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Shiurim for the Yamim Noraim

Sept 4: Rosh Hashana | Rabba Yaffa Epstein

Sept 13: Yom Kippur | Yael Leibowitz

Sept 20: Sukkot | Rav Rahel Berkovits

Sept 26: Simchat Torah | Miriam Gedwiser

Together with Kolech- Religious Women's Forum, JOFA is hosting a webinar series featuring shiurim from women of various yeshivot. These shiurim will address topics relating to Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. This series was a big success last year, so we are looking to advance more women and Torah this year by doing it again with new scholars! Read the speakers' bios below!

Part One on Tuesday, September 4 at 12:00 PM EST features Rabba Yaffa Epstein on the topic, "Tekia Shvarim Terua: The Shofar as Instrument of Covenant, Love, and Rebellion." The Shofar has been utilized as a symbol of many different emotions, and different types of relationship with the Divine. This Session will look at three midrashim, each offering a unique perspective on just what the Shofar is meant to evoke within us, and how it can give expression to those feelings. 

Watch LIVE on the JOFA Facebook Page! Part One will also be live at 

Rav Rahel

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.Rahel writes articles and lectures widely in both Israel and abroad on topics concerning women and Jewish law.  She is the Halakhic Editor for JOFA's upcoming seriesHilkhot Nashim soon to be published by Koren. Rahel is a founding member of Congregation Shirah Hadasha, a halakhic partnership Synagogue, and she serves on their halakha committee. In June 2015, Rahel received Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbis Herzl Hefter and Daniel Sperber. 



Miriam Gedwiser is a faculty member at Drisha and at the Ramaz Upper School, and has taught widely in New York, New Jersey, and New England. She has a BA in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Chicago, and studied in the Drisha Scholars Circle as well as at learning programs in Israel and Boston. Miriam studied law at NYU and practiced commercial litigation for several years before returning to teaching. She has written on matters of Torah and feminism for the Forward, the Lehrhaus, the Kavvanah blog, and the Times of Israel, and is co-author of a forthcoming commentary on the Book of Esther with Rabbi David Silber. She lives with her family in New Jersey.

Rabba Yaffa Epstein

Yaffa serves as the Director of Education, North America for the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She received Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshivat Maharat and holds a Law Degree from Bar-Ilan University. She has studied at the Pardes Kollel, the Advanced Talmud Institute at Matan and the Talmud Department of Hebrew University.

Yaffa has been a teacher of Talmud, Jewish law, and Liturgy at Pardes for over a decade, and has served as the Director of the Beit Midrash at the Dorot Fellowship in Israel. She has taught Talmud and Jewish Law at Yeshivat Maharat, The Drisha Institute, The Wexner Heritage New Members Institute, Kayam Farm Kollel and Young Judaea. Yaffa has lectured at Limmud Events around the world, has written curriculum for the Global Day of Jewish Learning and has created innovative educational programming for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.



Yael Leibowitz has her Master’s degree in Judaic Studies from Columbia University.  Prior to making Aliyah, Yael taught Tanakh at the Upper School of Ramaz, and then went on to join the Judaic Studies faculty at Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women.  She has taught Continuing Education courses at Drisha Institute forJewish Education and served as Resident Scholar at the Jewish Center Of Manhattan.  She is currently teaching at Matan Women’s Institute for Torah Learning and Pardes Institute as she continues her studies at Bar Ilan.

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