Core Semikha, Class of 2023
Myriam Ackermann-Sommer, BA, MA, was born and raised in Southern France and has been living in Paris for four years with her husband Emile. She earned a B.A. in English in 2016, majoring in English and minoring in Hebrew at the Sorbonne while completing an undergraduate degree in Humanities at the École Normale Supérieure, a selective French college. In the course of her master’s degree in English literature, Myriam focused mainly on Jewish American authors and Jewish philosophy, writing essays on Nobelist I.B. Singer (main thesis: “Broken Shards: Vulnerability in the Works of Isaac Bashevis Singer”) and Bernard Malamud (“Am I My Brother’s Keeper? The Ethical Imperative in the Short Stories of Bernard Malamud. A Dialogue With Emmanuel Levinas”, an essay at the intersection with contemporary French Jewish philosophy). She has also been inquiring into the representation of the sacred in Judaism in articles like “The Holy of Holies; or, the Architecture of Absence”. Myriam has had an extensive training in teaching and translation, and regularly gives talks in Jewish as well as academic contexts, starting a co-ed study group (“Ayeka”) with her husband in 2017 for Parisian students and young professionals. Her favourite subjects are gender representations and notably the challenge of egalitarianism in Orthodox Judaism, the exchange of ideas and insights between Judaism and contemporary critical theory, and Jewish ethics. A dedicated musician, Myriam has also earned a diploma in transverse flute in 2015 and loves to enhance the spiritual dimension of Judaism by singing her heart out in prayer groups.
Beyond the Point of No Return: On Teshuvah and Finding a Way Out