Gender and Literacy among Young Orthodox Jewish Women

Publication Date: November 1999

Publisher: Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women

Author(s): Tamar El-Or

Research Area: Culture and religion; Social conditions

Keywords: Feminism; Orthodox Judaism; Education

Type: Brief


The author describes the social and sociological setting for her anthropological work on Zionism at the intersection of knowledge, gender, and religion, and summarizes her central claim: The spreading practice of intensive Judaic studies among women in the religious Zionist community is a revolutionary phenomenon that will, within a short time, bring about a most profound transformation in orthodox Judaism. This feminist literacy revolution brings with it theological and halachic (Jewish legal) changes. These changes will not be traumatic because they are taking place gradually and along with a continual institutional metamorphosis. They will make the community both more religious and more feminist.

In Jewish Women 2000: Conference Papers from the HRIJW International Scholarly Exchanges 1997-1998, ed. Helen Epstein.