferziger, Professor, Bar-Ilan University
  10. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Director, Hadassah-Brandeis Institute
  11. Steve Greenberg, Founding Director, Eshel
  12. Ronit Irshai, Associate Professor, Bar-Ilan University
  13. Lila Kagedan, Rabbi, Walnut Street Synagogue
  14. Jane Kanarek, Associate Dean, Hebrew College
  15. Hannah Kehat, Lecturer, Givat Washington Academic College
  16. Benay Lappe, Rosh Yeshiva, Svara
  17. Shaul Magid, Professor, Indiana University
  18. Leonard Matanky, former President, Rabbinical Council of America
  19. Yehudah Mirsky, Professor, Brandeis University
  20. Ezra Y. Schwartz, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva University
  21. Don Seeman, Professor, Emory University
  22. Lisa Septimus, Yoetzet Halakhah, Rebbetzin
  23. Barry Shrage, Professor, Brandeis University
  24. Toba Spitzer, Rabbi, Dorshei Tzedek
  25. Moshe Taub, Buffalo Vaad of Kashrus
  26. Ethan Tucker, President, Mechon Hadar
  27. Devorah Zlochower, Dean, Yeshivat Maharat

Speaker and Moderator Bios:

  1. Morris Allen has served as the rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation in Mendota Heights, Minnesota since 1986, and he will be retiring in July 2019. He was the Founder and Project Director of Magen Tzedek, an organization devoted to the assurance of producing kosher food in a manner that is consistent with Jewish ethical norms. While the project is currently on hiatus, this work has transformed the discourse and understanding of Kashrut and the role it needs to play inside the life of the Jewish community.
  2. Rahel Berkovits is a senior lecturer in Mishnah, Talmud and halakha, at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has been teaching for over twenty years. Rabbi Rahel Berkovits  writes articles and lectures widely in both Israel and abroad on topics concerning women and Jewish law and a Jewish sexual ethic.  She is the Halakhic Editor for TaShma the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance’s Halakhic Source-guide Series, soon to be published by Koren Publishing as Hilkhot Nashim. Rahel is a founding member of Congregation Shirah Hadasha, a halakhic partnership Synagogue, and serves on their halakha committee. In June 2015, Rahel received Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbis Herzl Hefter and Daniel Sperber.
  3. Emily J. Blake, MD, is a board certified OB/Gyn who worked in reproductive endocrinology. As a mohel she is a graduate of both the JTS Brit Kodesh (conservative) and the HUC Brit Milah (reform) programs, but works with families of every stripe and from every Jewish denomination. After leaving clinical medicine and research, she has been a full time mohel for the past 10 years, primarily in New York/New Jersey, but ranging from Connecticut to Philadelphia and beyond, with the rare excursion to Japan. She lives with her partner just north of New York City.
  4. Carrie Bornstein, is the Executive Director of Mayyim Hayyim in Newton, MA. She has been with Mayyim Hayyim since she became a volunteer Mikveh Guide in 2006.  Since then she served as Mikveh Center Director, Assistant Director, and Acting Executive Director. Carrie is now leading Mayyim Hayyim to transition from a robust start-up to a sustainable grown-up. She oversees staffing, board development, fundraising, and national consultation. In 2013, Combined Jewish Philanthropies named Carrie one of the 18 most influential young adults in Boston. A cum laude graduate of Skidmore College, Carrie received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University with a focus on Macro Practice, including non-profit management, planning and program development, and community organizing. A graduate of the first cohort of DeLeT (Day School Leadership through Teaching) at Brandeis University, Carrie also studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Carrie lives in Sharon, MA, with her husband, Jamie, and their three young children, Eliana, Dovi, and Jonah.
  5. Michael J. Broyde is Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law and Senior Fellow and Projects Director at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. His primary areas of interest are law and religion, Jewish law and ethics, family law, and comparative religious law. His most recent books are Sharia Tribunals, Rabbinical Courts, and Christian Panels: Religious Arbitration in America and the West (2017) and A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts (2017). During the 2018-2019 academic year, Broyde is a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he is working on four manuscripts. Topics include religious arbitration in nations that have established religions, kidney transplants and vouchers, Jewish law issues related to modesty, and a modern explication of the book of Genesis. He is also translating A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts into Hebrew.  Rabbi Broyde was ordained at Yeshiva University (yore yore yadin yadin), served as the founding rabbi of the Young Israel Congregation in Atlanta for many years, Rosh Kollel of the Atlanta Torah Mitzion Kollel during its tenure, served as the head of a rabbinical court for conversion for a decade, and was a dayan and member of the Beth Din of America for more than 15 years, including a period of time as the director.
