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Speaking Availability: Workshop and Course List

Workshop and Course List

Available for in-person or zoom presentations after July 1, 2023.

Rabbi Marla J. Feldman Partial Workshop List

Torah Study and/or Text-Based Workshops:

Biblical Women Speak: Discovering Their Voices through New and Ancient Midrash
Taken from the upcoming book by the same title, this session will provide insight into the art of midrash, from ancient sources to modern biblical interpretation as we discover women of the Bible and restore their voices. This session will provide an in-depth look at one of the many biblical women featured in the book.

Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof: A Textual Approach to Social Justice
The social justice mandate within Judaism permeates the life of Reform congregations. This session will examine social justice texts from Biblical, Rabbinic and Medieval tradition that provide the foundation for the work we do and consider what these teachings mean for us today. In addition to a general session on social justice texts, more tailored sessions can focus on poverty, just war, international human rights, reproductive rights, bio-ethics, and other select topics.

Masters and Stewards: The Jewish Environmental Ethic
This textual approach to Judaism and the environment will examine relevant texts from Biblical, Rabbinic and Medieval tradition and consider what these teachings mean for us today.

Women in Jewish Life:

Sisterhood, Spirituality, and Social Justice: WRJ and You [WRJ101 workshop]
How do the “Three S’s” of WRJ combine to create a meaningful, holistic, and powerful experience for Jewish women today? This session will provide an overview of WRJ programs, resources, and opportunities for engagement

Gendered Judaism: He, She, They – It’s Complicated!
In recent years, conversations about gender in Jewish life have been eye-opening and challenging as we operate within a binary system yet strive to be open and welcoming to all in our non-binary world. WRJ is a network of women devoted to elevating women’s leadership, vision, and spirituality, and yet we are challenged to consider the question of the continuing need for such gender-based programs. How can we be inclusive of those who are gender nonconforming, while at the same time create a safe space for women to spread their wings and thrive… it’s complicated!

Can You Hear Me? Are You Listening?
As modern Jewish life is changing, so are our congregations, communities, and sisterhoods, requiring us to adopt new approaches and adapt to new trends and cultural dynamics at an increasingly fast pace. More than ever, this new era requires us to be nimble and open to trying new things, and in particular, we must pay attention to the needs and interests of today’s women. This requires active listening. Learn how and why to conduct a listening campaign in your community. WARNING: You may hear ideas that will lead to change!

A Decade of Change: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Headed
Reflecting on ten years as WRJ’s Executive Director, Rabbi Feldman will review the past decade of WRJ priorities and consider where we go next as we continue our historic mandate to engage women in Jewish life, deepen women’s spirituality, and lift up women’s voices on issues of concern.

Advocacy and Social Justice:

Achieving Pay Equity: Closing the Pay Gap in Reform Congregations
Statistically women in the U.S. earn 20% less than their male colleagues and the Reform Movement is no exception. The gender wage gap in our Reform institutions and congregations has been documented through several salary studies over the past ten years. As Reform leaders and as women we are obligated to seek economic justice and work to close the wage gap for clergy, Jewish professionals, and all employees of the Reform Movement. This session will touch on the causes of the gender wage gap, such as implicit bias, as well as key interventions that will help us achieve pay equity throughout our Reform congregations and institutions.

Advocacy Matters: A History of Reform Jewish Women’s Engagement
WRJ has a long and proud history of advocacy and engagement on public policy issues. We take action on the basis of existing resolutions and policy statements adopted by our leadership as well as the values of Reform and Progressive Judaism. Over the years, we have witnessed the importance and power of women’s advocacy on a wide array of issues of concern. Being a part of WRJ deepens our impact and amplifies our individual voices through collective action.

Continuing the Fight for Abortion Access
Reform Jewish women were rightfully outraged when the U.S. Supreme Court stripped women of the fundamental right to make essential reproductive health care decisions, including the right to choose to have an abortion, free of governmental interference. As we navigate the catastrophic results of the Court’s decision, WRJ is working with others to protect and improve access to abortion and our fundamental rights. We will not be silent as the Court tries to turn back the clock fifty years. Learn where things stand today and what you can do about it.

Speak Truth to Power: A Guide for Congregational/Sisterhood Political Engagement and Advocacy
In fulfillment of their mandate to seek tikkun olam, repair of our broken world, many congregations and sisterhoods address social justice issues in their local communities. This session will consider when and how we can engage in matters of public policy, respecting the diversity of our membership while remaining true to the prophetic teachings that have inspired Reform Judaism.

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