Gender and Judaism is an emerging subfield at the intersection of gender studies and Jewish studies. Gender studies centers on interdisciplinary research on the phenomenon of gender. It focuses on cultural representations of gender and people's lived experience. Jewish studies is a field that looks at Jews and Judaism, through such disciplines as history, anthropology, literary studies, linguistics, and sociology.


Gender and Judaism has drawn scholarly interest due to the rapid growth of its intersecting fields during the late 20th century, fueled as well by popular and academic attention to Jewish feminism. As universities established women's studies programs, they have linked to Jewish studies as well. For instance, in 1997, Brandeis University established the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, which aims to "develop fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research and artistic projects."[1] In addition, controversies over the role of women in Jewish denominations has drawn attention to gender roles, as constructed and regulated by religious institutions. For this reason, besides the academic attention, the liberal Jewish movements turn to gender and Judaism to reinforce their own mission and identity. Notably, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College has established the Gottesman Chair in Gender and Judaism and operates Kolot — the Center for Jewish Women's and Gender Studies "[2], the first such center established at a rabbinical seminary (1996).

With the U.S.-based Association of Jewish Studies, a women's caucus works "to advance the study of gender within the Association for Jewish Studies and within the wider academic community." AJS holds at least one panel on gender every annual meeting, provide funding for presentations on gender and Judaism and published a collection of syllabi pertaining to gender.[3]


Gender and Jewish studies intersect primarily through research on Jewish women and the role of women in Judaism and Jewish culture.

Nonetheless, gender and Jewish studies also investigate the gender phenomena pertaining to men and masculinity. In addition, the subfield encompasses research on homosexuality and queer theory as these pertain to Jews and Judaism.

In historical terms, gender and Jewish studies span a broad range, from Biblical exegesis, research on rabbinic literature, Medieval Jewish culture, the importance of gender in Jewish responses to modernity, and gender identity politics in the contemporary period.

