Temple Israel Presents the 5th in its Series of

Ilene F. Levin Scholar-in-Residence Programs:

 Feminist Theology

June 22nd through 24th, 2018


The 2018 Scholar

Robyn Stein DeLuca, Ph.D.

 “We cannot fully understand or appreciate our traditions if we ignore the roles and contributions of women.”

Robyn Stein DeLuca, Ph.D. is a psychologist who was a faculty member in the Women’s Studies Department at Stony Brook University for 15 years. She began by teaching courses on the psychology of gender, reproduction, and health, and published her research on postpartum adjustment in several scholarly journals. Later becoming fascinated with women’s roles in religion and feminist theology, she completed a graduate certificate at the Harvard Divinity School in Religious Studies and Education. She taught courses at Stony Brook on Gender Reform in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and has presented on that topic at gender studies conferences.

Her book, The Hormone Myth: How Junk Science, Gender Politics, and Lies About PMS Keep Women Down, was published by New Harbinger Publications last year. Her TEDx talk, “The Good News About PMS” has been seen by over one million people. She currently works as a postpartum coach and her commentary on a variety of women’s issues has appeared in media outlets like Newsweek, The London Times, the Huffington Post, MSN, and the Voice of America.   



Friday Evening, June 22nd at 6:00 p.m.

Jewish Feminist Theology: Origins and Consequences

What did women’s lib do for Progressive Judaism? How have ritual, liturgy, participation, and leadership changed since the late 60’s and early 70’s? Feminist theology is an academic discipline that grew out of the second wave of the women’s movement.  Dr. DeLuca will be the featured speaker during our Shabbat evening service, discussing how this exciting social movement brought the transformation of Reform Judaism.

[A communal Shabbat dinner will follow the service.  Free but please make reservations.]

Saturday Morning, June 23rd at 10:00 a.m.

“Miriam the Brave”

This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Chukkat, begins with the abrupt death of Miriam. Compared to her brothers Moses and Aaron, she is mentioned less frequently in the Torah, but when she is, she packs a wallop. Saving Moses from certain death? Check. Leading the people in celebration after crossing the Sea of Reeds? Check. Midrashic tradition picked up the thread and burnished her reputation with the proposition of her hidden identity as the midwife Puah, and as responsible for the appearance of the well in the desert during the Exodus. Miriam is presented as a passionate and courageous leader during turbulent times.  What lessons can we take from Miriam’s life? How is she an example for us in the turbulent times of the present?  Dr. DeLuca will offer a dvar torah on these themes during our Shabbat morning service.

[Free Kiddush lunch and further discussion to follow the service.]


Saturday Evening, June 23rd at 7:00 p.m.  

Parallel Paths: The Changing Images and Roles of Women in the Three Abrahamic Faiths

Judaism, Christianity and Islam have long histories of seeing women in limited and secondary ways. What changes have the last 50 years brought to images and roles of women in these traditions? What kind of change have women worked for and where have they succeeded? Have the more orthodox forms of each religion been affected? We’ll take a look at the commonality and divergence of women’s struggles within these three religions.   


Sunday Morning, June 24th at 11:00 a.m.

Brunch Program: Feminist Torah Study

One of the most important contributions of the feminist movement to religious scholarship is feminist analysis and interpretation of holy scripture. How is it done? Is it for women only? We’ll start by examining feminist re-interpretations of Eve, Rebecca, and Lilith, and then explore feminist analysis of scripture in Christianity and Islam in a panel discussion. Joining Robyn Stein DeLuca will be Denise Starkey (College of St. Scholastica) providing a Christian perspective and Deborah Faul (University of Wisconsin  -- Superior) providing a Muslim perspective.  The panel will be moderated by Elyse Carter Vosen, Director of the Oreck-Alpern Interreligious Forum at the College of Saint Scholastica.

[Free community brunch starts at 11:00 a.m. (please make reservations) with program to follow at noon:]




Posted on May 7, 2018 .