Noor Cultural Centre

Course | Shema & Iqra’: Interfaith Text Study for Jewish and Muslim Women

Dec 13th 2012


Shema & Iqra’: Interfaith Text Study for Jewish and Muslim Women
with Shari Golberg and Nevin Reda

With common restrictions in the areas of marriage and divorce, ritual and political leadership, Muslim and Jewish women have similarly complicated relationships with their classical religious texts. This course allows women of both faith backgrounds to study these textual traditions together.  Please note that this course is only open to Jewish and Muslim women.

Each week, the class will explore texts from the Torah, Quran, Talmud, Hadith, midrash, and tafsir, as well as academic, feminist, and other contemporary women’s interpretations of traditional Islamic and Jewish sources.

This class is presented in partnership with the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (MNJCC), and the University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre for Spiritual Study, with classes taking place at all three centres.

Course Outline

October 18: Introduction
Location: MNJCC
Examining Islamic and Jewish dietary laws and how they pertain to women

October 25: Modesty Laws
Location: MNJCC
Exploring religious modesty requirements for women, addressing terms like ervah and sheitel in the Jewish tradition; and awra, hijab, jilbab, and khimar in the Muslim tradition.

November 1:Women & Leadership
Location: MNJCC
Studying female leaders in the histories of both religions, including figures like Queen Sheba, wise women Beruriah and Aisha, and ‘trouble makers’  Miriam and Umm Waraqa

November 8:Women, Prayer, & Sacred Spaces
Location: Noor Cultural Centre
Looking at prayer obligations and customs for Jewish and Muslim women, gender arrangement in prayer spaces, and female innovators of prayer ritual Hannah and Maryam.

November 15: Menstrual Laws
Location: Noor Cultural Centre
Understanding the perceptions of, and rules pertaining to, menstruating women in Muslim and Jewish texts, and discussing sex taboos in both communities.

November 22: Marriage & Divorce
Location: Noor Cultural Centre
Determining how laws of kiddushin (Jewish marrige) and nikah (Muslim marriage) affect women, and issues with get (Jewish divorce) and talaq (Muslim divorce)

November 29: Perceptions of the Other
Location: University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre
Learning about the depictions of Jews and Judaism in Islamic sources and those of Muslims and Islam in Jewish sources.

October 18, 25; November 1 – MNJCC (750 Spadina Avenue, Toronto)
November 8,15,22 – Noor Cultural Centre
November 29 – University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre (569 Spadina Avenue, Toronto)
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Course Fee: $200 (special youth rates available upon application)

Dr. Nevin Reda is Assistant Professor of Muslim Studies at Emmanuel College. Her research focuses on Islamic history, classical and modern Islamic thought, the Qur’an, Sufism, Shi’ism, Islamic law, women, and ethics.

Shari Golberg is a PhD candidate in Religion, Women’s Studies and Jewish Studies at University of Toronto.  Her work explores feminist approaches to classical religious texts in Judaism and Islam and contemporary text-based collaborations between Jewish and Muslim women.

To register, please click here.