Jewish Journal

Yeshiva U. gives Talmud doctorate to woman for first time


August 11, 2011 | 12:38 pm

Zysman Hall on the Yeshiva University campus. Photo by Jim Henderson

Zysman Hall on the Yeshiva University campus. Photo by Jim Henderson

Yeshiva University gave its doctorate in Talmud to a woman, Shana Strauch Schick, 30, for the first time.

The university’s graduate study program in Talmud has been available to women since 2000, but Schick is the first woman to complete it.

Schick, a New Jersey native now living in suburban Detroit, successfully defended her dissertation on Aug. 4 and will formally graduate in September.

“Orthodoxy has long emphasized the value of the study of Talmud,” Schick told JTA in an interview. “But Talmud study, which in yeshivot is the central focus of the religious duty to learn Torah, is still rarely emphasized as a vital part of women’s education.”

Schick holds a master’s degree in Bible from Revel, YU’s graduate school for Jewish studies, and a bachelor’s degree in Judaic studies from YU’s Stern College for Women. She plans to spend the next academic year in Israel doing post-doctoral studies at Bar-Ilan University.

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