Professor Vered Noam, head of the Chaim Rosenberg School of Jewish Studies and Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, has become the first woman to be awarded the annual Israel Prize for Talmudic studies, it was announced on Monday.

The prize jury, headed by Rabbi Daniel Sperber, a professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, described Noam as “an internationally renowned scholar.”

He added, “the importance of her research is widely recognized. In particular, she is a role model for her contribution to the scientific community and the public in general, for making rabbinic and Talmudic literature accessible to all students in Israel.”

Born in Jerusalem to children’s author Rivka Elitzur and Bible scholar Professor Yehuda Elitzur, Noam earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Talmud from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has been working in the Talmud department of Tel Aviv University since 1999, and since 2017 has headed the School of Jewish Studies and Archaeology.

She was a visiting professor at Yale University and also headed the beit midrash (Jewish study hall) at Midreshet Lindenbaum in Jerusalem—one of the first Orthodox Jewish-study programs for women.

The prize jury added: “She was and continues to be a source of inspiration for an entire generation of women who study Torah in academia and in the world of midrashot [advanced Torah academies] for women in Israel and the world.”

Noam said on Tuesday that “in our world, Jewish women have a right and a duty to be part of the multigenerational conversation of the Jewish people, and to belong to study and Torah.”

The awards ceremony will take place on April 29, Israel’s Independence Day.

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