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The Torah: A Women’s Commentary Receives the National Jewish Book Award
Groundbreaking volume provides women a voice in commentary

Jan. 15, 2009—The groundbreaking volume The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, published by the URJ Press and Women of Reform Judaism, has been awarded the top prize in the oldest Jewish literary award program, the National Jewish Book Awards.

The volume, edited by Dr. Tamara Eskenazi and Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, will receive the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year award at a March 5 ceremony at the Center for Jewish History in New York City.

The Torah: A Women's Commentary was published after fourteen years of work by more than 100 women theologians, historians, sociologists, scholars, anthropologists, poets, rabbis, and cantors from the United States, Canada, Israel and South America. The result of their exhaustive research, thought, and discussion is an eminently readable, 1,500 page volume, unique in its synthesis of traditional interpretation methods and critical approaches with more contemporary, topical approaches that give new meaning to the text.

The idea for the book is traced to Cantor Sarah Sager from Beachwood, Ohio, who first proposed a women’s commentary on the Torah at a regional meeting of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhood in 1992. A year later, speaking to the Women of Reform Judaism assembly, Cantor Sager challenged the women to undertake this project.

 Shelley Lindauer, WRJ’s executive director, said she hopes the award will bring recognition of the importance of women’s voices to an even wider audience. Since the book was published WRJ has been working on study guides to each parashah. Information is available online at

To purchase The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, visit





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