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Upcoming Events

The Days Between: New Blessings for the Season of Renewal

A talk and book launch by author Marcia Falk

Thursday, Sept. 11
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Dessert reception

Upcoming Deadlines

2014 HBI Research Awards

Monday, September 15, 2014

Program details

HBI Artist-in-Residence

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Program details

Latest Publications

Amy Sessler Powell The HBI Blog: Fresh Ideas from HBI
Making Camp Memories by Amy Sessler Powell

614: The HBI eZine 614 eZine
Jewish Women in Comics
Knish Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food
The one and only absolutely definitive biography of the knish
Marcia Falk, The Days Between The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season
An elegantly designed volume of new English and Hebrew prayers and reflections for the High Holidays from a contemporary American poet
Best School in Jerusalem Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues

Fresh Ways of Thinking About Jews and Gender Worldwide

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The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute develops fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research, artistic projects and public engagement.

The world's only academic center of its kind, the HBI provides research resources and programs for scholars, students and the public. The Institute publishes books and a journal, convenes international conferences and local programming, and offers competitive grant and internship programs.

We invite you to explore our website and experience the impact of the HBI.

HBI, Partners, Form of Agunah Task Force

Boston Agunah TaskforceThe HBI launched the Boston Agunah Task Force, an exciting initiative made possible by the Boston Jewish Women’s Fund of Combined Jewish Philanthropies. It is a collaboration between the HBI Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law (GCRL), the Center for Modern Torah Leadership and Chabad of the North Shore.

The overall goal of the Task Force is to expand understanding of gender inequality under Jewish divorce law and identify ways of addressing it. To achieve this, the Task Force plans include:

  • Online education: support the website, getyourget.com, a tool containing information around education resources and advocacy about the get, how to get one, who needs one
  • Community education: educate young people to reject the notion of get refusal and to adopt the use of prenuptial contracts to avoid it
  • Legal education: provide resources for attorneys and social workers dealing with matrimonial law and assisting clients in avoiding get refusal
  • Original research: understand the role that get-based refusal extortion plays in the Jewish divorce process in the U.S.
  • One to one counseling: work with a get specialist who can help negotiate the world of Jewish divorce.

This work is made possible, in part, due to a $15,000 grant, renewable up to three years, from the Boston Jewish Women’s Fund. Stay tuned for fall programming from the Agunah Task Force.

What our former scholars say about their HBI experience:

Haim Sperber, Israel, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence, summer 2013

"My stay at the HBI as the Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence was most fruitful for my research. It provided me with using the important resources at Brandeis but as important was meeting with Brandeis scholars. I have now a different perspective. I hope I have contributed to HBI at least partially from what I received." 

Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti, Italy, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence, fall 2013

"Here, I found a different atmosphere than in Italy, with dialogue and feedback from scholars involved in Jewish studies departments. The setting changes the way you look at these problems. In Italy, these issues are set in the context of Italian history, but here I was able to research in the context of Jewish studies, Jewish perspectives and how it fits into the gender, culture, religion and law setting.

Orian Zakai, Israel/US, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence, fall 2013

"Besides the wonderful space, I had really fascinating dialogues with other scholars. Specifically the group really had a sense of collegiality and support with interesting feminist conversations. Our topics are different, but we talked over dinner about issues and it was really great to meet the other scholars. I love that this is a space for women."

Yarden Fanta-Vagenshtein, Ethiopia/Israel/US, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence, fall 2013

“My time as a Scholar-in-Residence at HBI has been beneficial and influential intellectually and socially. I meant to be here one or two days a week and found myself coming every day. The facilities and work atmosphere are remarkably beneficial. The library resources have been very helpful and rich for me. I also met amazing people and will keep in touch with them personally and professionally. Finally, it is a great privilege to work with HBI’s knowledgeable and helpful staff.”

Tamar Biala, Israel/US, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence, fall 2013

“I really want to come back and work in HBI. It was so good for me. I completed so much work. Now that my semester at HBI is done, I would like to thank you again for that wonderful opportunity to work intensively on editing Dirshuni, volume 2, that is so precious to me and I hope with time for others too. I hope that this attempt to create Kitvei Kodesh (holy scriptures) by women will make it possible for Jewish women to feel that they have the strength, the right—and the obligation—to continue writing the Torah.”

HBI in the News

Elana Maryles Sztokman, co-author of HBI book Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools (HBI Series on Jewish Women), is featured in the Jewish Book Council's The Prosen People with "10 Ways You Can Promote Gender Equality in Your Local School."

Tablet Magazine interviewed HBI Board Member Laura Schor and alumni of the Evelina de Rothschild School in "The Jerusalem School That Turned Superstitious Jews Into Proper Brits."

HBI author Laura Silver was recently on The Leonard Lopate Show, episode titled "The Delicious Knish."

Joanna Michlic, director of HBI's Project on Families, Children and the Holocaust debunks the myth of the ungrateful survivor.

HBI Board Member Laura Schor's book, The Best School in Jerusalem, gets rave reviews in the Jerusalem Post, 'Miss Landau,' educator extraordinary.

HBI Research Associate Rivkah Lubitch's recent blog post was published on the Jewish Daily Forward as "It's Time to Destigmatize Mamzers. Here's How."

Laura Silver, HBI published author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, is interviewed in NPR's "The Salt." Read the article "The Humble Knish: Chock-Full of Carbs and History."

The New York Times' feature "The New Golden Age of Jewish-American Deli Food" quotes Laura Silver, author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food.

HBI co-director Sylvia Barack Fishman's honor as 2014 recipient of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry’s Marshall Sklare Award is reported in Brandeis Now.

Phi Beta Kappa's online magazine The Key Reporter reviews HBI author Laura Silver's Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food.

Author of HBI's upcoming book Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, Laura Silver's article "Seeking Mrs. Stahl's" is published on Drexel University's The Smart Set.

2014 HBI Artist-in-Residence Jeanne Williamson is profiled as part of the World of Threads Festival's "Weekly Fibre Artist Interviews."