Material Culture and Jewish Thought in America (review)

Material Culture and Jewish Thought in America (review) feminist activist who had worked tirelessly to establish the then brand new Women's Studies program, objected to my having been offered this opportunity--because she knew that I was a practicing Jew. As a New Yorker, Brandeis graduate, and daughter of Holocaust survivors, now in the unfamiliar territory of rural Ohio, I felt a mix of emotions, including anger and fear. Trained in gender theory, I was wounded and mystified by a challenge to my teaching credentials (by someone who had yet to meet me) based on my kashrut and Sabbath observance. When I screwed up the courage to confront my colleague, she patiently explained that Judaism, as a religion, is patriarchal and that my claim to being a feminist is belied by my choice to subscribe to an egregiously sexist institution. "Even Adrienne Rich," she elucidated, "understands a Jewish feminist to be split at the root." I, in turn, explained that I could disown neither my feminism nor my Jewishness; and I necessarily subject Judaism--which I knew to be dynamic and changeable--to the same feminist critique to which I subject everything. More Orthodox than I, the senior professor was not persuaded. Disentangling confused strands of the self, Jewish http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

Material Culture and Jewish Thought in America (review)

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Publisher
Purdue University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Purdue University.
ISSN
1534-5165
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

feminist activist who had worked tirelessly to establish the then brand new Women's Studies program, objected to my having been offered this opportunity--because she knew that I was a practicing Jew. As a New Yorker, Brandeis graduate, and daughter of Holocaust survivors, now in the unfamiliar territory of rural Ohio, I felt a mix of emotions, including anger and fear. Trained in gender theory, I was wounded and mystified by a challenge to my teaching credentials (by someone who had yet to meet me) based on my kashrut and Sabbath observance. When I screwed up the courage to confront my colleague, she patiently explained that Judaism, as a religion, is patriarchal and that my claim to being a feminist is belied by my choice to subscribe to an egregiously sexist institution. "Even Adrienne Rich," she elucidated, "understands a Jewish feminist to be split at the root." I, in turn, explained that I could disown neither my feminism nor my Jewishness; and I necessarily subject Judaism--which I knew to be dynamic and changeable--to the same feminist critique to which I subject everything. More Orthodox than I, the senior professor was not persuaded. Disentangling confused strands of the self, Jewish

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2011

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