News Releases

'Keep Your Wives Away From Them' Contributors To Speak At Ithaca College

ITHACA, NY — Three contributors to the book “Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires” will give a free public reading at Ithaca College on Thursday, Oct. 28. The program will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Clark Lounge, Egbert Hall, and it is free and open to the public.

“Keep Your Wives Away From Them” is an anthology that takes on the daunting challenge of reconciling queerness with Orthodox Judaism. It tells the personal stories of women who have come out, who are still closeted, who are living double lives or who are struggling to maintain an integrated “single life” in relation to traditional Judaism. While a number of books have explored the lives of queer people who are also observant Jews, this one explores in depth what happens after the struggle, when the real work of building integrated lives begins.

Reading from the book will be its editor, Miryam Kabakov; and two whose stories it includes, Mara Benjamin and Elaine Chapnick. Currently the director of the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival, Kabakov founded the New York Orthodykes and was director of GLBT programming at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. Benjamin is an assistant professor of religion and Jewish studies at St. Olaf College and the author of “Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity.” Chapnick is an attorney who serves as a contributing writer for “Lesbian/Gay Law Notes” and has taught on unconventional female sexual behavior in Jewish texts.

“Keep Your Wives Away From Them” has been honored with the Hadassah Brandeis Institute Award and was nominated for the Stonewall Book Award and Over the Rainbow Book Award from the American Library Association.

The reading is cosponsored by the Ithaca College Jewish studies program; Center for LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services; women’s studies program; Hillel; and Department of Sociology. For more information contact Rebecca Lesses, coordinator of Jewish studies, at (607) 274-3556 or; or Lis Maurer, director of the LGBT Center, at (607) 274-7394 or