Israeli Feminism: The Impact of Women’s and Gender Studies on Jewish Studies

In Israel, where the rabbinate together with the army give patriarchy a stranglehold on civil society, the potential impact of the feminist study of Judaism is of far more than personal significance. Nevertheless, it is only recently that the isolated efforts of a few scholars working in different institutions have begun coming together to form a vibrant and distinctive Israeli branch of feminist Jewish women’s studies, bringing a breath of fresh air and activism to a field dominated by conservative Judaic studies faculties and yeshivas. This in itself is one of the most important messages to emanate from the conference on “The Impact of Women’s and Gender Studies on Jewish Studies” held in Jerusalem in June 1999.