Research Fellowships – Rabbinic Literature

Rabbinic Literature Research Fellowship: Talmudic Heroines

This fellowship opportunity is for students participating full time in the Pardes Year/Semester program. The rabbinic literature fellow will assist faculty member Gila Fine in her research on the women of the Talmud, editing, proofreading, indexing, and cross-referencing written materials in preparation for publication.

Talmudic Heroines
The Talmudic Heroines course explores the stories of the six named women of the Babylonian Talmud: Yalta, Homa, Marta, Heruta, Bruria, and Imma Shalom. Each of these characters appears, at first reading, to embody an anti-feminist archetype, a derisive caricature of a bad woman. Yet a careful analysis reveals there is a lot more to these tales than initially meets the eye; that the heroines are far more complex than they first seem; and that the Talmud has rather surprising – so as not to say proto-feminist – views of marriage, childbirth, female subjectivity, and sex. In presenting us with archetypes that systematically break down, the Talmud imparts profound moral teachings about how to read the characters of a text and, ultimately, how to regard the characters in our lives.

Fellowship Structure
The fellow will work closely with Gila in preparing articles based on course material for publication. They will be charged with reading drafts and suggesting substantive revisions; creating a consistency stylesheet and implementing it across drafts; reviewing and editing accompanying images and graphics; preparing a source and concept index for the material; and reviewing the bibliography and in-text cross-referencing. All stages will be closely guided by Gila in weekly meetings, and will provide the fellow with a comprehensive introduction to the editing/publishing world.

Skills of the Research Fellows

  • Proven editing/proofreading experience
  • Eagle eye for detail
  • Meticulousness and a strong sense of consistency
  • An ability to work in a highly methodical and organized fashion
  • Familiarity with the Chicago Manual of Style (can be accessed and mastered online)
  • Fluency with Microsoft Word
  • An avid interest in literature and literary analysis

Specific Fellowship Requirements

  • 5 hours/week including weekly meetings with the faculty advisor
  • Participation, or past participation, in the Talmudic Heroines course

Fellowship Timeframe

The fellowship will be completed during the 2023-24 academic year.

All fellows will receive a guaranteed living expense grant ranging from $200-$600/month (exact amount determined by financial need) AND receive highly subsidized Year Program tuition: $3,000 discount for those not eligible for Masa Israel Journey funding, and $2,000 discount for those eligible for Masa funding.

A letter of recommendation from a supervisor who can speak to the candidate’s relevant community experience and potential growth and contributions through the fellowship is required. This may be one of the two letters of recommendation required for the Year program application, or an additional recommendation. The letter must be submitted along with the Fellowship Application and the 2023-24 Pardes Year Program application.