  6. Sharon Cohen-Anisfeld became President of Hebrew College in July 2018, after being appointed President-Elect in fall 2017 and serving as Acting President from January-June 2018.  Rabbi Anisfeld first came to Hebrew College in 2003 as an adjunct faculty member of the Rabbinical School and then served as Dean of Students from 2005-2006.   She went on to serve as Dean of the Rabbinical School for eleven years, from 2006-2017.   Rabbi Anisfeld graduated from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1990, and subsequently spent 15 years working in pluralistic settings as a Hillel rabbi at Tufts, Yale and Harvard universities. She has been a regular summer faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel since 1993 and is co-editor of two volumes of women’s writings on Passover *The Women’s Seder Sourcebook: Rituals and Readings for Use at the Passover Seder* (2002) and *The Women’s Passover Companion: Women’s Reflections on the Festival of Freedom* (2002).
  7. Ayalon Eliach is the Director of Learning and Strategic Communications at Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah—a private foundation committed to helping people apply particular Jewish wisdom to universal human questions. Rabbi Ayalon Eliach holds a BA, summa cum laude, in Religious Studies from Yale University, a JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and Rabbinic Ordination as well as an MA in Judaic Studies from Hebrew College. His writing has appeared in the Forward, Haaretz, Huffington Post, and other publications.
  8. Seth Farber received his Ph.D. from Hebrew University and his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University.  He is the founder of ITIM: The Jewish Advocacy Center and Giyur K’Halacha, the largest Orthodox conversion court in Israel. Through ITIM, Rabbi Farber has been responsible for creating greater transparency in the Israeli Rabbinate by suing the rabbinate in Israel’s highest court.  Some of the cases involved the recognition of converts in the IDF, the “blacklist” of rabbis from overseas, and the rabbinical court initiated Jewishness investigations.  Rabbi Farber is the rabbi of Kehillat Netivot in Raanana, Israel, where he lives with his wife and five children.
  9. Adam S. Ferziger holds the Samson Raphael Hirsch Chair in the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at Bar-Ilan University.  He is a senior associate at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and co-convener of the annual Oxford Summer Institute on Modern and Contemporary Judaism. His book Beyond Sectarianism, published in 2015, was the winner of the National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies. Most recently, he was appointed to head Bar-Ilan’s new Center for the Study of Judaism in Israel and North America.
  10. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe is the Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University where she teaches in the Philosophy and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Departments and the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.  She is also director of the HBI Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law that explores the tension between women’s equality claims and religious laws.  Her research focuses on gender and multiculturalism in family law and on the intersection between secular and religious law. She is the author of *Gender, Religion and Family Law: Theorizing Conflicts Between Women’s Rights and Cultural Traditions* (2012); *The Polygamy Question* (2015); *Women’s Rights and Religious Law* (2016) and was guest editor of a special issue of *Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Issues on New Historical and Legal Perspectives on Jewish Divorce* (2017). She is a co-founder of the Boston Agunah Task Force, devoted to research, education and advocacy for women under Jewish family law.
  11. Steven Greenberg received his B.A. in philosophy from Yeshiva University and his rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. Rabbi Greenberg is a founder of the Jerusalem Open House, Jerusalem’s first gay and lesbian community center. He is the author of the award winning book, *Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition* (2004) for which he won the Koret Jewish Book Award for Philosophy and Thought in 2005. Rabbi Greenberg is currently a faculty member of the Hartman Institute of North America and the Founding Director of Eshel, an Orthodox LGBT community support, education and advocacy organization. He lives with his partner Steven Goldstein and daughter Amalia in Boston.
  12. Ronit Irshai is an Associate Professor in the gender studies program at Bar Ilan University and a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman institute in Jerusalem. A member in “Kolech” – A religious feminist forum. She has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School during the academic year of 2007-2008, and a visiting scholar at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute in Fall 2016. Her research focuses on theology, gender and sexuality, Jewish religious feminism,  queer theory and modern Jewish law (halakhah).She has published series of articles on those subjects. Her first book is *Fertility and Jewish Law – Feminist Perspectives on Orthodox Responsa Literature* (2012) and she is now working on two new books: The first one is on gender essentialism in contemporary halakhah and the second is on Muslim and Jewish feminisms in Israel.
