Lecture: Steinfeld, Struggles over Abortion Policies in Israel

War of the Wombs: Struggles over Abortion Policies in Israel

Dr Rebecca Steinfeld (Stanford)  

4pm on Thu 19 March in A113, Samuel Alexander Building (Building 67 on the campus map, see directions).

 

ABSTRACT: This presentation examines the historical and contemporary struggles that have led to the gap between the restrictions on, and availability of, abortion in Israel. It attributes this gap to the compromise necessitated by conflicts amongst competing policymakers, motivated by opposing viewpoints and interests, over the objectives and substance of abortion policies. Opposition to abortion stems primarily from demographic anxiety relating to both the Holocaust and the Muslim Arab-Jewish fertility differential in Israel/Palestine. Support for access to abortion stems from countervailing concerns about the implications of unrestrained fertility for women’s health, family welfare and social stability, as well as ‘qualitative’ interests in reproducing healthy children. Some feminists have also resisted attempts to render women’s wombs national vessels. This presentation explores the evolution of these struggles over four distinct historical periods, and assesses their impact on women’s reproductive experiences and rights.

SPEAKER: Dr Rebecca Steinfeld is a political scientist researching the politics of reproduction and genital alteration. She completed her PhD in Politics at the University of Oxford, and is now writing her first book, Wars of the Wombs: Struggles over Reproduction in Israel (Stanford University Press, forthcoming). She is also a BBC and Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘New Generation Thinker’ and Haaretz ‘Jewish Thinker.’ She has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, 4 and 5, regularly writes in Haaretz, and has published in The Guardian, The Independent, The Jewish Chronicle, The Jewish Quarterly, and Tablet Magazine.

Further information about the CJS research seminar programme and other Jewish Studies events at the University.

Lecture: Hilton, Patterns of Bar and Bat Mitzvah in Israel (Manchester, March 5, 2015)

The Zigzag Kid: Patterns of Bar and Bat Mitzvah in Israel

Rabbi Michael Hilton (Leo Baeck College, London)

4pm on Thu 5 March in A113, Samuel Alexander Building (Building 67 on the campus map, see directions).
ABSTRACT: Bat Mitzvah in Israel has been in the news with the first public ceremony for a girl with a Torah at the Kotel (the Western Wall). This talk will concentrate on trends in bar/bat mitzvah throughout Israel’s history, including ceremonies for visitors to Israel, and will link these with the history of the whole ceremony.SPEAKER: Michael Hilton has been Rabbi of Kol Chai Hatch End Reform Jewish Community since 2001 and has recently brought out Bar Mitzvah: A History, the first full study in English on the origin and development of both the bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies. Michael is an Honorary Research Fellow of CJS and a Lecturer and Governor, Leo Baeck College, London

Further information about the Israel Studies research seminar programme and other Jewish Studies events at the University.

New Article: Weinstock et al, Societal Change and Values in Arab Communities in Israel

Weinstock, Michael, Maysam Ganayiem, Rana Igbaryia, Adriana M. Manago, Patricia M. Greenfield. “Societal Change and Values in Arab Communities in Israel. Intergenerational and Rural–Urban Comparisons.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 46.1 (2015): 19-38.

 

URL: http://jcc.sagepub.com/content/46/1/19

 

Abstract

This study tested and extended Greenfield’s theory of social change and human development to adolescent development in Arab communities in Israel undergoing rapid social change. The theory views sociodemographic changes—such as contact with an ethnically diverse urban setting and spread of technology—as driving changes in cultural values. In one research design, we compared three generations, high school girls, their mothers, and their grandmothers, in their responses to value-assessment scenarios. In a second research design, we compared girls going to high school in an ethnically diverse city with girls going to school in a village. As predicted by the theory, a t test and ANOVA revealed that both urban life and membership in the youngest generation were significantly related to more individualistic and gender-egalitarian values. Regression analysis and a bootstrapping mediation analysis showed that the mechanism of change in both cases was possession of mobile technologies.

