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The War on Women in Israel: A Story of Religious Radicalism and the Women Fighting for Freedom Hardcover – September 16, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Combin[es] a chilling warning with a rousing call to action.... Cutting, candid, and lucid, Sztokman's account of injustice makes an eloquent plea for "the assertion of a secular-democratic vision for Israeli society" and will inspire more dialogue.
" - Publishers Weekly

"a worthwhile and eye-opening study." - Kirkus

"Sztokman's articulate call for attention toward and action on behalf of women's rights in Israel will be of interest to all readers with a passion for global feminism and Jewish women's lives. " - Library Journal

About the Author

Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman is an award-winning author, educator and Jewish feminist activist, and the former Executive Director of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance. Her first book, The Men's Section: Orthodox Jewish Men in an Egalitarian World, won the 2012 National Jewish Book Council Award for Women's Studies, and her second book, Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools (with Chaya Gorsetman) won the 2013 National Jewish Book Council Award in education. She lives in Modi'in, Israel, and blogs at "A Jewish Feminist" (www.jewfem.org).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (September 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492604593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492604594
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this book may be of special interest to people who care about Israel and Judaism, it is really a book for anyone who is concerned about religious extremism in general. I first heard of Sztokman when friends told me about the incidents on El Al in NY September 2014, when women passengers were bullied by ultra-Orthodox men in an attempt to get them to change their assigned seats so the men wouldn't have to sit next to women. And the airline staff did nothing to protect the women's rights. How could this happen in America? But Sztokman shows how religious extremism is becoming more dominant in Israel, and such extremism can affect men and women everywhere. In Israel and New York, Orthodox try to have gender segregation ("voluntary") on buses and have modesty squads that bully women and girls. When Reuven Rivlin, the new President of Israel, was speaker of the Knesset, he allowed the Knesset choir to be limited to men only in order not to offend Orthodox MK's. Jerusalem ultra-Orthodox try to remove the images of women everywhere, and Orthodox newspapers Photoshop out pictures of women, even Hilary Clinton! Women of the Wall who have attempted to pray in their fashion in the women's section of the Kotel have been spat on, attacked, harassed, arrested and abused. If only this affected a few extremists themselves, that would be one thing. But Szotkman shows us how this extremism affects the women who are being marginalized and "erased," as well as the boys and men who are not being socialized, and instead are taught that the only thing they need to know about women is that they are sexually provocative. Instead of men being taught to control themselves, women are being segregated. I would recommend this book to anyone who cares about how any religion, not just Judaism, can affect and diminish the rights of men and women everywhere.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an incredibly important book that everyone needs to read! Jewish, not Jewish, Israeli, American, any citizen from any country, I don't care. This book is about two things, as can be demonstrated from the title: 1) it's about the way women are being treated in Israel (The War on Women in Israel), and 2) it's actually a case study of what happens when religious fundamentalism goes unchecked (How Religious Radicalism Is Smothering the Voice of a Nation). If Israel, the lone democracy in the Middle East, has had to deal with these issues, how much more so do you think other countries that have a tenuous, often nonexistent, grasp on the concept of separation of church and state, deal with even more extreme issues? You don't have to imagine actually, just take a look at the news. I'm surprised that there aren't terrorist bombings in Israel being committed by Ultra Orthodox Jewish fundamentalists, quite frankly, because they're certainly okay with physical violence. Religious fundamentalism will continue unchecked unless the average religious and non-religious citizens step up to the plate and say no, both through legal and social/communal channels, and that is really the true message of this book. Before you ask: the author is not advocating that people turn away from religion; she only asks that religion is not imposed by and through the state on other citizens that may have no interest in it.

To summarize: a fascinating, easy to read, well informed, well documented, and thorough exploration of issues facing both women in Israel and the implications of such behavior worldwide.
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Format: Hardcover
This was a very interesting and disturbing book. I spend quite a bit of time in Israel every year and, although I had seen glimpses of the segregation issues, having it all together was an eye opener. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Israel, women’s issues, or who just cares about human rights.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I live in Israel and I have lived through most of the events chronicled in this book. It was REALLY depressing seeing them presented on a time-line. Yes folks, this stuff is really happening! The author deserves full credit for preserving the record for history.
The book was generally well-written. In addition to detailed source references for each chapter and an index, there is a section at the end of the book listing agencies for changing the present situation. The author says, Don't just sit around and moan - get involved and make things better for all of us!
I did not give this book five stars because I felt that the sources the author used were kind of one-sided (left of center "liberal" politics). Again, I live in the world described; I don't think the general picture presented was slanted, but I would have appreciated hearing from other news media than the left-leaning press.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story of practices in Israel that are extremely sexist are sadly rarely explored in the mainstream media. This book sheds light on such practices and helps bring them to life. Sexism in Judaism is a serious problem, both in the United States and in Israel. Such sexism deserves to be exposed and criticized in the light of day. One can only hope this book will help end or at least reduce such practices and bring punishment on the heads of all in Israel who fail to do anything to stop them.
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