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Love, Marriage, and Jewish Families

Paradoxes of a Social Revolution

The concepts of gender, love, and family—as well as the personal choices regarding gender-role construction, sexual and romantic liaisons, and family formation—have become more fluid under a society-wide softening of boundaries, hierarchies, and protocols. Sylvia Barack Fishman gathers the work of social historians and legal scholars who study transformations in the intimate realms of partnering and family construction among Jews. Following a substantive introduction, the volume casts a broad net. Chapters explore the current situation in both the United States and Israel, attending to what once were considered unconventional household arrangements—including extended singlehood, cohabitating couples, single Jewish mothers, and GLBTQ families—along with the legal ramifications and religious backlash. Together, these essays demonstrate how changes in the understanding of male and female roles and expectations over the past few decades have contributed to a social revolution with profound—and paradoxical—effects on partnering, marriage, and family formation. This diverse anthology—with chapters focusing on demography, ethnography, and legal texts—will interest scholars and students in Jewish studies, women’s and gender studies, Israel studies, and American Jewish history, sociology, and culture.

360 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

HBI Series on Jewish Women

Jewish Studies

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Table of Contents

Foreword—Shulamit Reinharz • Acknowledgments • Introduction: Paradoxes of a Social Revolution—Sylvia Barack Fishman • PART I LOVE, SEXUALITY, AND PERSONAL CHOICE • What’s Love Got to Do with It? Marriage and Non-Marriage among Younger American Jews—Daniel Parmer • Caught in the Middle: Gender, Dating, and Singlehood among Religious Zionist Jews—Ari Engelberg • “We All Still Have to Potty Train”: Same-Sex Couple Families and the American Jewish Community—Jonathan Krasner • Gays and Lesbians in Israel: An Overview—Irit Koren • PART II FAMILY TRANSFORMATIONS • View from a Different Planet: Fertility Attitudes, Performances, and Policies among Jewish Israelis—Sergio DellaPergola • Dreams and Realities: American Jewish Young Adults’ Decisions about Fertility—Michelle Shain • Jewish Single Mothers by Choice—Tehilla Blumenthal • Judaism as the “Third Shift”: Jewish Families Negotiating Work, Family, and Religious Lives—Rachel S. Bernstein and Sylvia Barack Fishman • PART III MARRIAGE AND THE LAW • Behold You Are [Fill in the Blank] to Me: Contemporary Legal and Ritual Approaches to Qiddushin—Gail Labovitz • Negotiating Divorce at the Intersection of Jewish and Civil Law in North America—Lisa Fishbayn Joffe • Women, Divorce, and Mamzer Status in the State of Israel—Susan Weiss • PART IV BACKLASH AND REACTION • The Secret of Jewish Masculinity: Contemporary Haredi Gender Ideology—Yoel Finkelman • Between Modesty and Beauty: Reinterpreting Female Piety in the Israeli Haredi Community—Lea Taragin-Zeller • Notes about the Art • Contributors • Index

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