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Menachem Kellner is an American-born scholar of Jewish philosophy, an educator, and a public intellectual who lives in Israel. For over three decades he taught at the University of Haifa, where he held the Sir Isaac and Lady Edith Wolfson Chair of Jewish Religious Thought as well as several high-level administrative positions. Currently he teaches Jewish philosophy at Shalem College, Israel’s first liberal arts college, which seeks to integrate Western and Jewish texts. Trained in ethics and political philosophy, Kellner specializes in medieval Jewish philosophy, arguing that Maimonides’ rationalist universalism should serve as the ideal for contemporary Jewish life. Creatively fusing Zionism, modern Orthodoxy, and democracy, his vision of Judaism is open to and engaged with the modern world.
Volume Editors: Andrea Hammel and Anthony Grenville
Exile and Everyday Life focusses on the everyday life experience of refugees fleeing National Socialism in the 1930s and 1940s as well as the representation of this experience in literature and culture. The contributions in this volume show experiences of loss, strategies of adaptation and the creation of a new identity and life. It covers topics such as Exile in Shanghai, Ireland, the US and the UK, food in exile, the writers Gina Kaus, Vicki Baum and Jean Améry, refugees in the medical profession and the creative arts, and the Kindertransport to the UK.
Social Identity and Values in a Comparative Approach
In Jewish Youth around the World 1990-2010: Social Identity and Values, Erik Cohen offers a rich and multi-faceted picture of Jewish adolescents and young adults today. Based on numerous empirical studies conducted by the author over the course of two decades among various populations in Israel and every major Diaspora country, it considers a range of issues, including: demographics and migration patterns, Jewish identity, involvement in the Jewish community, leisure time activities, values, relationship to Israel and to the global Jewish collective. In-depth analysis of the data uncovers similarities and differences of various sub-populations by nationality, level of religiosity, age, gender and more. The book is pioneering in its comparative approach to Jewish youth around the world.
This volume offers insights into the major Jewish migration movements and rebuilding of European Jewish communities in the mid-twentieth century. Its chapters illustrate many facets of the Jews’ often traumatic post-war experiences. People had to find their way when returning to their countries of origin or starting from scratch in a new land. Their experiences and hardships from country to country and from one community of migrants to another are analyzed here. The mass exodus of Jews from Arab and Muslim countries is also addressed to provide a necessary and broader insight into how those challenges were met, as both migrations were a result of persecution, as well as discrimination.
In this era of globalization, Jewish diversity is marked more than ever by transnational expansion of competing movements and local influences on specific conditions. One factor that still makes Jewish communities one is the common reference to Israel. Today, however, differentiations and discrepancies in identification and behavior generate plurality and ambiguities about Israel-Diaspora relationships. Moreover the Judeophobia now rife in Europe and beyond as well as the spread of the Palestinian cause as a civil religion make Israel the world’s "Jew among nations.” This weighs heavily on community relations - despite Israel’s active presence in the diaspora. In this context, the contributions to this volume focus on Jewish peoplehood, religiosity and ethnicity, gender and generation, Israelophobia and world Jewry, and debate the perspectives that are most pertinent to confront the question: how far is the Jewish Commonwealth (Klal Yisrael) still an important code of Jewry today?
Only a few decades after the Holocaust, Belgian Jews, like most European Jewries, are under the attack of forces stemming from a variety of sources. How do they confront and stand these new hardships? Research done all over Europe from 2012 through 2013 tried to answer this question. Among the cases investigated, the Belgian Jewry is one of the most interesting. It is both versatile and representative, revealing essential components of the general experience of European Jews today. Conceptual considerations pave the way to the study of their plight that has been, by any criterion, anything but “usual". Belgian Jews, it appears, are “like” many other Jewries in Europe but “a little more”. They highlight the question: is allosemitism at all surmountable?
Author: Yohai Hakak
By looking at the case of Lithuanian yeshivas in Israel, Yohai Hakak’s book explores the internal tensions and dynamics of religious orders during a stage of a relative ‘loss of charisma’, in which the enthusiasm of the founding generation has diminished. It is the first study to include participant observations conducted within these institutions, which are the sacred heart of this segregated and highly religious community. The book highlights the current crisis these fundamentalist institutions are going through marked by a dramatic growth in yeshiva dropout rates. It examines the new and innovative ways the rabbis are trying to respond to the crisis. As part of these attempts the rabbinical discourse portrays a unique utopian and egalitarian world governed by supernatural forces and unlimited spiritual resources and incorporates Western psychological and democratic ideas.

"Hakak's book is a great scholarly achievement." Motti Inbari, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

"In sum, the book manages to elaborate on important developments and changes in the Haredi world: The emergence of cautious deviance, questioning of old ideals, or the rise of individuality. At the same time Hakak explains how these changes inflict strains upon the social structure of the Haredi world. The book can be therefore recommended particularly to scholars dealing with the development within the Haredi society." Peter Lintl, Institut ür Politische Wissenschaft, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
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