In this episode of the Jewish Sacred Aging Podcast, Rabbi Address chats with Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Ph.D., a Philadelphia-based spiritual director and editor of the new book, Chapters of the Heart: Jewish Women Sharing the Torah of Our Lives. This podcast is adapted from a video conversation with Rabbi Levi Elwell held last year.
From the book’s introduction:
We asked a group of Jewish women to tell us the truth about their lives and to do so with a few Jewish words. We, two rabbis who love both Jewish words and talking with other women about the truth of their lives, rounded up some friends who are professionals in the Jewish “word business”—rabbis, scholars, writers, theologians. We asked each woman to open her heart, to delve into her considerable Jewish vocabulary, and to tell us what she found. They, and we, are not beginners; we are almost all over fifty, and many of us a decade or two more. Nevertheless, like everyone else, when it comes to our own lives, we are still trying to figure out how to live with grace. And each of us, in our own way, is still exploring what it all means. Our stories are not ours alone. Reading them, you may recognize yourself or someone you know.
For more information, visit the Chapters of the Heart website.
For over 3 decades, Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, PhD. has been exploring, teaching and writing about spirituality, and working towards creating and sustaining healthy and open-hearted communities. She has served congregations in California, New Jersey and Virginia, and has taught at the University of Cincinnati, UCLA, and LaSalle University. Elwell edited The Open Door, the CCAR Haggadah (2002), served as the poetry editor and member of the editorial board of the award winning The Torah: A Women’s Commentary (2008), and as one of the editors of Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation (2001). The founding Director of the Los Angeles Jewish Feminist Center, Elwell recently retired from the Union for Reform Judaism where she has served as the Director of the Pennsylvania Council and Federation of Reform Synagogues of Greater Philadelphia from 2001-2008.
A Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, she continues her studies through the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. A lifelong Reform Jew, Elwell is the mother of two grown daughters. She lives in Philadelphia with her partner, Nurit Shein, who directs The Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia’s pre-eminent LGBT health center. Sue and Nurit are third generation members of Philadelphia’s Congregation Rodeph Shalom.
This podcast was produced in the studios of Professional Podcasts, a division of the Lubetkin Media Companies LLC, Cherry Hill, which also manages this website.
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