Below are some of Marcia Falk's most popular lecture and workshop topics. Each of these can be expanded to be the subject for an all-day program. Marcia will also be happy to work with you to create a weekend poet/scholar-in-residence program that will address your group's specific interests and needs.
Whatever format you choose, group participation will be encouraged and facilitated. Plenty of time will be allowed for questions and discussion in each session.
For more information and to schedule engagements, please fill out this form.
Lecture and Workshop Topics:
An Inclusive Approach to Jewish Prayer
Does traditional Jewish prayer meet our spiritual needs today? How are questions of gender, power, and authority reflected in the language of the liturgy and in Jewish talk about God? As women and men creating inclusive communities, how do we reclaim a tradition that excludes some of us? Marcia Falk addresses these and other questions as she reads and comments on excerpts from her groundbreaking prayer book, The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival.
Poetry as Prayer
Poet and Hebrew scholar Marcia Falk devoted thirteen years to the creation of The Book of Blessings: New Jewish Prayers for Daily Life, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival, which re-visions Jewish liturgy from a gender-inclusive, nonhierarchical perspective. "The creative process," she writes in her Author's Preface, "was a spiritual journey, rich with the gifts of discovery and surprise." In this talk and dramatic reading, Falk discusses her poetic process and presents selections from this landmark book. Along the way, she reveals the parallels between creativity and spirituality in all of us.
Spirituality and Sensuality in the Voices of Jewish Women
Is there a female voice in Jewish literary tradition? If so, how does it contribute to our understanding of spirituality? The Song of Songs—the Bible's remarkable collection of love poetry—is a unique biblical book, in which women speak most of the lines. Marcia Falk views The Song of Songs as the prototype for a lost literary tradition, which she uncovers in her translations of modern Jewish women poets. She traces this tradition by reading and discussing excerpts from The Song of Songs alongside modern women poets writing in Hebrew and in Yiddish.
Three Women Poets: A Talk and Reading
Marcia presents her own poetry alongside poems by two very different contemporaries: the Israeli-Hebrew mystic Zelda and the American-Yiddish innovator Malka Heifetz Tussman. She gives the poems a dramatic reading in the original languages as well as in her own English translations, and highlights their approaches to nature, love, solitude, and spirituality.
The Song of Songs: Love Lyrics from the Bible
In this popular performance-reading of her acclaimed new translation, Marcia brings alive the ambiance of the Bible's most sensual and lyrical book. The presentation includes introductory comments.
An Experiential Introduction to New Liturgy
Marcia Falk leads the congregation in a participatory experience of a complete service from her new prayer book, The Book of Blessings. Congregations may choose the Kabbalat Shabbat, a contemplative re-creation of the traditional Friday evening service, in which the Sabbath is welcomed with poetry, song, and meditative silence, or the Shaharit Sabbath morning service, which includes a new approach to the study of Torah. Marcia Falk is also available to conduct other services and rituals from her book, including the Havdalah and a New Rosh Hodesh ceremony.
© Marcia Falk. Photo by Rise Cohen.