  13. Lila Kagedan is a dual Canadian and American citizen, the first Orthodox woman to adopt the title of rabbi. Rabbi Kagedan holds degrees and certificates from Midreshet Lindenbaum, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The University of Toronto, Harvard University, The Medstar Washington Hospital Center and Massachusetts General Hospital and is a Shalom Hartman Institute RLI fellow.  She is also a Hadassah Brandeis Institute-Gender, Culture, Religion and Law Research Associate. She was ordained in 2015, by Maharat and is the senior rabbi at the Walnut Street Synagogue, an Orthodox synagogue in Chelsea, MA. She is also the founder of the Sulam School in Brookline, MA. Rabbi Kagedan is a professor of medicine and  bioethics at New York Medical College and is a clinical ethicist as well as a chaplain in hospitals and hospices. She is currently studying for Yadin Yadin smicha.
  14. Jane Kanarek is Associate Professor of Rabbinics and Associate Dean of Academic Development and Advising at Hebrew College. She is the author of *Biblical Narrative and the Formation of Rabbinic Law* (2014) and the co-editor of *Learning to Read Talmud: What It Looks Like and How it Happens* (2016)  and *Motherhood in the Jewish Cultural Imagination* (2017), both of which were finalists for the National Jewish Book Award. A member of the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, she received her doctorate from the University of Chicago and rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
  15. Hannah Kehat is the founder of “Kolech: Religious Women’s Forum,” the State of Israel’s first Orthodox Jewish feminist movement, which she established in 1998, and led it for many years. Kehat led to far-reaching changes to the civic and religious equality of the status of women in religious society in Israel, Dr. Hannah Kehat is an academic, researcher and lecturer at the Givat Washington Academic College.  She did her doctorate in Jewish Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has received a Honoris causa doctorate from the Weizmann Institute in Rechovot, Israel and from Hebrew Union College in Israel. She received the Presidential recognition for Volunteer Work in 2004. And in 2016 she was awarded a Rappaport Prize for Women Generating Change in Israeli Society. Prof. Kehat has published many scholarly and popular articles as well as four books: *Mishnat Hanatziv*, *Feminism and Judaism: From Collision to Regeneration*, *Women’s Torah Study: The Idea and Meaning*. In 2016 she published the book, *When Torah Became Torah Study – Changes in the Idea of Talmud Torah in Modern Eras*, which was awarded in 2017, the Matanel Prize by the World Union of Jewish Studies, for the best book in Jewish thought in the last three years.
  16. Benay Lappe is the President, Founder, and Rosh Yeshiva of SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva. Ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1997, she also currently serves as Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Next Jewish Future, in Chicago. An award-winning educator specializing in the application of queer theory to Talmud study, her writings have appeared in Torah QueeriesLesbian Rabbis: The First Generation, and elsewhere. She has served on the faculties of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Temple University, American Jewish University, The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, The Graduate Theological Union’s Center for Jewish Studies at UC-Berkeley, and The Wexner Institute. Rabbi Lappe is a Joshua Venture Fellow, and a recipient of the 2016 Covenant Award for innovative Jewish education.
  17. Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University/Bloomington and Brownstone Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. Professor Magid is a Kogod Senior Research Fellow at The Shalom Hartman Institute of America in NYC and rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue. His forthcoming books are *The Bible, the Talmud, and the New Testament: Elijah Zvi Soloveitchik’s Commentary to the Gospels* with The University of Pennsylvania Press and *Piety and Rebellion: Essays in Hasidism* with Academic Studies Press. He is presently working on an intellectual biography of Meir Kahane.
  18. Leonard A. Matanky has served as the Dean of Ida Crown Jewish Academy since 1996 and as the Rabbi of Congregation K.I.N.S. of West Rogers Park since 1995. A native Chicagoan and ICJA alum, he was ordained and received a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, New York University. Rabbi Matanky is the co-president of the Religious Zionists of America, the co-Chair of the Rabbinic Action Committee of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Chair of the Kashruth Commission of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, the past president of the Rabbinical Council of America, and currently serves on numerous boards including, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Chicago Rabbinical Council, the Center for the Jewish Future of Yeshiva University, and the rabbinic advisories of World Bnei Akiva and the YU Torah MiTzion Kollel of Chicago. Rabbi Matanky is the assistant editor of the new RCA prayerbook “Avodat HaLev,” and editor of the Koren House of Mourning Prayerbook (January 2019).
