Alicia Ostriker will discuss The Importance of Contemporary Midrash at the fourth in a series of Lunch and Learn events at Temple Sinai of Summit, Sunday, January 9, 2011, with lunch available from 1:15-1:45 p.m., and the lecture beginning immediately after.

Contemporary midrash remains a topic central to Ms. Ostriker’s thinking, and she finds that groups everywhere are excited and stimulated by learning about it.   In this talk she describes the similarities and differences between traditional rabbinic midrash and the post-war renaissance of midrash writing in America.  Reading from and commenting on midrashic writing by others, and her own work in The Nakedness of the Fathers: Biblical Visions and Revisions, she proposes that contemporary midrash may chart a visionary path for the Judaism of the future.

Alicia Ostriker is a prize-winning poet and critic, who has lectured and presented writing and midrash workshops in many settings in the USA, Israel, England, and Europe. She is the author of the provocative The Nakedness of the Fathers; Biblical Visions and Revisions, a combination of midrashic and autobiographical writing, and  For the Love of God:  The Bible as an Open Book, essays on Song of Songs, Ruth, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Jonah and Job.  She has twice been a National Book Award finalist, and her volume of poems entitled The Book of Seventy, won a National Jewish Book Award for 2009.  Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and many other journals, as well as numerous anthologies of Jewish writing.  A Professor Emerita of English at Rutgers University, she was poetry editor of Lilith for many years.  Ostriker leads a monthly midrash writing workshop in NYC.  

While there is no cost to attend the lecture, a voluntary donation of $5 for Temple Sinai members ($10 for non-members) towards the cost of food would be appreciated.  Please RSVP to Temple Sinai by Wednesday, January 5, by email to or by calling 908-273-4921.