Rabbinic Leadership, Gender, and Social Change: A Medieval Perspective

3:45 PM, Tuesday 2 Apr 2019 (1 hour 15 minutes)
Board Buses to Hotel   05:00 PM to 05:15 PM (15 minutes)
HUC-JIR - Herrman Learning Center: Classroom 10
At least 3% of high school students in the US today do not self-identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. What does Jewish tradition have to say about non-binary gender identities? In this workshop, we will delve into Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah Sefer Nashim (“Book of Women”), examining how Maimonides built on pre-existing Jewish traditions to classify individuals into as many as six different genders. We will consider what this classification meant for Maimonides’ contemporaries, and what it might mean for us as Jewish leaders, rabbis, and educators today. How can medieval texts help us navigate our congregants through a period of profound social change?
Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Assistant Professor of History