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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

The Men’s Section

Orthodox Jewish Men in an Egalitarian World

In this illuminating book, Elana Maryles Sztokman investigates a fascinating new sociological phenomenon: Orthodox Jewish men who connect themselves to egalitarian or quasi-egalitarian religious enterprises. She examines the men who have enabled these transitions by constituting the requisite ten-man prayer quorum of Orthodoxy. By participating in “Partnership Minyanim,” these men support the reconstruction of both male and female roles without leaving the Orthodox religious world. Sztokman interrogates the ideologies and motivations of more than fifty such men in the United States, Israel, and Australia. Beginning with the “Orthodox Man Box” of conventionally constructed male behavior, she explores their struggles to navigate individualism and conformity, tradition and change. Setting their experiences in the context of gender role construction in traditional and contemporary synagogues, she shows how, for example, changes in leadership in Partnership Minyanim facilitate a fresh approach to liturgical expression, offering the possibility of reforming how modern Orthodox Jews attend services and pray.

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Table of Contents

Foreword – Sylvia Barack Fishman • Acknowledgments • Prologue • INTRODUCING ORTHODOX MEN • Jewish Men on the Borders • The “BOMB”: The “Be an Orthodox Man” Box • On Hippies, Heretics, and Hafifniks • CHANGING MEN, CHANGING SOCIETY • Orthodox Men Creating Partnership • Jocks, Dads, and Homebodies • Men Encountering Feminism • ORTHODOX MEN CREATING NEW BOUNDARIES • “Just Not Reform” • The New Patriarchy • REFLECTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS • Reflections on Orthodox Masculinities • Epilogue • Appendixes: Notes on Methodology & Data on the Interviewees • Glossary • Notes • Bibliography • Index

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