  19. Yehudah Mirsky is associate professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis. Professor Mirsky studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Yeshiva College and received rabbinic ordination in Jerusalem. He graduated from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the law review, and completed his PhD in Religion at Harvard. He worked in Washington as an aide to then-Senators Bob Kerrey and Al Gore, and at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and served in the Clinton Administration as special advisor in the US State Department’s human rights bureau. From 2002-2012 he lived in Jerusalem and was a fellow at the Van Leer Institute and Jewish People Policy Institute and a grass-roots activis. He has written widely on politics, theology and culture for a number of publications including The New York Times, The New Republic and The Economist, The Daily Beast, and The Washington Post. After the attacks of September 11 he served as a volunteer chaplain for the Red Cross. He is a member of the board of Ha-Tenuah Ya-Yerushalmit, the movement for a pluralist and livable Jerusalem. He is the author of the widely-acclaimed volume, *Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution* (2014).
  20. Ezra Y. Schwartz is a Rosh Yeshiva at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Yeshiva University, where he also serves as the Assistant Director of the RIETS Semikha program. He is also the rabbi of Mt. Sinai Jewish Center of Washington Heights, a dynamic and burgeoning community.
  21. Don Seeman is Associate Professor of Religion and Jewish Studies at Emory University and is the Rabbi of the New Toco Shul in Atlanta. He holds a PhD in Social and Medical Anthropology from Harvard University. Don is the author of *One People, One Blood: Ethiopian-Israelis and the Return to Judaism* (2009) and is co-editor of the Contemporary Anthropology of Religion series at Palgrave-Macmillan. He also publishes extensively in the areas of classical and modern Jewish thought, including Maimonides, Rav Kook, Levinas and Hasidism. His current book project is “Neighborhood Mystics: Modern Chabad and the Ethnography of Everyday Transcendence.”
  22. Lisa Septimus is the Yoetzet Halakhah of the Five Towns and Yoetzet Halakhah of Great Neck. A graduate of Stern College’s Graduate Program for Advanced Talmudic Studies, she subsequently served as the program’s shoelet u’meishiva.  She teaches Talmud at North Shore Hebrew Academy High School in Great Neck, NY, where she also serves as director of Special Programs.  In her active role as rebbetzin at the Young Israel of North Woodmere (NY) she is integrally involved with adult education and youth programming.  She has taught at The Jewish Center in Manhattan, Riverdale Jewish Center, Drisha, and Yeshiva University’s Summer Learning Program.  She and her husband, Rabbi Yehuda Septimus, are the parents of four children.
  23. Barry Shrage is Professor of the Practice in the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. He is one of America’s foremost Jewish leaders and served for the past 30 years as president of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston and as a powerful voice on the American Jewish communal scene. He is known in Boston and throughout the world for his tireless support of Jewish education; his promotion of engagement by religious and nonreligious Jews; his commitment to working for social justice at home and abroad alongside others; his strong support of Israel; his bridge-building, outreach and engagement with the non-Jewish community in creative partnerships; and for his boundless energy and creativity. Following Shrage’s retirement from CJP in 2018, he joined the Hornstein Program as Professor of the Practice. At Hornstein, Shrage trains and mentors students in their future roles as Jewish professional leaders. He is working closely with the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, where he is developing and leading a new initiative on Jewish identity. The Initiative for Jewish Identity (IJI) will examine Jewish identity historically and in the contemporary context and build on that understanding to identify and support community programs that can produce large-scale measurable impact on Jewish engagement.
  24. Toba Spitzer has served as the rabbi of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek since she was ordained in 1997 at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC). Rabbi Spitzer is a popular teacher of courses on Judaism and economic justice, Reconstructionist Judaism, new approaches to thinking about God, and the practice of integrating Jewish spiritual and ethical teachings into daily life. She served as the President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association from 2007-2009, and was the first lesbian or gay rabbi to head a national rabbinic organization. She currently serves as President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis. Rabbi Spitzer has been involved for many years in American Jewish efforts to help foster a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as work in the U.S. for economic and social justice. She  serves as Treasurer of Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, on the Advisory Board of J Street, and as co-chair of the Boston chapter of the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet.
  25. Moshe Taub is the Director of Buffalo Vaad HaKashrus, and Rabbi of Young Israel of Holliswood / Holliswood Jewish Center. After receiving his 2003 ordination from Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, New Jersey, Rabbi Taub became an Orthodox rabbi in Buffalo, where he also took over the helm at the BVK, the Buffalo Vaad HaKashrus. Soon, this local Kosher Council grew to a national level, focusing largely on the industrial side of the food industry. Rabbi Taub is now a rabbi in Queens and serves as well as the Rabbinic Editor and weekly columnist for Ami Magazine, an Orthodox international weekly magazine. He received this 2005 Rabbinic Leadership Award by the National Council of Young Israel.
