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If All the Seas Were Ink

Ilana Kurshan and Yoel Finkelman

Jewish Book Week

Mon 4 Mar

If All the Seas Were Ink

Ilana Kurshan and Yoel Finkelman

Jewish Book Week

Ilana Kurshan speaker
Yoel Finkelman chair

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 takes 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 explores her memoir of love and learning as a celebration.

Ilana Kurshan is the author of If All the Seas Were Ink (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), winner of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. 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

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.

Sponsored by the National Library of Israel.

Date & time:Mon 4 Mar – 8.30pm
Venue:Hall Two

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