"Matrilineal Ascent/Patrilineal Descent: The Gender Imbalance in American Jewish Life”


By HBI co-director, Sylvia Barack Fishman, Ph.D. and Daniel Parmer (2008)

"Matrilineal Ascent/Patrilineal Descent: The Gender Imbalance in American Jewish Life” by HBI co-director, Sylvia Barack Fishman, Ph.D. and Daniel Parmer (2008)

A new study published by The Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute finds that as the liberal Jewish community empowers its women, its men appear to be losing interest in their Jewishness.

According to a report in Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), which published parts of the study, "Outside the Orthodox world, men are becoming less and less engaged in every aspect of Jewish life, from the home to the synagogue to communal organizations. Numerous studies show that fewer boys than girls go to non-Orthodox youth groups, religious schools or summer camps, fewer go into the rabbinate and cantorate, and fewer serve on synagogue or federation committees.

This comes as women and girls in the liberal movements are benefiting from a host of programs and initiatives aimed at increasing their Jewish involvement, from gender-neutral prayer books to the popular Jewish identity-building program for teenage girls, 'Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing.'"


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Additional copies are available for purchase for $15 each plus shipping. For ordering information, please contact Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Coordinator, Sarah Twichell at 781.736.2064 or hbi@brandeis.edu.


This research and publication have been supported through a grant from The Harold Grinspoon Foundation.