Our day began with a meeting at Tel Aviv University’s NCJW Center for Women and Gender Studies. I was so proud to introduce our guests to Hannah Naveh, founder of the program that began 14 years ago. Hannah recalled, “What NCJW has done for us is unimaginable. No university in Israel had a program for gender studies. NCJW came here when there were no such programs anywhere in this region, invested in teaching students and helped launch a field of study that has transformed knowledge.” She thanked Nan Rich, Susan Katz, and Jan Schneiderman for their vision and their commitment. There are now 135 graduate students in the program.
More recently, the NCJW Women’s Forum has added an important supplementary component, and its head, Professor Daphne Hacker from the Faculty of Law, also spoke with us. The Forum meets on Fridays when hundreds of women come to the campus to listen and learn about a range of topics concerning women’s issues. Four students from the program joined us to discuss their own research and interests. Yifat, one of the students, came to the program after working as a lawyer because she wanted to better understand the issues facing her women clients. Professor Naveh closed the meeting and discussion with a D’var Torah about Purim and Queen Vashti’s role in the Purim story – “she stood up to the King and said no!”