Spirituality, Textual Study and Gender at Nishmat: A Spirited Chavruta

Deidre Butler

Abstract


Based on ethnographic research with Jewish women participating in the summer program at Nishmat: The Jerusalem Center for Advanced Jewish Study for Women, this paper explores religion, spirituality, gender and feminism as a conceptual cluster of highly contested and contingent terms. This project explores the attitudes and motivations of a unique group of Jewish women as an opportunity to disrupt received oppositions between religion and spirituality and to think critically about the ways that feminism, and particularly Jewish feminism, plays out in Jewish women’s self-understanding as gendered, spiritual, and/or religious persons.

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