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Upcoming Events

January 28
Anat Livshits, New School for Social Research

"In The State's Sponsorship: Planning of Support Services in Israel for Agunot and their Families"

February 4
Haim Sperber, Western Galilee College
"Agunot in Eastern Europe & North America 1900-1914: Sources and Narratives"

February 18
Susan Weiss, Center for Women’s Justice
"Is There a Cause of Action for Divorce Under Jewish Law? An Israeli Case Study"

Upcoming Deadlines

Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-Residence Program

Application deadline: Thursday, January 29, 2015

Program details

HBI Seminar Series - Fresh Voices: Jewish Women Writers from North America (Spring 2016)

Application deadline:

Thursday, May 16, 2015
Program details

Boston Agunah Taskforce

Boston Agunah Taskforce

Learn more

Latest Publications

Michelle Cove

The HBI Blog: Fresh Ideas from HBI
Do Jews Need God? by Michelle Cove

614: The HBI eZine 614: The HBI eZine
Do Jews Need God?
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
Inbar Raveh - Feminist Rereadings of Rabbic Literature Feminist Rereadings of Rabbinic Literature
Novel readings of rabbinic literature from the perspective of feminism and gender reading theories
Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues

Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues
Gender and the Holocaust: New Research
Consulting Editor: Dalia Ofer

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 Congratulates Jewish Book Award Winners

HBI congratulates our research award recipients and Academic Advisory Board members who won and were finalists for the prestigious National Jewish Book Awards announced on January 14.

HBI supported, with a research award, the winning book in the Sephardic Culture category Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History, 1700–1950 edited by Julia Cohen and Sarah Abrevaya Stein, Stanford University Press. Additionally, we congratulate Julia Cohen for her additional award for Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era, Oxford University Press, in the category of Writing Based on Archival Material.

Several members of the HBI Academic Advisory Council were winners and finalists for awards. Kathryn Hellerstein’s book, A Question of Tradition: Women Poets in Yiddish, 1586-1987, Stanford University Press, won in the category of Women’s Studies and Sue Levi Elwell’s book, co-written with Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Chapters of the Heart: Jewish Women Sharing the Torah of our Lives, Wipf and Stock Publishers, was a finalist in that category. Marjorie Agosin’s book, I Lived on Butterfly Hill, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, was a finalist in the category, Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

HBI featured Molly Antopol’s book, The UnAmericans, W.W. Norton & Company, at HBI Conversations, a group that pairs authors and readers for an intimate conversation in 10 locations across the country. Antopol’s book was a finalist in both the Fiction and Outstanding Debut Fiction categories.

Check out this musical rendition of HBI Author Marcia Falk's poem, "Turning the Heart" or "Teshuvat Halev." It's from her new book, The Days Between.

What our former scholars say about their HBI experience:

Ornat Turin, HBI Scholar-in-Residence, Spring, 2014

At HBI, I experienced an organization that involves art, activism and academic research, to create a new organizational culture. I would like to incorporate some of it at home.  It was an opportunity to acquire my own identity in the inter-cultural encounters with the Jewish community of Brandeis. I worked on research within a team in way that enhanced the intellectual discourse as I collaborated with fascinating women from all around.”

Irina Rebrova, HBI-BGI Scholar-in-Residence, Spring, 2014

“I was the first scholar-in-residence at the HBI and BGI (Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry). I’m thankful for this unique opportunity for researchers from the former Soviet Union to continue their studies in the U.S.A. The libraries at Brandeis University and HBI have an excellent collection of books on Judaism, gender and Soviet Jewish history. The consultations with American colleagues in my research field as well as the research visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. helped me to prove my statements. I’m happy to become an HBI Research Associate and to be a part of HBI’s creative staff. ”  

Brygida Gasztold, Fulbright Scholar, 2013-2014 academic year

“I loved being here, taking part in scholarly debate, conferences, colloquia and being part of the scholarly life at Brandeis. I went to many events, not only related to my field, but also went to films, art exhibitions, gender and culture events, legal forums and different synagogues.  It is interesting and important that foreign scholars are able to exchange information and ask questions, get the view and context of things I wouldn’t get in Poland from the expertise of people who work here.”

