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Conferences Archive (2010-2011)

The Jewish-Muslim Initiative,International Studies Program, and
the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Changing Roles?  Women in Traditional Jewish & Muslim Communities

February 7, 2011 

The traditional religious legal systems in both Judaism and Islam (halacha and sharia) been widely challenged, in recent years, by charges that they are oppressive or demeaning to women. Women committed both to a traditional form of Judaism or Islam and to the gender equality that marks the modern world have responded to this charge in a variety of ways – some of which have begun to change their communities quite radically. This conference will explore changing roles of women in prayer, study, communal leadership and other aspects of traditional Muslim and Jewish life.

Location: Institute for the Humanities, Lower Level Stevenson Hall,
701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago.

9:30 AM Coffee

10 AM – 12 PM General Issues: Change in Sharia and Halacha
Tova Hartman, Bar Ilan University
Najeeba Syeed-Miller, Claremont School of Theology

12 PM – 1 PM Lunch Break

1 -3 PM Specific Issues I: Dress; Study and Teaching
Tahera Ahmad, Northwestern University
Marcia Hermansen, Loyola University Chicago
Erin Leib Smokler, Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, University of Chicago

3 – 3:15 Coffee Break

3:15 – 5:15 Specific Issues II: Leadership; Prayer
Ruth Balinsky, Yeshivat Maharat
Hina Azam, University of Texas at Austin
Deborah Klapper, Gann Academy

Closing Reception

Conference organized by Samuel Fleischacker, Director of Jewish Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago

For more information, contact Linda Vavra, Associate Director, Institute for the Humanities, 701 South Morgan, MC 206, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL. 60607-7040, at 312-996-6354 or