NEW YORK - Yeshiva University is awarding a doctorate in Talmud to a woman for the first time.

The university's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies is awarding the doctorate to 30-year-old Shana Strauch Schick. A New Jersey native now living in suburban Detroit, Schick successfully defended her dissertation on Aug. 4 and will formally graduate in September.

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“Orthodoxy has long emphasized the value of the study of Talmud,” Schick told JTA in an interview. “But Talmud study, which in yeshivot is the central focus of the religious duty to learn Torah, is still rarely emphasized as a vital part of women’s education.”

Schick holds a master’s degree in Bible from Revel and a bachelor's degree in Judaic studies from YU’s Stern College for Women. She plans to spend the next academic year in Israel doing post-doctoral studies at Bar-Ilan University.

Stern College also has a master's program in biblical and talmudic interpretation, as well as a graduate program for women in advanced talmudic studies, but it does not award doctorates.

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