Futures of Jewish Theology

Thursday, December 1st 2022, 12:30pm
GTU Dinner Board Room, 2400 Ridge Road Berkeley, CA 94709

Futures of Jewish Theology

Please join the GTU's Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies for a hybrid event on the "Futures of Jewish Theology," featuring Joy Ladin (Yeshiva University), Mara Benjamin (Mount Holyoke College), and Ariel Mayse (Stanford University), moderated by Sam S.B. Shonkoff (GTU).

This event will be offered in a hybrid format. Speakers will all be presenting via Zoom, and the in-person portion will act as a viewing party and will take place in the Dinner Boardroom in the GTU Library. For those attending in-person, lunch will be provided so please register ahead of time at the link below.

Click Here for In-Person Registration

Click Here for Zoom Registration





Mara Benjamin’s research interests center on Jewish ideas and practices in the modern period. Benjamin’s most recent book, The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought (Indiana University Press, 2018), investigates the religious dimensions of caring for young children in the context of Jewish thought and tradition. In this book, Benjamin argues that the physical and psychological work of caring for children presents theologically fruitful - but largely unexplored - terrain for feminists. Benjamin joined the faculty of Mount Holyoke College in 2017. Previously, she served on the faculty position at St. Olaf College, was the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University, and held the Hazel D. Cole Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Washington.

Joy Ladin became a nationally recognized speaker on trans and Jewish identity after her transition at Yeshiva University made her the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. She is the author of National Jewish Book Award finalist Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders; Lambda Literary and Triangle Award finalist, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective; and ten books of poetry, including National Jewish Book Award winner The Book of Anna; recently published Shekhinah Speaks (selva oscura); and two Lambda Literary Award finalists, Impersonation and Transmigration. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, a Hadassah Brandeis Institute Research Fellowship, and an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship, among other honors, and she has been featured on a number of NPR programs, including an “On Being” with Krista Tippett interview that has been rebroadcast several times. Episodes of her online conversation series, “Containing Multitudes,” are available at judaismunbound.com/containing-multitudes; her writing is available at joyladin.wordpress.com.

Ariel Evan Mayse joined the faculty of Stanford University in 2017 as an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies, after previously serving as the Director of Jewish Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts, and a research fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies of the University of Michigan. Mayse holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and rabbinic ordination from Beit Midrash Har’el in Israel. His current research examines the role of language in Hasidism, manuscript theory and the formation of early Hasidic literature, the renaissance of Jewish mysticism in the nineteenth and twentieth century, the relationship between spirituality and law in Jewish legal writings, and the resources of Jewish thought and theology for constructing contemporary environmental ethics.



Sam S.B. Shonkoff is the Taube Family Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at the GTU's Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies, where he teaches on Jewish religious thought as well as methods in the study of religion. His scholarship focuses primarily on German-Jewish and Hasidic theologies, as well as appropriations of Hasidic spirituality in relatively secular spheres.