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dr. bonna devorah haberman

Dr. Bonna Devora Haberman passed away in Israel on June 16. This remarkable woman had a long association with International Council of Jewish Women, having supplied the many scholarly writings for ICJW Jewish Education courses over a period of years.  

ICJW delegates at the 2014 ICJW Convention in Prague will remember Bonna who, despite her continuing ill-health, gave her warm and knowledgeable contribution to the sessions she attended. She also continued to exert herself to write new material for the Bea Zucker Calendar Study Series while undergoing treatment until a few weeks before her death.

The following online courses were written by Bonna for ICJWDr. Bonna Devora Haberman earned her doctorate in Ethics and Education at the University of London. Having grown up in Canada, studied in the USA, Israel, and England, her work in and out of the academy fuses critical interpretation of texts and culture with passion for social betterment. She has published widely and taught at the Hebrew University, at the
Harvard University Divinity School and at Brandeis University where she founded and directed the “Mistabra Institute for Jewish Textual Activism” addressing difficult texts and social problems together using performance arts. 

With Mistabra, she created and performed two full-length theater pieces: Unmasking Esther—about gender-based oppression, from beauty standards to sex trafficking, and Inner Fire—about Jewish peoplehood, Israel, and territoriality. Bonna returned to Israel in 2004 with her spouse and five children.

In Jerusalem, Bonna initiated the Israeli movement for women's public participation and leadership called "Women of the Wall". She has co-directed an activist community theater project, “YTheater” together with a Palestinian partner, and mobilized a national social change initiative led by Israeli young people. Two books, tentatively titled Blood and Ink: Feminism Liberating Judaism, a Jewish feminist liberation theology, and Israel Spirit Matters: Refreshing Zionism from Jewish Sources were published in 2012.

We owe a debt of gratitude to ICJW Jewish Education Vice Chair Vera Kronenberg whose long involvement with ICJW On-line Learning Programs sponsored by  Bea Zucher’s family, enabled the valuable courses written by Bonna. 

I have sent a letter of condolence to Shmuel, Bonna’s husband, and family,on behalf of all ICJW Executive and members. We wish them Long Life.

Robyn Lenn OAM, ICJW President