What happens when the head of a Kurdish yeshiva has no sons? He prepares his daughter to be the next rosh yeshiva of course! Dr. Renée Levine Melammed, Professor of Jewish History, tells the story of Asenath Barazani, scholar and decisor of Jewish law, who was a major figure in 17th-century Mosul, Kurdistan. Watch the video below:
Renée Levine Melammed, originally from Long Island, New York, received her degrees from Smith College and Brandeis University. Her dissertation and early research dealt with the lives of crypto-Jewish women in Spain and the way in which conversos coped with the issue of their identity; her research now is focusing on women’s lives as reflected in the Cairo Geniza. She is a professor of Jewish history at Schechter, teaching courses in medieval Jewish history and gender studies as well as in Jews of Spain and Islamic lands.