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Hauptman, Judith

HAUPTMAN, JUDITH

HAUPTMAN, JUDITH (1943– ), U.S. scholar of rabbinics, rabbi. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Hauptman was a graduate of the Yeshivah of Flatbush in 1961. She then enrolled in Barnard College. After a year there, she moved to Jerusalem and spent three years studying at the Hebrew University; she then returned to Barnard College and received her bachelor's degree in economics in 1967. At the same time, she also earned a bachelor's of Hebrew literature in Talmud from the Seminary College of Jewish Studies. Hauptman continued her studies by entering the graduate program in rabbinics at jts, receiving her masters degree in Talmud in 1973 and pursuing her doctorate under the supervision of David *Weiss Halivni. When she completed her graduate studies in 1982, she became the first woman to ever be awarded a Ph.D. in the field of Talmud and Rabbinics.

Hauptman then joined the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where she served as the assistant dean of the Seminary College of Jewish Studies, held the Rabbi Philip R. Alstat Professorship in Talmud, and was appointed the E. Billie Ivry Professor of Talmudic and Rabbinic Culture.

One of the major focuses of Hauptman's scholarly work has been in the synoptic study of rabbinic texts: the study of parallel and related texts found in different documents as a means of exploring the historical development of laws, traditions, and documents in rabbinic culture and writing. Her first book, published in 1988, was Development of the Talmudic Sugya: Relationship Between Tannaitic and Amoraic Sources, which addresses the place of early, "tannaitic" literature in the rabbinic culture of study that ultimately produced the two Talmuds. Hauptman became a pioneer in a growing new approach, one that sees in the Tosefta materials which predate the Mishnah and out of which mishnaic material was developed.

A second prominent focus of both Hauptman's scholarly and other work has been Jewish feminism. In the early 1970s she was a member of Ezrat Nashim, a group advocating for the greater inclusion of women in Jewish ritual in the Conservative movement, including the ordination of women as rabbis. In 1972, she published "An Assessment of Women's Liberation in the Talmud" in the journal Conservative Judaism, and two years later her essay "Images of Women in the Talmud" appeared in the collection Religion and Sexism, edited by Rosemary Ruether; she went on to publish numerous works analyzing rabbinic attitudes and legislation regarding women. This aspect of Hauptman's work is exemplified by her book Rereading the Rabbis: A Woman's Voice, published in 1998. In this work, Hauptman examines the historic development of rabbinic legislation in a number of areas relating to women and women's lives – marriage and divorce, social relations between the sexes, dowry and inheritance, etc. – in order to demonstrate a consistent trend toward greater (though still unequal) rights and protections for women over time. Her 1993 articles "Some Thoughts on the Nature of Halakhic Adjudication: Women and Minyan" and "Women and Prayer: An Attempt to Dispel Some Fallacies," both in Judaism, became the basis on which jts Chancellor Ismar *Schorsch revised jts policy to allow full participation for all women in egalitarian services at the seminary.

Having trained rabbis for more than a decade and having advocated the ordination of women, Hauptman applied to the rabbinical school of the jts. The result was quite surprising. Citing concerns about the potential conflicts that might arise if Hauptman were to sit in classes with those who were her students on other occasions, Chancellor Schorsch denied her application. Undeterred, she subsequently enrolled in the Academy for Jewish Religion, and was ordained as a rabbi in 2003.

[Gail Laibovitz (2nd ed.)]

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