Joyce Z. and Jacob Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies
1155 East 60th Street, Room 302A
Chicago, IL 60637

Miriam Frenkel - "What Women Want: Jewish Women's Wills from the Cairo Genizah"

WhenFebruary 19, 2019 4:00pm - 5:30pm
WhereSocial Science Research, Tea Room
Contact InformationChicago Center for Jewish Studies
DescriptionWithin the androcentric Geniza society, wills were perhaps the only way in which women could sound their voice, and even affect and change power relations in the family and in the community. Through their wills women could redistribute family assets and properties. This ability awarded them with the power to shape, undermine, strengthen, or weaken personal, familial, and communal relationships. Through their wills women could also manipulate and send messages. The mere assumption about a potential will could affect behavior, emotions, and relationships in the family and in the community in a way that awarded women potential power that some of them learned to use. Miriam Frenkel, Associate Professor in the Department for Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Israel Institute Visiting Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, will share with us her work on this subject. A light reception will follow. For information contact Nancy Pardee at
CategoriesConferences/Lectures, Lectures
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