Between Feminism and Orthodox Judaism

Resistance, Identity, and Religious Change in Israel


In Between Feminism and Orthodox Judaism, Yael Israel-Cohen offers an analysis of the activism and identity of women considered at the forefront of the feminist challenge to Orthodoxy. Through a look at women’s battle over synagogue ritual and the ordination of women rabbis, an intricate and complex picture of identity, resistance, and religious change is revealed. Some of the central questions that Yael Israel-Cohen explores are: How do modern Orthodox women strategize to implement feminist changes? How do they deal with what at least on the surface seem to be conflicting allegiances? How do they perceive their role as agents of change and what are the ramifications of their activism for how we understand the boundaries of Orthodoxy more generally?

"Between Feminism and Orthodox Judaism represents an interpretive study at its finest. It is well-written, theoretically sophisticated, and grounded within the literature. I highly recommend this book for scholars and nonscholars alike who are interested in studies of women’s resistance in conservative settings." Faezeh Bahreini, University of South Florida, Tampa

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Yael Israel-Cohen, Ph.D. (2011), Tel Aviv University, has published academic articles on the topic of women's status in Orthodoxy and is a co-author of the book Building a Diaspora, Russian Jews in Israel, Germany and the USA (Brill, 2006).
Part I: Religion, Modernity, and Women
Chapter 1: Religious Change and Women's Agency in Conservative Religions
Chapter 2: Orthodox Judaism and Women's Standing
Chapter 3: Methodology
Part II: Exclusion and Resistance
Chapter 4: The Battle over Women's Standing in Synagogue Ritual
Chapter 5: Orthodox Women Rabbis? "It's only a matter of time"
Part III: Behind the Label: "I am an Orthodox Feminist"
Chapter 6: The Cultural Contextualization of Orthodox Feminist Identity
Chapter 7: Orthodox Feminists talk about Feminism in a Wider Perspective
Part IV: Orthodox Feminism beyond a Gendered Discourse
Chapter 8: The Trend towards an Increasingly Hybrid and Pluralistic Orthodoxy
Chapter 9: The Present and the Future of Orthodox Feminism
Appendix: Interview Questions
All interested in women's changing status in religious life, religious change, and Orthodox Judaism.
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