Matan Women's Institute launches innovative weekly podcast

Current podcasts are on the Book of Devarim with new personalities each week who explore ideas from the parsha and the meaning they impart. 

 Women studying at Matan Women's Institute for Torah Studies in Jerusalem. (photo credit: GILAD MOR)
Women studying at Matan Women's Institute for Torah Studies in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: GILAD MOR)

The Matan Women’s Institute for Torah Studies has begun a new podcasting project hosted by Dr. Yosefa (Fogel) Wruble.

Wruble has been involved with Matan for the past 13 years, both as a graduate of its Shael Bellows Master’s Program in Bible and Exegesis and as a faculty member.

Her desire to begin a digital Torah project combined with Matan’s desire to extend its reach by bringing its Torah to the digital market and the new podcast cultivates candid and insightful conversations with both female and male Torah personalities on a variety of topics.

The podcast’s first season opened with a series chronicling the windy and unusual paths of Matan’s Torah scholars, journeys not uncommon for women seeking higher level Torah study just a few decades ago.

In the podcast, Wruble discusses the scholars’ upbringing, their longing for Torah learning and their passion for their current projects.

 Women studying at Matan Women's Institute for Torah Studies in Jerusalem. (credit: GILAD MOR) Women studying at Matan Women's Institute for Torah Studies in Jerusalem. (credit: GILAD MOR)

This series culminated in a moving episode with Matan’s founder and president Rabbanit Malke Bina, who paved the way for modern advanced women’s learning.

Women Writing Torah

In the second series, called “Women Writing Torah,”  Wruble sat down each week with a different female Torah personality who has written or has a forthcoming Torah-content book.

These conversations focused on the women’s creative process, their dedication to in-depth Torah study, their active role in the world of Torah scholarship as women and how they were impacted.

Guests in this series included Nechama Goldman-Barash, Shayna Goldberg, Simi Peters, Tamar Weissman and others.

The subject and theme of the next series of podcasts was a four-part discussion with Matan graduate and faculty member Dr. Tanya White. It was a meaningful exploration of Jewish approaches to suffering. These conversations were rigorous in their search for Jewish lenses and language for diverse obstacles facing humanity, including illness, the Holocaust, and even COVID-19.

Another series, on biblical characterization

This series was followed by another, with Matan’s Rosh Batei Midrash and Academic Director Dr. Yael Ziegler, in which she and Wruble discussed different aspects of biblical characterization.

Since the beginning of the book of Shemot [Exodus] the podcasts transitioned into full-time parsha talks. For thirty minutes every week a new guest focuses on the weekly Torah portion viewed through the prism of a figure, ancient or modern, and shares a significant idea on the portion.

The Ba’al Shem Tov, Umberto Cassuto, Eric Fromm, Shai Agnon, Josephus, and other fascinating historical figures have featured in these episodes as Wruble converses with renowned scholars and personalities such as Dr. Erica Brown, Rabbanit Shira Mirvis, Dr. Malka Z. Simkovitch, R. Yitchak Blau, Jeff Saks, Michael Eisenberg, Rachel Sharansky Danziger and others.

Current podcasts are on the Book of Devarim [Deuteronomy] with new personalities each week who explore ideas from the parsha and the meaning they impart.

The Matan Podcast is released at the beginning of each week and can be accessed on all podcast players.