One Hand Giveth, the Other Taketh Away

A Feminist Perspective on Polity, Religion, and Gender in the Pre-state Period

in Israel Studies Review
Author:
Hanna Herzog Professor Emerita of Sociology at Tel Aviv University, Israel hherzog@tauex.tau.ac.il

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Abstract

This article presents a feminist perspective on polity, religion, and gender in the Yishuv. It analyzes how each of these three categories is shaped by its intersection with the others while simultaneously constituting the whole. Two major decisions that were enacted in the 1920s—women's right to vote and the institutionalization of the Chief Rabbinate—serve as case studies of the formation of these categories, as well as of the creation of social boundaries, the politics of inclusion and exclusion, and the culture of political arrangements in the Jewish state-in-the-making. Women were both the focus of and significant actors in these multi-dimensional conflicts. They won their rights for equal citizenship in terms of suffrage, but lost their personal status rights as a result of the institutionalization of the Chief Rabbinate.

Contributor Notes

HANNA HERZOG is a Professor Emerita of Sociology at Tel Aviv University and specializes in political sociology, ethnic relations, sociology of knowledge, generation as a sociological phenomenon, and sociology of gender. She is a Co-founder and Co-director of Shavot/WIPS—The Center for the Advancement of Women in the Public Sphere at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and of the Yodaat (She Knows) Israeli Digital Knowledge Center on Women and Gender. In 2018 she received the EMET Prize for Art, Science, and Culture. E-mail: hherzog@tauex.tau.ac.il

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