At the age of 27, alone in Jerusalem in the wake of a painful divorce, Ilana Kurshan joined the world’s largest book club, learning daf yomi, Hebrew for “daily page" of the Talmud. Her memoir based on the years that followed, If All the Seas Were Ink, is a tale of heartache and humour, of love and loss, of marriage and motherhood, and of learning to put one foot in front of the other by turning page after page. Kurshan takes us on a deeply accessible and personal guided tour of the Talmud, shedding new light on its stories and offering insights into its arguments—both for those already familiar with the text and for those who have never encountered it. For people of the book—both Jewish and non-Jewish—If All the Seas Were Ink is a celebration of learning, through literature, how to fall in love once again.
The schedule for the weekend:
Friday Dec 21: Community Kabbalat Shabbat and potluck dinner with Ilana, 6.30pm
Shabbat Dec 22: Ilana will give the davar Torah in shul.
Motzei Shabbat (Saturday night) Dec 22: Book reading/signing at the Leonard Sainer Centre (our usual home for services). Doors 6.30pm, reading 7–8pm, signing 8–9pm. Entrance fee: £5 (redeemable against book purchase). Book on Eventbrite, here.
Ilana Kurshan 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. Her book Why Is This Night Different From Other Nights was published by Schocken in 2005. 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. Ilana is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, summa cum laude, History of Science) and Cambridge University (M.Phil, English literature). She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and four children.
For more about Ilana please see her website, here.