Unnamed Women in the Torah


Teacher Bio: Dalia Davis is a Jewish educator and artist who is passionate about creating opportunities for healing and spiritual growth. She graduated from Yeshivat Maharat’s Advance Kollel, majored in Jewish History and Dance at Barnard College and studied in Israel at Nishmat. Dalia also received an M.A. in Jewish Education from Y.U. and a certificate in Talmud and Halacha from GPATS.   

Dalia has enjoyed a variety of Jewish educational opportunities. She has served as Rosh Beit Midrash for Merkavah Women’s Torah Institute in Berkeley, taught Melton courses, and served as Jewish dance educator for the Foundation for Jewish Camps. Currently, she also teaches Judaic studies at Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School and is a research fellow in the Jewish Pedagogies of Wellbeing Fellowship for M2: Institute for Experiential Jewish Education.  

She has created new initiatives inspired by the needs of the Jewish community and her desire to offer opportunities for growth and healing. Dalia created Beit Midrash in Motion, a fully embodied approach to Jewish learning. She also co-founded Uprooted: A Jewish Response to Fertility Journeys, and served as its spiritual leader.   

Dalia’s newest project is called V’yikarei Shemah B’Yisrael: The Unnamed Women in the Tanakh and Talmud, where she is creating a communal framework for learning about these women and offering them fitting names. 

Traditional Jewish texts include narratives that are often dominated by men. Much of Tanakh features men prominently, with women playing supportive roles, if they are present at all. Of the select few women whose stories and voices are heard, a surprisingly significant contingent are unnamed in the text. They are “the wife of”, “the daughter of”, or perhaps “the woman from” a particular city. Their names are conspicuously absent. 

During this course we will seek to peer through the veil of mystery surrounding these women. We will parse through the Biblical and Talmudic passages and plumb the depths of Midrashic texts seeking clues about the unnamed women. Together we will unpack the texts that depict Noach’s Wife, Lot’s Wife, Lot’s daughters and the Wife of Potifar.  As we do so, we will also consider why these women’s names may have been obscured and what commonality they share with one another.

Faculty Rabbanit Dalia Davis
Location Zoom only (link will be provided upon registration)
Dates Mondays; November 13, 20, 29, December 4
Time 12-1 pm
Tuition $54
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