Jewish Journal


Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Vayigash with Rabbi Naamah Kelman

by Shmuel Rosner

December 6, 2013 | 4:56 am

Rabbi Naamah Kelman

Our guest this week is Rabbi Naamah Kelman, Dean of the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem.  A descendent of 10 generations of rabbis, Rabbi Kelman became the first woman to be ordained by the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem in 1992.

Born and raised in New York, she has lived in Israel since 1976; where she has worked in community organizing, Jewish education, and the promotion and establishment of Progressive and Pluralistic Judaism for Israelis. Kelman has been intensely involved in the emerging education system of the Israeli Movement for Progressive (Reform) Judaism. Among the founders of the first Progressive Day school, she has overseen the development of curricular materials, teacher training programs, and family education. She has been involved in teacher training and enrichment, the professional development of the Israeli Rabbinic students, and the establishment of "Mazorim" Spiritual Care/Israeli Chaplaincy. She was the Director of the Year in Israel Program for HUC's North American students. She is a board member of Rabbis for Human Rights, MELITZ, and the Tali Education Fund. Naamah Kelman is deeply engaged in inter-faith dialogue and feminist causes.

This week's Torah portion- Parashat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)- features the dramatic scene in which Joseph reveals his real identity to his brothers in Egypt and describes the reconciliation between them. Our discussion focuses on the role of Judah in this beautiful story and on the reasons why we are all the sons and daughters of Judah.


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