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Challenge and ConformityThe Religious Lives of Orthodox Jewish Women$
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Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941718

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941718.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Challenge and Conformity

Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz

Liverpool University Press

This introductory chapter gives a brief background of the differences between Jewish communities in Israel, America, and Britain. Jewish denominational affiliation differs sharply in the two countries: in Britain, Orthodoxy — even if of a nominal kind — is still the default position of the majority of synagogue-affiliated Jews (69 percent), while in America Orthodox Jews are very much in the minority (10 percent). The chapter notes that trends in Israel typically take many years to filter into the Anglo-Jewish world. While women play a relatively larger role in Jewish practices in Jerusalem, Orthodox Jewish women are not only uninterested in greater ritual and study participation but are actively hostile to the idea. Though there have been some outstanding anthropological studies of Jewish women in both America and Israel, little research of this sort has yet been undertaken in Britain. The chapter elaborates that the book attempts to make a contribution to the understanding of current trends among Orthodox Jewish women worldwide by focusing on women in the unique context of British Jewry.

Keywords:   Jewish communities, Jewish women, American Orthodox Jews, Orthodox Jewish women, British Jewry

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