What does it mean to be a Jewish woman today? To an Orthodox
woman, it means living a religious way of life in which serving God
totally defines her self-perception and her role as wife and
mother. For the secular woman, it means having a sense of
belonging, although not necessarily to a specific Jewish community.
Most contemporary Jewish women fall somewhere in between, but at
the core of all of their identities is a complex interweaving of
religious and ethnic elements, a shared history, and a collective
memory of periods of prejudice, persecution, wandering, and
Focusing on Jewish women in the United States and Britain,
Adrienne Baker examines such issues as women's role in religious
law, the spectrum of synagogue observance, the mother's role as
conveyor of tradition, conversion and inter- faith marriages, and
sexuality. In particular, the book examines the impact of feminism
on Jewish women and their culture, uncovering the counterinfluences
of tradition and new freedoms on women's lives.
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