Houses of Study

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Houses of Study

A Jewish Woman among Books

Ilana M. Blumberg

208 pages
3 images

Paperback

March 2009

978-0-8032-2449-0

$18.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

March 2007

978-0-8032-0598-7

$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Houses of Study is an eloquent memoir of a Jewish woman’s life and her efforts to reconcile the traditions of her faith with her belief in women’s equality and the pull of modern American living. Ilana M. Blumberg traces her path from a childhood immersed in Hebrew and classical Judaic texts alongside Anglo-American novels and biographies to a womanhood where the two literatures suddenly represent mutually exclusive possibilities for life. Set in “houses of study,” from a Jewish grammar school and high school to a Jerusalem yeshiva for women to a secular American university, her intimate and poignant memoir asks what happens when the traditional Jewish ideal of learning asserts itself in a woman directed by that same tradition toward a life of modesty, early marriage, and motherhood.

This Bison Books edition is updated with discussion questions.

Author Bio

Ilana M. Blumberg is an assistant professor of humanities, culture, and writing at James Madison College, Michigan State University.

Praise

Houses of Study is the bildungsroman not only of a single individual, but also of a generation of women brought up in a not yet self-confident stream of Orthodoxy, a school of thought in the making. . . . The text’s tone reflects its subject’s complexity, as it moves back and forth between the discursive and instructive and the poetic and intimate. The book’s form embraces extreme variety, from snippets of poems, written by the author and others, to extended discourses on Hebrew and Talmudic phrases and concepts, streams of consciousness, and mini-stories that sound like extended metaphors.”—Haaretz

Table of Contents

Preface
Binah
Houses of Study
If They Be Two
Tree, Light, Fruit
Acknowledgments
Discussion Questions

Awards

Winner of the 2008 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Choice Award

2007 National Jewish Book Award in Women Studies Runner-Up

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