Ilana Kurshan

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Ilana Kurshan
NationalityAmerican Israeli
Alma materHarvard University (BA, History of Science, 2000)
Cambridge University (M.Phil, English literature, 2002)
OccupationWriter, translator, editor
Spouse(s)Daniel Feldman[1] (4 children)
Awards2018 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

Ilana Kurshan is an American-Israeli author who lives in Jerusalem. She is best known for her memoir of Talmud study amidst life as a single woman, a married woman, and a mother, If All the Seas Were Ink.

Personal life[edit]

Kurshan was raised on Long Island as the daughter of a Conservative rabbi and an executive at UJA-Federation of New York. She graduated from Huntington High School, Harvard College, and Cambridge University, where she studied the History of Science and English Literature. She worked as an editor and literary agent in New York before moving to Jerusalem with her first husband for his rabbinic studies. Although her first marriage quickly crumbled, Kurshan stayed in Jerusalem, working as a translator and foreign-rights agent. In her memoir, she describes how she found a lifeline in the Daf Yomi, the daily study of the Babylonian Talmud, applying its richness to her life as first a single woman, and then as a remarried wife and mother.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Professional career[edit]

In addition to her own books, Kurshan has translated books by Ruth Calderon and Binyamin Lau from Hebrew to English.[10] She is the Book Review Editor for Lilith Magazine,[11] and her writings have appeared in Lilith, The Forward, The World Jewish Digest, Hadassah, Nashim, Zeek, Kveller, and Tablet.[12]

Selected works[edit]

  • If All the Seas Were Ink, 2017
  • Why is This Night Different from All Other Nights?: The Four Questions Around the World,2008


  1. ^ "Standing Suspended in This Miracle". Lilith Magazine. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  2. ^ "Divorced and battling illness, rabbi's daughter finds her lifeline in the Talmud". Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  3. ^ "Ilana Kurshan: A delightful surprise – American Jewish World". American Jewish World. September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  4. ^ "Talmud Tales: Ilana Kurshan's new book is inspired by 'Daf Yomi' studies". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Stern, Marissa (September 13, 2017). "Memoir Provides Engaging Look at Talmudic Text – Jewish Exponent". Jewish Exponent. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  6. ^ "Ilana Kurshan's Memoir Recounts Her Life in Israel, One Page of Talmud at a Time". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  7. ^ Kasmer-Jacobs, Jessica (September 19, 2017). "The World's Largest Book Club". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  8. ^ "educators". Bronfman Fellows. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  9. ^ "Getting Personal About The Talmud". Jewish Week. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  10. ^ " Ilana Kurshan: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  11. ^ "Masthead". Lilith Magazine. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "About Ilana Kurshan". Ilana Kurshan. March 20, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2017.

External links[edit]