Conversations with Authors

Texts, Translations, and the Future of Jewish Learning – Interview with Sefaria’s Sara Wolkenfeld

Sara Wolkenfeld, Chief Learning Officer at Sefaria, discusses texts, translations, and the future of Jewish learning with JPS Director Dr. Elias Sacks. JPS is proud to partner with Sefaria to make a range of texts available to readers and communities across the globe, including THE JPS TANAKH: Gender-Sensitive Edition, the first major update of the iconic JPS Bible translation in nearly four decades. To learn more and order this translation, click here. To learn more about Sefaria and its work, visit

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Halakhic Man: 40th Anniversary Edition – Interview with Translator Lawrence J. Kaplan

Prof. Lawrence Kaplan discusses Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik’s Halakhic Man: 40th Anniversary Edition with JPS Director Dr. Elias Sacks.

Halakhic Man is the classic work of modern Jewish and religious thought by the twentieth century’s preeminent Orthodox Jewish theologian and talmudic scholar, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. It is a profound excursion into religious psychology and phenomenology, a pioneering attempt at a philosophy of halakhah, and a stringent critique of mysticism and romantic religion. This 40th anniversary edition features a new preface, introduction, annotations, and glossary by Prof. Lawrence Kaplan.

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Open Judaism – Interview with Author Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz

Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz, JPS Director Emeritus, discusses his latest book, Open Judaism: A Guide for Believers, Atheists, and Agnostics, with his successor as JPS Director, Dr. Elias Sacks.

Open Judaism offers a big-tent welcome to all Jews and Judaism. It is at once an invitation to the spiritually seeking Jew, a clarion call for a deeply pluralistic and inclusive Judaism, and a dynamic exploration of the remarkable array of thought within Judaism today.

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Biblical Women Speak – Interview with Author Rabbi Marla J. Feldman

Rabbi Marla J. Feldman discusses her book, Biblical Women Speak: Hearing Their Voices Through New and Ancient Midrash, with JPS Director, Dr. Elias Sacks.

What were biblical women thinking and doing when the men around them received all the attention and glory? How did Leah, Rachel, and their handmaids negotiate the complicated family dynamics of four women vying for Jacob’s affections? What compelled Potiphar’s wife to risk her high station to seduce Joseph, an enslaved foreigner? How did the midwives and Pharoah’s daughter conspire to rescue baby Moses, right under Pharoah’s nose?

Biblical Women Speak employs midrash (interpretative techniques) to discover ten biblical women’s stories from a female point of view and provide insights beyond how ancient male scholars viewed them. Each chapter brings alive a different biblical woman, including non-Israelite characters and others who are neglected in classical rabbinic texts. After each featured text we hear a creative retelling of the woman’s story in her own voice, followed by traditional midrash and medieval commentaries and the author’s reflections on how these tales and interpretations are relevant for today.

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