Fifth Bet Debora Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, from June 25 to 28, 2009 - Aviva - Berlin Online Magazin und Informationsportal für Frauen Juedisches Leben 11/27/5784 - Beitrag vom 06.10.2008

Fifth Bet Debora Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, from June 25 to 28, 2009
Margret Müller

The Topics are "Migration, Communication and Home – Jewish Tradition, Change and Gender in a Global Context".

The Fifth Bet Debora Conference of European Women Rabbis, Jewish Community Politicians, Activists and Scholars will take place in Sofia, from June 25 to 28, 2009.

The Conference will address the process of rethinking the notions of migration, communication and home, and of understanding these realities in relation to each other and to dynamically changing Jewish personal, community and gender contexts of the 21st Century. It will include, but will not be limited to the following issues:

Migration as a metaphor, as an existential, social, political and economic process

  • How has migration shaped Jewish communities in Europe in historical perspective?
  • How does migration continue to shape Jewish communities today, in Europe and elsewhere? How migration alters the Jewish map of Europe and elsewhere?
  • What unique viewpoints do Jewish women bring to issues of migration as integration of immigrants, multi-cultural society, Jewish-Islamic dialog, immigration policies?
  • How does migration affect gender in Jewish communities?
  • How does migration affect Jewish identities: Sephardic and Ashkenazi issues, Conservative, Liberal and Orthodox traditions: separation and/ or influences.
    How do multiple Jewish group identities co-exist in a country/city?
    What connects them and what separates them?
    How does such pluralism affect a Jewish community?
    How can we learn from each other and from each other´s history?
  • How does migration influence Jewish creativity and the secular/historic/ethnic experience of Jewish communal life?
  • How does gender affect migration networks and changes in Jewish communal life?
  • How does migration affect the host countries: dominant and marginal traditions, old and immigrant cultures?
  • How do issues of gender affect Jewish intercultural communication with wider non-Jewish societies/world?

  • Communication: Traps and Prospects of Communication

  • The dynamics of information flows are embedded in mobility and migration networks.
  • How are contemporary Jewish information networks composed? How information and communication technologies are utilized in mobility and migration contexts?
  • Migration and mobility issues of social communication and integration, Jewish communication in national, Diaspora and global contexts, Gender and personal modes of communication, Love, music, art, poetry and meaningful prayer as modes of communication, Emotional modesty, wisdom and creativity in communication, Limits of emotional communication in peer groups, family, community, school and work, inter-religious and intercultural contexts,
  • The communicative and creative potential in Jewish religious communities, Creativity and religious expression, Inter-group communication in Conservative, Liberal, Orthodox, Ashkenasi, Sephardi, etc. traditions
  • The Jewish community´s covenantal base, embedded in a distinct historical situation with explicit halakhot and customs, vis-à-vis the principle of lifnim mishurat ha-din, going beyond the letter of the law?
  • Is sacred meaning eternal and natural, or embedded in the everyday vagaries of our history?
  • Can we find a plurality of voices, a heteroglossia that can potentially promote Jewish culture in the future?
  • Ritual, Aesthetics and Communication in Judaism
  • Prayer as Art and Communication, Jewish women´s prayers
  • Jews´/Jewish women´s distinct historical experiences, focusing on Jewish art, literature and poetry
  • Using art, literature and music to expand our horizons in ways that may be off-limits to theology and philosophy?
  • Israel-Diaspora´ tensions as expressed in Jewish culture, art, literature, music, dance, women´s voices in cultural expressions of internal Jewish tensions

  • Home as a Metaphor, Sanctuary and Existential Reality

  • The Jewish imaginary of Home in the 21st century, Uprootings and regroundings: Jewish questions of Home and Migration
  • Home as a mikdash me´a, or a small sanctuary, what sanctifies Jewish homes now and what will sanctify them in the future?
  • Home, Tradition, Change and Gender in the Jewish community, Migration and making a Jewish home in the transnational era, Senses of belonging and identity as related to specific attachments to "home"
  • Family and community, as factors on personal identity and behavior?
  • The Jewish family/Jewish families today
  • Celebrating Jewish Life Cycle events: Birth, Bat/Bar Mitzvah, Marriage, Death in a transnational world, the rhythm of Jewish life cycle: birth, childhood, education, adolescence, leaving home, old age, etc.
  • Food – its´ meaning in Jewish culture, Jewish food in a global world, gender and food
  • Modes of Jewish Marriage in the 21th century
  • Migration and Marriage
  • International Marriages
  • Electronic Matchmaking
  • Arranged Marriages´ reconsidered
  • Intermarriage and Jewish Future. Is intermarriage necessarily a threat to Judaism and the Jewish family? (Case studies: the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Israel, USA)
  • Post-Modern Jewish Marriages.

  • Inquiries about the conference can be sent to Tania Reytan-Marincheshka:

    For more Information please visit:

    Jüdisches Leben

    Beitrag vom 06.10.2008