Matrilineal Ascent/Patrilineal Descent: The Gender Imbalance in American Jewish LIfe
Publication Date: January 2008
Publisher(s): Hadassah-Brandeis Institute
Keywords: Values; Gender; Jewish Continuity
Coverage: United States
Gender imbalance is a critical problem in American Jewish life not because women are more active but because men are less active. Little serious research and discussion have been addressed to this imbalance, partially because such analysis can be misinterpreted as a call for women to retreat from Jewish involvements. This monograph argues that a healthy and vibrant Jewish society requires the active engagement of both genders. We explore the implications of contemporary liberal American Jewish societies that comprise the vast majority of American Jewry, in which men are often not invested in and engaged by their Jewishness, presenting statistical and systematic interview data to look at the impact of gendered differences and re-analyzing more than 300 transcribed interviews.