by Susan Sapiro

Women’s Challenges in Israeli Life

Until Vicky Knafo demonstrated in front of the Knesset last year to protest cuts in benefits to single mothers, women had been almost entirely absent from recent discussions about the political and economic crises in Israel. Two recent books portray Israeli women’s achievements and struggles in recent years. Jewish Feminism in Israel: Some Contemporary Perspectives, edited by Kaplana Misra and Melanie S. Rich (Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, $24.95), describes many of the unique aspects of Israeli society, and their impact on women. The kibbutz experience, the politicization of religion, militarization and peace movements, violence against women, and new feminist Israeli art are all discussed in this collection.

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