Israeli Women's Studies / Edition 1

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Overview

"A valuable resource for scholars and students of Judaic, Israel, Middle Eastern, and women's studies. There is no single volume currently available that represents such a broad range of historical, political, religious, and cultural approaches to Israeli women. This book will fill that gap for years to come!"-Judith R. Baskin, editor of Jewish Women in Historical Perspective

"Esther Fuchs is a superb scholar who has created a must-read for academics and the general public alike. Broad public interest in Israel and the Middle East will certainly make this collection of essays on Israeli women a widely-read and important volume."-Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College

Israeli women do not enjoy the equality, status, and power often attributed to them by the media and popular culture. Despite significant achievements and progress, as a whole they continue to earn less than their male counterparts, are less visible and influential in the political arena, do not share equal responsibilities or privileges in the military, have unequal rights and freedoms in family life and law, and are less influential in shaping the nation's self image and cultural orientation.
Bringing together classic essays by leading scholars of Israeli culture, this reader exposes the hidden causes of ongoing discrimination and links the restrictions that Israeli women experience to deeply entrenched structures, including colonial legacies, religious traditions, capitalism, nationalism, and ongoing political conflict. In contrast, the essays also explore how women act creatively to affect social change and shape public discourse in less ostensible ways.
Providing balanced perspectives from the social sciences and the humanities, this comprehensive reader reflects both an emerging consensus and exciting diversity in the field. It is the definitive text for courses in Israeli women's studies.

Esther Fuchs is a professor in the department of Near Eastern and Judaic studies at the University of Arizona and the author of Israeli Mythogynies: Women in Contemporary Hebrew Fiction.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
What Betty Friedan did for American women-i.e., she gave them a voice to explain their discontent with the status quo-Fuchs (Judaic studies, Univ. of Arizona; Sexual Politics in the Biblical Narrative) does for Israeli women with this compilation of essays. Here, a range of social science and humanities scholars examines the lives of Israeli women from religious, political, economic, and cultural perspectives and reveals that, contrary to the popular "myth of equality," Israeli women are victims of discrimination. The book spans Israeli history from the beginning of the feminist Zionist women's movement in 1911 to the current state, where women are conscripted to serve in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Surprisingly, the IDF is one of the most segregated institutions in Israeli society; it seems that the militaristic society Israel has adopted in order to survive as a country has created a male-oriented culture where women are expected to support the soldiers/men at the expense of their own needs. Discrimination exists elsewhere as well. With Orthodox beliefs influencing the legal realm, religious law now takes precedence over matters of marriage and divorce, and women cannot sign documents, be witnesses, or testify in rabbinical courts. The quality and scope of the essays should make this book a classic on the subject. An optional purchase for public libraries but highly recommended for academic libraries.-Cathy Carpenter, Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813536163
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : Israeli women's studies 1
The Zionist women's movement in Palestine, 1911-1927 : a sociological analysis 33
Manya Wilbushewitz-Shohat and the winding road to Sejera 60
Daughters of the nation : between the public and private spheres in pre-state Israel 78
From zero to hero : masculinity in Jewish nationalism 97
Bearers of the collective : women and religious legislation in Israel 121
Paradoxes and social boundaries : ultra-orthodox Jewish women and their world 133
The ritualized body : brides, purity, and the Mikveh 150
The status of women in kibbutz society 171
Growing up female and Palestinian in Israel 181
Between the flag and the banner : dilemmas in the political life of Israeli women 190
Homefront and battlefront : the status of Jewish and Palestinian women in Israel 208
Homefront as battlefield : gender, military occupation, and violence against women 231
Citizens of the state and political women 247
Gender performance in a changing military : women soldiers in 'masculine' roles 265
Amalia Kahana-Carmon and contemporary Hebrew women's fiction 279
Making the silences speak in Israeli cinema 291
The woman as other in Israeli cinema 301
Feminism under siege : the vicarious selves of Israeli women writers 317
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