If All the Seas Were Ink
Chair: Yoel Finkelman
When she was 27, Ilana Kurshan found herself alone in Jerusalem in the wake of a painful divorce. She joined the world’s largest book club, learning daf yomi, Hebrew for ‘daily page’ of the Talmud, taking her copy wherever she went. In If All the Seas Were Ink, Ilana took us on a guided tour of the Talmud, shedding new light on its stories and offering insights into its arguments, for those already familiar with the text and those who have never encountered it. Together with Yoel Finkelman, Judaica Curator of the National Library of Israel, she explored her memoir of love and learning as a celebration.
Sponsored by the National Library of Israel
Ilana Kurshan won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for If All the Seas Were Ink. She has translated books of Jewish interest by Ruth Calderon, Benjamin Lau, and Micah Goodman, as well as novels, short stories, and children’s picture books. She is a regular contributor to Lilith Magazine, where she is the Book Reviews Editor, and her writing has appeared in The Forward, The World Jewish Digest, Hadassah, Nashim, Zeek, Kveller, and Tablet. Kurshan is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, summa cum laude, History of Science) and Cambridge University (M.Phil, English literature). She lives in Jerusalem, where she teaches Talmud at the Conservative Yeshiva. Her writing can be found at www.ilanakurshan.com.
Dr. Yoel Finkelman is curator of the Haim and Hanna Solomon Judaica Collection at the National Library of Israel. His book, Strictly Kosher Reading: Popular Literature and the Condition of Contemporary Orthodoxy appeared in 2011.