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Stories of women in Torah reflect the complexity of our own lives.

Girls in Trouble

This condensed version of the Girls in Trouble curriculum, a project by Alicia Jo Rabins, is based on Alicia’s indie-folk song cycle of the same name, and follows individual women through their stories in the Torah. In each lesson, students are encouraged to engage with both the Torah text and Alicia’s songs, to consider the story’s relevance to their own lives, and to generate their own creative interpretations. This curriculum brings Biblical women to life, demonstrating the power of these often under-studied stories, and highlighting the ways in which they can help us navigate our own complicated lives.

Cover Art for "Eve the Mother"

Eve the Mother

Learn about Eve’s role as the first mother, and consider what her story might teach us about going through a difficult experience without sufficient support.
Cover Art for "Rachel and Leah: Being Sisters"

Rachel and Leah: Being Sisters

Consider Rachel and Leah’s intertwined story and complicated relationship as sisters, and reflect on both the positive and challenging aspects of sisterhood.
Cover Art for "Yiftach's Daughter at Stake"

Yiftach’s Daughter At Stake

Learn about the disturbing story of Yiftach’s Daughter (“Bat Yiftach” in Hebrew), and consider how it reflects the importance of balancing religious beliefs with the reality of the world we live in.
Cover Art for "Lilith: Demoness or Heroine?"

Lilith: Demoness or Heroine?

Learn about Lilith’s long and varied history, and consider how her story reflects changing perspectives on powerful women.
Cover Art for Judith in the Enemy’s Tent, Cropped

Judith in the Enemy’s Tent

Learn about Judith’s bravery in the face of extreme danger, and consider how her story can inspire us to harness our own hidden power.
Cover Art for "Tamar at the Crossroads"

Tamar at the Crossroads

Learn about this fascinating story from Genesis, which is not often discussed. Explore how Tamar takes action to provide herself with what she needs, once she realizes that no one else is going to give it to her.
Hannah Raises Her Voice Cover Art, cropped

Hannah Raises Her Voice

Learn how Hannah attempted to change her life by calling on God for help, and consider the power of asking for what you need or want in your own life.
Sarah's Sacrifice Cover Art, cropped

Sarah's Sacrifice

One of the most famous stories in Genesis is the Binding of Isaac by his father Abraham (the Akeidah, in Hebrew). Sarah, Isaac’s mother, is noticeably absent from the text. Here we consider Sarah’s perspective, and how this foundational event in the Jewish origin story might have affected her.
Cover Art for "Ruth's Journey", cropped

Ruth's Journey

Learn how Ruth changed her life by making a series of bold choices, and examine how taking risks, small or large, might lead to positive transformations in your own life.

Cover Art for "Miriam in the Desert", cropped

Miriam in the Desert

Consider Miriam’s experience of exile and investigate the parallels between her story and moments of alienation and isolation in your own life.

Visit the Girls in Trouble website to download expanded versions of these lessons, including rabbinic commentaries and visual art, and to hear more songs about Biblical women!

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Girls in Trouble." (Viewed on December 16, 2017) <https://jwa.org/teach/girlsintrouble>.

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