 

New Book: Yosef and Hagin, eds. Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema

Yosef, Raz and Boaz Hagin. Deeper than Oblivion. Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema. New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.

oblivion

 

URL: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/deeper-than-oblivion-9781441199263/

 

In this collection, leading scholars in both film studies and Israeli studies show that beyond representing familiar historical accounts or striving to offer a more complete and accurate depiction of the past, Israeli cinema has innovatively used trauma and memory to offer insights about Israeli society and to engage with cinematic experimentation and invention. Tracing a long line of films from the 1940s up to the 2000s, the contributors use close readings of these films not only to reconstruct the past, but also to actively engage with it. Addressing both high-profile and lesser known fiction and non-fiction Israeli films, Deeper than Oblivion underlines the unique aesthetic choices many of these films make in their attempt to confront the difficulties, perhaps even impossibility, of representing trauma. By looking at recent and classic examples of Israeli films that turn to memory and trauma, this book addresses the pressing issues and disputes in the field today.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Sweet on the Inside: Trauma, Memory, and Israeli Cinema Boaz Hagin and Raz Yosef

Chapter 2: Postscript to Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation Ella Shohat

Chapter 3: Gender, the Military, Memory, and the Photograph: Tamar Yarom’s To See If I’m Smiling and American Films about Abu Ghraib Diane Waldman

Chapter 4: The Event and the Picture: David Perlov’s My Stills and Memories of the Eichmann Trial Anat Zanger

Chapter 5: The Agonies of an Eternal Victim: Zionist Guilt in Avi Mograbi’s Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi Shmulik Duvdevani

Chapter 6: Traces of War: Memory, Trauma, and the Archive in Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort Raz Yosef

Chapter 7: Memory of a Death Foretold: Fathers and Sons in Assi Dayan’s “Trilogy” Yael Munk

Chapter 8: Queering Terror: Trauma, Race, and Nationalism in Palestinian and Israeli Gay Cinema during the Second Intifada Raya Morag

Chapter 9: “Our Traumas”: Terrorism, Tradition, and Mind Games in Frozen Days Boaz Hagin

Chapter 10: History of Violence: From the Trauma of Expulsion to the Holocaust in Israeli Cinema Nurith Gertz and Gal Hermoni

Chapter 11: Last Train to the Holocaust Judd Ne’eman and Nerit Grossman

Chapter 12: Passages, Wars, and Encounters with Death: The Desert as a Site of Memory in Israeli Film Yael Zerubavel

Chapter 13: “Walking through walls”: Documentary Film and Other Technologies of Navigation, Aspiration, and Memory Janet Walker

Notes on Contributors

Index

 

New Article: Tadmor-Shimony, Women Immigrant Teachers in 1950s Israel

Tadmor-Shimony, Tali. “Women Immigrant Teachers and State Formation in Israel, 1948–1959.” Journal of Women’s History 26.3 (2014): 81-104.

URL:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_womens_history/v026/26.3.tadmor-shimony.html

Abstract

This article discusses the phenomenon of women immigrant teachers during the 1950s in Israel, an issue which incorporates several research topics: migration, gender, and teaching. It asks whether the popular saying: “Teaching is women’s work,” was true in regard to Israel during this time period. In order to do so, this article examines the choices and actions of those women, all of whom were trying to cope with their new situation and to integrate successfully into the host society. A large portion of women immigrant teachers found jobs in immigrant villages and development towns. From an educational point of view, these women were not the strongest link in the pedagogical chain, and yet they were asked to assist in the formation of a new society. By doing so, they chose to become agents of acculturation and carried out leadership functions; they became empowered, and quickly shed their weak, immigrant women status.