See also


  1. -Brandeis Institute
  2. [1]
  3. AJS

External links


  • Lori Hope Lefkovitz. "Reflections on the Future of Jewish Feminism and Jewish Feminist Scholarship" in Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues 10 (2005) 218-224 The author holds the Gottesman Chair in Gender and Judaism at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College; founded and is the Director of Kolot: Center for Jewish Women and Gender Studies at RRC
  • ____________. "Passing as a Man: Narratives of Jewish Gender Performance," in Narrative, 10/1 (2002).
  • Sarah Bunin Benor. "Talmid Chachams and Tsedeykeses: Language, Learnedness, and Masculinity Among Orthodox Jews," by Jewish Social Studies; Fall 2004, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p147-170.
  • Jewish Women's Archives
  • Rivkah Teitz Blau. Gender relationships in marriage and out. Orthodox Forum series. New York; Jersey City, NJ: Michael Scharf Publication Trust of the Yeshiva University Press; Distributed by KTAV Pub. House, 2007. ISBN 9780881259711.
  • Daniel Boyarin, Daniel Itzkovitz and Ann Pellegrini. Queer theory and the Jewish question. Between men—between women. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. ISBN 0231113749; 0231113757.
  • Daniel Boyarin. Unheroic conduct : the rise of heterosexuality and the invention of the Jewish man. Contraversions. 8, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. ISBN 0520210506.
  • ______.Carnal Israel : reading sex in Talmudic culture. The New historicism. 25, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. ISBN 0520080122.
  • Jonathan Boyarin and Daniel Boyarin. Jews and other differences : the new Jewish cultural studies. Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. ISBN 0816627509; 0816627517.
  • Andrea Dworkin. Scapegoat: The Jews, Israel, and Women's Liberation (2000) ISBN 0-684-83612-2
  • Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert. Menstrual purity : rabbinic and Christian reconstructions of Biblical gender. Contraversions. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0804737258.
  • Jonathan Frankel. Jews and gender : the challenge to hierarchy. Studies in contemporary Jewry. 16, Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0195140818.
  • Mark H. Gelber. Melancholy pride : nation, race, and gender in the German literature of cultural Zionism. Conditio Judaica. 23, Tübingen: M. Niemeyer, 2000. ISBN 3484651237.
  • Sander L. Gilman. Freud, race, and gender. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993. ISBN 0691032459.
  • Leonard J. Greenspoon, Ronald Simkins, Jean Axelrad Cahan, Philip M. and Ethel Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization, University of Nebraska—Lincoln. Harris Center for Judaic Studies and Creighton University. Center for the Study of Religion and Society. Women and Judaism. Studies in Jewish civilization. 14, Omaha, NE; Lincoln, NE: Creighton University Press; Distributed by the University of Nebraska Press, 2003. ISBN 1881871436.
  • Joel Lurie Grishaver. The bonding of Isaac : stories and essays about gender and Jewish spirituality. Los Angeles, CA: Alef Design Group, 1997. ISBN 1881283208.
  • Nancy A. Harrowitz and Barbara Hyams. Jews & gender : responses to Otto Weininger. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995. ISBN 1566392489; 1566392497.
  • Lawrence A. Hoffman. Covenant of blood : circumcision and gender in rabbinic Judaism. Chicago studies in the history of Judaism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. ISBN 0226347834; 0226347842.
  • Walter Jacob and Moshe Zemer. Gender issues in Jewish law : essays and responsa. Studies in progressive halakhah. New York: Berghahn Books, 2001. ISBN 1571812393.
  • Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether and Marie Cantlon. Encyclopedia of women and religion in North America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. ISBN 0253346851; 025334686X; 0253346878; 0253346886; 9780253346858; 9780253346865; 9780253346872; 9780253346889.
  • Orah Kohen. Mi-shene ʻevre ha-mehitsah : li-she'elat ha-hafradah ha-migdarit ba-halakhah ha-Yehudit. Elhanah: O. Kohen, 2007. ISBN 9657402042.
  • Kristen E. Kvam, Linda S. Schearing and Valarie H. Ziegler. Eve and Adam : Jewish, Christian, and Muslim readings on Genesis and gender. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999. ISBN 025333490X; 0253212715.
  • Jacob Lassner. Demonizing the Queen of Sheba : boundaries of gender and culture in postbiblical Judaism and medieval Islam. Chicago studies in the history of Judaism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. ISBN 0226469131; 0226469158.
  • Hara Person, Carolyn Bricklin, Owen Gottlieb, Melissa Zalkin Stollman and Doug Barden. The gender gap : a congregational guide for beginning the conversation about men's involvement in synagogue life. New York: URJ Press, 2007. ISBN 9780807410585; 0807410586.
  • Miriam Peskowitz. Spinning fantasies : rabbis, gender, and history. Contraversions. 9, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. ISBN 0520208315; 0520209672.
  • Robert Leonard Platzner. Gender, tradition, and renewal Robert L. Platzner. Religions and discourse. 13, Oxford ; New York: Peter Lang, 2005. ISBN 390676964X; 0820459011.
  • Jacqueline Portuguese. Fertility policy in Israel : the politics of religion, gender, and nation. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998. ISBN 0275960986.
  • Melissa Raphael. The female face of God in Auschwitz : a Jewish feminist theology of the Holocaust. Religion and gender. London ; New York: Routledge, 2003. ISBN 0415236649; 0415236657.
  • Jennifer Ring. The political consequences of thinking : gender and Judaism in the work of Hannah Arendt. SUNY series in political theory. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1997. ISBN 0791434834; 0791434842.
  • Linda M. Shires. Coming home : a woman's story of conversion to Judaism. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 2003. ISBN 0813365961.
  • Claire M. Tylee. "In the open" : Jewish women writers and British culture. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2006. ISBN 0874139333; 9780874139334.
  • Claudia Ulbrich. Shulamit and Margarete : power, gender, and religion in a rural society in eighteenth-century Europe. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2005. ISBN 0391042270.
  • Elaine Wainwright. Women healinghealing women : the genderization of healing in early Christianity. BibleWorld. London ; Oakville, CT: Equinox Pub. Ltd., 2006. ISBN 1845531345; 1845531353.
  • Elliot R. Wolfson. Language, eros, being : kabbalistic hermeneutics and poetic imagination. New York: Fordham University Press, 2005. ISBN 082322418X; 0823224198.
  • ______.Circle in the square : studies in the use of gender in Kabbalistic symbolism. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995. ISBN 0791424057; 0791424065.
  • Diane Wolfthal. Picturing Yiddish : gender, identity, and memory in the illustrated Yiddish books of Renaissance Italy. Brill's series in Jewish studies. 36, Leiden: Boston : Brill, 2004. ISBN 9004139052.
  • Helena Zlotnick. Dinah's daughters : gender and Judaism from the Hebrew Bible to late antiquity. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002. ISBN 0812236440; 0812217977.

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