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Women’s Initiative for Jewish Studies to Bring Miriam Udel to YINR

Women’s Initiative for Jewish Studies (WIJS) at Young Israel of New Rochelle is proud to present Miriam Udel on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 8 p.m. on Zoom. Udel will be the fourth speaker of the 2021-2022 season in the monthly scholarly programming offered by WIJS at YINR.

Udel will speak on the topic “Within and Without: Constructing Modern Jewish Boyhood and Girlhood.” The corpus of children’s literature that was created in the early 20th century by secularist writers and educators can inform our Jewish identity and practice today. In her talk, Udel will delve into the ways boyhood and girlhood are imagined differently by writers such as Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Kadya Molodowsky, and how those constructions might inform or impinge upon our own understanding of gender and Jewishness.

Udel is associate professor of German studies and Jewish studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature and culture. She holds an AB in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and a PhD in Comparative Literature, both from Harvard University. She was ordained in 2019 as part of the first cohort of the Executive Ordination Track at Yeshivat Maharat, a program designed to bring qualified mid-career women into the Orthodox rabbinate.

Her academic research interests include 20th-century Yiddish literature and culture, Jewish children’s literature and American-Jewish literature. She is the author of “Never Better!: The Modern Jewish Picaresque” (University of Michigan Press), winner of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. She is the editor and translator of “Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature” (NYU Press, 2020), winner of the Reference Award of the Association of Jewish Libraries. The 2021 puppet film “Labzik: Tales of a Clever Pup,” released by Theater Emory, was based on her translation. As a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar, she is currently working on a critical study of Yiddish children’s literature that will serve as a companion to “Honey on the Page.”

All WIJS programming is open to women and men. Please visit www.yinr.org/wijs to view the complete WIJS 2021-22 schedule. For more information, to be added to the WIJS email list, or for Zoom information, please call 914-636-2215 or email: [email protected]. Individuals on the WIJS mailing list will automatically receive the Zoom information.

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