Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
Ongoing Salons

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Salon #43 - Maternal Gifting in the Hebrew Bible: Role Models and Cautionary Tales

March 25, 2023

Featuring Kohenet Judith Maeryam Wouk, Kohenet Miki Raver, and Kohenet Anna Maranta.

Our world is molded by the stories we’ve heard, and the ones we tell ourselves. Unfortunately, storytelling has often been used to portray women as scapegoat, to blame for the fact that life is difficult.

Inspired by the growing movement to explore stories from our ancestors for how they are relevant to our lives today, this Salon will re-frame examples of gifting in the Hebrew Bible to ask how we can listen for the voices that guide and support our journey towards wholeness and avoid the places where we can hear patriarchy directing and thwarting our paths.

As leaders, our story is a powerful tool for progressive change. Role models, both positive and negative, seen through a contemporary feminist, maternal gift economy lens - in other words, from a mytho-historical point of view, not a religious one – can breathe new life into an old text to start the healing. Let’s not abandon these stories because of their patriarchal bias, but rather explore them for female perspectives, images and symbols.

Kohenet Judith Maeryam Wouk, is involved in political and spiritual activism after retiring from the Canadian Federal public service. Withs degrees in anthropology and law, she has led workshops/classes on Reframing Women of the Bible, In Search of the Feminine Divine, Jewish End of Life Practices and others. Recent publications are The Truth about M(O)therhood: Choosing to be Child Free, (with Helene Cummins and Julie Anne Rodgers, cover art by Desireah Lascelles, Demeter Press 2021) and “Women, Chevra Kadisha, and the Gift Economy” (Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme, 2020). Other publications include “Re-Calling Our HerStory: Miriam the Prophetess” (2015) and “Unaccompanied/ Separated Minors and Refugee Protection in Canada: Filling Information Gaps” (Refuge, 2006).

Kohenet Miki Raver is author of Listen to Her Voice: Women of the Hebrew Bible and She is Wisdom: A Celebration of the Feminine Divine. She is known for her enthusiastic uplifting of the Feminine Divine and of the strength, strategic brilliance and sacred sexuality of the biblical foremothers. Raver has lectured about the women of the Hebrew Bible internationally since 1998. She is the creator of Shekinah Circles and Kabbalage—an exploration of Kabbalah through collage. Kohenet Miki Raver currently ¬serves on the clergy team at Burbank Temple Emanu-El in Los Angeles.

Kohenet Anna Maranta is a Radical rabbi/nical student, pastoral counsellor, spiritual healer, independent scholar, educator, and friend who loves natural beauty and quiet contemplation. She offers spiritual direction, counseling and coaching. from an integral perspective in Ottawa Canada. The Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute trains Jewish spiritual leaders through embodied, earth-based feminist Judaism.

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