ELELS is delighted to welcome Student Rabbi Eleanor Davis who will lead the our Rosh Chodesh group in 5780 starting on Tuesday 26th November.
The first meeting will include some study and look at options for ongoing themes or projects for the group to take forward. Eleanor has some ideas of her own – based on the assumptions of nine sessions over the year and three month rolling pattern – she has suggested:
The first and second sessions could explore Who is an Eshet Chayil? Based on Proverbs 31, with help from one particular Midrash, the group can divide up the characteristics of this ‘ideal woman’. For each characteristic, we can learn about one Biblical woman who might embody it and consider what kind of role model she is for us today. (No Hebrew is required; all texts will be provided in English)
For the third session, we can choose a theme for the year and, taking the study and discussion skills we are honing in the Biblical women sessions, apply them to either:
(1) a 19th and/or 20th century Jewish women and how they are role models for us – again, one woman per session (e.g. Bella Abzug, Lily Montagu, or the women who organised a boycott when kosher meat got too expensive)
(2) one or more articles from the quarterly Lilith journal (Lilith is an (American) Jewish feminist organisation) in the current edition are features on #MeToo, breast cancer, and period positivity
(3) short films about faith, identity and belonging, from the UK Jewish Film Festival and 3FF (Three Faiths Forum)
For the November session, we’ll briefly meet one Biblical woman and I’ll also bring along the current edition of Lilith’s journal, so those unfamiliar with it can have a look.
Perhaps at that same meeting we can tentatively plot future dates? I’d like to sketch out the full year’s programme for a sense of continuity, though each session will also work as a stand-alone.