HBI in the News

Laura Silver, author of HBI published Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, is quoted in the Boston Globe article "What's in a knish, anyway?" about local knish-serving restaurants.

Spirituality & Practice reviews HBI author Marcia Falk's The Days Between: Blessings, Poems and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season.

Joana Michlic, Director of the HBI Project on Families, Children and the Holocaust, has her latest book reviewed in the Humanities and Social Sciences Online article "Eastern and Central European Countries Reckoning With Their Unuseable Pasts."

Keren McGinty, HBI Research Associate, writes about gender inequality in academic positions in "In Jewish Studies, Women Remain 'Second Sex'" in the Jewish Daily Forward.

Susan Weiss, our new Estanne Fawer scholar-in-residence, writes more about revoked conversions and where unchecked power in rabbinical courts may lead Israel in the Jerusalem Post article "Tolerating the intolerable: State revocation of religious conversions."

Susan Weiss, Center for Women's Justice founder and HBI Estanne Fawer scholar-in-residence, takes on Israeli rabbinate in this case of a cancelled conversion, covered in the Times of Israel article "Top court backs rabbis who revoked conversion over secular lifestyle."

Rabbi Aryeh Klapper, a Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-residence, discusses Jewish law and torture in Tablet Magazine's "Does Jewish Law Allow Torture?"

Gloria Levitas of Moment Magazine reviews Laura Silver's Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food in "A Journey to the Center of the Knish."

HBI author Laura Silver, author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food was featured in The Boston Globe's "Self-proclaimed maven on Jewish knishes."

Sharon Siegel, author of HBI published A Jewish Ceremony for Newborn Girls: The Torah’s Covenant Affirmed, is interviewed in the Jewish Week article "The Eighth Day, For Girls."

Brandeis student-run newspaper The Justice covers the Markowicz Memorial Lecture on Gender and Human Rights in "Scholar discusses global challenges."

Sylvia Barack Fishman, HBI co-director, is profiled in the Times of Israel article "Modern Orthodoxy: A model for the great American Jewish dream?"

The Brandeis Hoot praises the HBI Series on Jewish Women and The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season in a recent article.

Marcia Falk's The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season is featured in Jewish Women Magazine's "High Holiday Companion."

Laura Silver's Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food is highlighted in the New York Times' "Obsessions, From Street Food to Rooftops."

Laura S. Schor's book The Best School in Jerusalem: Annie Landau's School for Girls, 1900-1960 is reviewed by the Jewish Book Council.

Marcia Falk and the recent HBI sponsored book tour are featured in the Jewish Daily Forward article "When Yom Kippur Prayers Don't Help With Grieving."

HBI author Elana Sztokman calls for activism in the Tablet article "Orthodox Man Refuses to Sit Next to Feminist Activist on Airplane."

HBI Conversations' Stamford, CT group is highlighted in the Jewish Ledger article "Author! Author! HBI Conversations comes to Connecticut."

The Jewish Journal covers HBI author Marcia Falk's North Shore event with "Falk Draws Huge Crowds."

Marcia Falk is the cover story in the print edition of The American Jewish World's Rosh Hashanah edition.

HBI author Marcia Falk's latest book, The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season, is reviewed in the The Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton's The Reporter.

AAC member and former HBI scholar-in-residence Ruth Ellen Gruber writes "The Night I Spent in Jail in Hitler's Hometown" for Tablet Magazine.

HBI author Marcia Falk's latest book, The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season, is reviewed in the Jewish Post & Opinion.

Marcia Falk, author of HBI book The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season, is interviewed in Lilith's "A Woman's Tashlich."

HBI author Orly Castel-Bloom's book Textile is reviewed in Lilith's  "Behaviors from Generation to Generation."

HBI Research Associate Keren McGinity discusses her latest book, Marrying Out, on the Indiana University Press podcast.

HBI Research Associate Keren McGinity responds to "Will Jewish Camp Turn My Sons Into Members of the Tribe?" in the Forward.

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 ProsenPeople with "10 Ways You Can Promote Gender Equality in Your Local School."