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Between Feminism and Orthodox Judaism

Resistance, Identity, and Religious Change in Israel


Yael Israel-Cohen

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?

This book is also available in paperback.

"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


Edited by Brian Smollett and Christian Wiese

Reappraisals and New Studies of the Modern Jewish Experience brings together twenty scholars of Modern Jewish history and thought. The essays provide a fresh perspective on several central questions in Jewish intellectual, social, and religious history from the eighteenth century to the present in the contexts of Russia, Western and Central Europe, and the Americas.

Israel Celebrates

Jewish Holidays and Civic Culture in Israel


Hizky Shoham

Israel Celebrates is about the intersection where Israeli inventiveness and Jewish tradition meet: the holidays. It employs the anthropological history of four Jewish holidays as celebrated in Israel in order to track the naturalization of Jewish rituals, myths, and symbols in Israeli culture throughout “the long twentieth century” of Zionism and on to the present, and to demonstrate how a new strand of Judaism developed in Israel from the grassroots. But could this grassroots Israeli culture develop into a shared symbolic space for both Jews and Arabs? By probing the political implications of the minutiae of life, the book argues that this popular culture might come to define Jewish identity in Israel of the 21st century.


Edited by Yosef Kaplan and Dan Michman

In The Religious Cultures of Dutch Jewry an international group of scholars examines aspects of religious belief and practice of pre-emancipation Sephardim and Ashkenazim in Amsterdam, Curaçao and Surinam, ceremonial dimensions, artistic representations of religious life, and religious life after the Shoa. The origins of Dutch Jewry trace back to diverse locations and ancestries: Marranos from Spain and Portugal and Ashkenazi refugees from Germany, Poland and Lithuania. In the new setting and with the passing of time and developments in Dutch society at large, the religious life of Dutch Jews took on new forms. Dutch Jewish society was thus a microcosm of essential changes in Jewish history.

The New Babylonian Diaspora

The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Community in Iraq, 16th-20th Centuries C.E.


Zvi Yehuda

The New Babylonian Diaspora: Rise and Fall of Jewish Community in Iraq, 16th–20th Centuries C.E. provides a historical survey of the Iraqi Jewish community's evolution from the apex of its golden age to its disappearance, emergence, rapid growth and annihilation. Making use of Judeo-Arabic newspapers and archives in London, Paris, Washington D.C. and other sources, Zvi Yehuda proves that from 1740 to 1914, Iraq became a lodestone for tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants from Kurdistan, Persia, the Mediterranean Basin, and Eastern and Central Europe. After these Jews had settled in Baghdad and Mesopotamia, they became “Babylonians” and ‘forgot’ their lands of origin, contrary to the social habit of Jews in other communities throughout history.


Aviva Ben-Ur

He also made it a point not to invite any officers of the congregation to his son’s ritual circumcision, held in his house, and refused to accept the leaders’ generous offer to lend him the religious accouterments from the synagogue customarily used in such ceremonies, such as candles and the chair


Federica Francesconi

a lamp for her soul and to cover expenses for her funeral. In both women we see a concern about their funeral and the fulfillment of Jewish rituals in the cycle of life, as well as the feeling that they were taking part in a collective, a Jewish body that transcended their households and their


Stanley Mirvis

to a far greater extent than Captain Beaver’s, devoting a great deal of attention to the dietary habitats, dress, rituals, and appearance of the native peoples he encountered. Thus while his account is not in essence Abolitionist, Montefiore shared Beaver’s commitment to a “civilizing mission