  26. Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Mechon Hadar and chair in Jewish Law.  Ethan also directs Hadar’s Center for Jewish Law and Values.  Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he serves on the board of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Ramaz School.  He is the author, along with Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg, of *Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law* (2017).
  27. Devorah Zlochower is Dean of Yeshivat Maharat and faculty member of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and teaches gemara and halakhah at both institutions. Devorah served as Executive Editor of Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies at YCT Rabbinical School where she edited and translated halakhic responsa. She also edited a festschrift in honor of Blu Greenberg published by JOFA. Ms. Zlochower has taught gemara and halakhah for over two decades at various institutions including Drisha Institute where she served as Rosh Beit Midrash and Director of Full-time Studies for over a decade, Yeshivat Hadar and SAR High School. She lives in Riverdale with her husband, Rabbi Dov Linzer and their two sons.


Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif: Conflict, Culture, Law (28-29 November 2017) co-sponsored by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program  Tuesday, November 28, 2017 12:00pm-6:00pm Harvard Law School 12:00pm Noah Feldman, Opening Remarks 12:30-2:15pm Session 1: History I Joseph Patrich, “From Restoration to Destruction: 600 years of the Second Jewish Temple Beatrice St. Laurent, “Unity in Diversity: Inclusiveness and Globalization in Early Islamic Jerusalem Reflected in the Dome of the Rock and the Haram al-Sharif (638-680)” Suleiman Mourad, “Al-Haram al-Sharif of Jerusalem in the Muslim Historical Consciousness” 2:30-3:15pm Keynote Address 1 Moshe Halbertal, “Sovereignty and the Sacred: Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif” 3:30pm-4:30pm Session 2: Religious Consciousness Robert O. Smith, “Christian Zionism, the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, and the Contemporary Theopolitics of Jerusalem” David Cook, “The Haram al-Sharif and Topographical Eschatology” 4:45pm-5:45pm Session 3: History II Jodi Magness, “Why is Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Sacred?” Jonathan Rubin, “From Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock to Templum Domini and Palatium Salomonis: The Temple Mount in the Frankish Period” Wednesday, November 29 9:00am-5:00pm 9:00am Noah Feldman, Opening Remarks 9:15am-11:00am Session 4: Activism Sarina Chen, “To Challenge and to Obey: The Double Role of Israeli Women in Temple Mount Activist Groups” Ali Abu Al-Awar, “Al-Aqsa Murabitat’s Accomplishments in the Political and Gender Levels” David Landes and Assaf Harel, “Freedom of Worship: The Use of Human Rights Discourse by Jewish Temple Mount Activists” 11:15am-12:00pm Keynote Address 2 Wasfi Kialani, “The Hashemite King’s Role and Status at Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, 1917-2017” 1:00pm-2:30pm Session 5: Status Quo Yitzhak Reiter, “The Dynamics of Status Quo at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif” Omar M. Dajani, “’Touching the Holy’: How Palestinians Negotiated Jerusalem” 2:45pm-4:45pm Session 6: Representation Maymanah Farhat, “The Dome of the Rock in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Arab Art” Heather Coffey, “Sustaining Vectors of Sacrality in Images of the Prophet’s Ascension (Mi‘raj)” Pamela Berger, “The Dome of the Rock as Image of the Temple of Solomon” Maya Balakirsky Katz, “Scaling the Divide: Architectural Scale Models of the Jerusalem Temple” 4:45pm Noah Feldman, Closing Remarks


Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at HLS Inaugural Event Tuesday, November 8th 2016 at 4:00pm 4:00pm- Opening Remarks by Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School 4:15pm- “Nomos as Torah: Is there Jewish Law?” by Daniel Boyarin, Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, Departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric at University of California, Berkeley. 5:00pm- “Divining the Law: Jews and Greeks and the Search for Solid Ground” by Christine Hayes, Robert F. and Patricia R. Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale University. 6:00pm- Reception with Cocktail Interval and Hors d’Oeuvres in Milstein East A&B 7:00pm- A Conversation on “Jewish and Democratic/Democratic and Muslim: Israel and Tunisia in Perspective” featuring Ruth Gavison, Haim H. Cohn Professor emerita of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Malika Zeghal, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Contemporary Islamic Thought and Life at Harvard University. Moderated by Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Director of The Julis-Rabinowitz Program in Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law School.