New Article: Englander, The Image of the Male Body in Lithuanian Ultra-Orthodox Thought in Israel and Corresponding Strategies for Forging an A-feminine Public Sphere

Englander, Yakir. “The Image of the Male Body in Lithuanian Ultra-Orthodox Thought in Israel and Corresponding Strategies for Forging an A-feminine Public Sphere.” Journal of Contemporary Religion 29.3 (2014): 457-70.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13537903.2014.945729

 

 

Abstract

This article deals with the increasingly severe attitude in Jewish Ultra-Orthodox society in the State of Israel regarding the relationship between the sexes. I seek to trace the philosophical roots of this attitude, as a product of existential thinking within the male contingent of the Ultra-Orthodox (Lithuanian) world itself, and I propose that the growing separation between the sexes is a direct result of rabbinic efforts to re-structure this world from within. The image of the Ultra-Orthodox public sphere is considered to be an exact reflection of the male individual and the way of life that is required of him. Ultra-Orthodox thought requires men to stop the flow of life, causing a ‘disconnect’ between the reflective self and the world in which the self exists as an object without reflexivity. According to Ultra-Orthodox thought, inability and failure to live all of life as reflective are linked to the human person as an ‘embodied being’. I explain the Ultra-Orthodox solution to the ‘problem of the body’ and how it influences the structure of the yeshiva as a ‘safe haven’. This mode of dealing with the body entails the exclusion of femininity from male life in the yeshiva context and is also increasingly reflected in the public domain. In recent years, Ultra-Orthodox rabbis have designed the public sphere using the model of the yeshiva as a space that is a-feminine. This is supported by readings from new Ultra-Orthodox Musar writings, directed to men, which deal with women’s sexuality and create a new definition of modesty.

New Article: Kulik and Kitaichik, Marital Intimacy ad Gender Roles: Israeli Husbands and Wives

Kulik, Liat and Danielle Kitaichik. “Marital Intimacy and Selected Correlates of Gender Roles: A Comparative Analysis of Israeli Husbands and Wives.” Women’s Studies 43.6 (2014): 823-42.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00497878.2014.921509

 

 

Excerpt

In light of the finding that a liberal gender role ideology increases the sense of intimacy among husbands as well as among wives—and because men typically tend to maintain a more traditional gender role ideology than women do—marital counselors should encourage the adoption of a liberal gender role ideology not only as a goal in itself but also as a means of enhancing marital intimacy among husbands and wives.
Moreover, in the process of intervention, counselors should adopt an approach that emphasizes that if women are nurturing and compassionate they can also assert power and feel empowered in the marital relationship. Most important, the counseling approach should be based on the perception of the new woman, which combines both feminine and masculine characteristics as expressed in the term “agency in community.” Apparently, the challenge that counselors face today is to help women find the appropriate balance in the application of this concept in their daily lives.

Reviews: Israel-Cohen, Between Feminism and Orthodox Judaism

Israel-Cohen, Yael. Between Feminism and Orthodox Judaism. Resistance, Identity, and Religious Change in Israel. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012.

 

53943

 

 

Reviews

 

  • Bahreini, Faezeh. “Review.” Gender and Society 27.4 (2013): 590-592.
  • Bar-Ilan, Margalit Shilo. “Review.” Shofar 32.2 (2014): 144-146.
  • Millen, Rochelle L. “Review.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 13.2 (2014): 311-312.

New Article: Ribke, Female Fashion Models’ Transition into Israeli Politics

Ribke, Nahuel. “Modeling Politics? Female Fashion Models’ Transition into Israeli Politics.” European Journal of Culturla Studies 17.2 (2014): 170-186.

 

URL: http://ecs.sagepub.com/content/17/2/170

 

Abstract

This article analyses the recent phenomenon of the passage of former models/television hosts into Israeli politics. The transition of these former models into politics can be seen as part of a wider phenomenon of Israeli media celebrities’ transition to professional politics. Despite the wide media coverage and the heated public debates around the fashion models’ candidacy, until now there has been no serious analysis of this phenomenon. Distancing itself from the popular derogatory approaches toward the participation of celebrities in politics, this study proposes to examine their entry into the political sphere seriously, incorporating a cultural and historical perspective along with an analysis of the dynamics of ethnic and gender relations in Israeli politics.