April 2017

Topic of the Week: New HBI Books

April 28, 2017

Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes: Women, Mediation, and Religious Arbitration

By Samia Bano, senior lecturer in law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Recently, new methods of dispute resolution in matters of family law—such as arbitration, mediation, and conciliation—have created new forms of legal culture that affect minority communities throughout the world. There are now multiple ways of obtaining restitution through nontraditional alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms. For some, the emergence of ADRs can be understood as part of a broader liberal response to the challenges presented by the settlement of migrant communities in Western liberal democracies. Questions of rights are framed as “multicultural challenges” that give rise to important issues relating to power, authority, agency, and choice. Underpinning these debates are questions about the doctrine and practice of secularism, citizenship, belonging, and identity.

Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes offers insights into how women’s autonomy and personal decision-making capabilities are expressed via multiple formal and nonformal dispute-resolution mechanisms, and as part of their social and legal lived realities. It analyzes the specific ways in which both mediation and religious arbitration take shape in contemporary and comparative family law across jurisdictions. Demarcating lines between contemporary family mediation and new forms of religious arbitration, Bano illuminates the complexities of these processes across multiple national contexts.

Gender and Justice in Family Law Disputes  is published in the Brandeis Series on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law.

Source: Adapted from University Press of New England (UPNE) 


Topic of the Week: Jewish Film

April 21, 2017

Women on Screen at The National Center for Jewish Film’s 20th Annual Film Festival

By Lisa Rivo, co-director of the Nationa Center for Jewish Film

Join us May 4-21, 2017 for a slate of film premieres that explore the diversity and vibrancy of Jewish life. As always, films by and about Jewish women are a particular focus of our programming. This year we are presenting five films with women at the center, three that are directed by women.

On May 11, 2017 at the Museum of Fine Arts, HBI Founding Director Shulamit Reinharz will lead a Q&A following the Boston premiere of Fanny’s Journey, winner of seven film festival audience awards. This new French drama directed by Lola Doillon and based on the novel by Fanny Ben-Ami will have a repeat screening at the MFA on Sunday May 21. HBI is co-presenting both screenings.

Three new dramas from Israel -- Past Life, Moon in the 12th House, and The Wedding Plan—explore the complex, rich lives of Jewish women. In both Avi Nesher’s 1970s-set thriller Past Life, based on a true story, and the mesmerizing story of two sisters unraveling their traumatic past in Dorit Hakim’s Moon in the 12th House, young Israeli women confront the shadow of history as it impacts their lives and families. In The Wedding Plan, Rama Burshtein, director of Fill the Void, fashions a new kind of romantic comedy where a spirited young Israeli woman seeks her ultra orthodox Mr. Right. 

Tickets & Festival Program: www.jewishfilm.org


Topic of the Week: HBI Student Prize

April 13, 2017

HBI Undergraduate and Graduate Student Prize for Outstanding Research on Jews and Gender

The HBI announces the eighth annual prize recognizing the creative and significant work carried out by Brandeis students in the field of Jewish gender studies. The HBI Prize will be awarded to one undergraduate and one graduate student for an exceptional research paper written in the current (2016/2017) academic year that exemplifies the HBI's mission of producing fresh ideas about Jews and gender. The winners of the prize will each receive a cash award of $250.  The deadline is extended to April 20, 2017.

“By recognizing the research of Brandeis students, the HBI validates the importance of their work, encourages them to continue following their interest, and hopefully also inspires other students to pursue projects that support our mission,” says Debby Olins, the HBI Academic Program Manager.

To qualify, students must currently be enrolled at Brandeis University. The submitted work must have been completed in the current academic year. Research in all disciplines including arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences is eligible. Papers of any length will be accepted, including papers that are chapters or sections of a larger work such as an honors thesis, master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation.

Art projects must include a written narrative. Papers will be judged for creativity, contribution to the subject, excellence of writing, and integration of gender studies with Jewish studies.
Applicants should send both an electronic copy and a hard copy with an accompanying cover letter to Debby Olins, HBI Academic Program Manager. For more information, visit HBI’s web site. 


Topic of the Week: Feminism and Zionism

April 6, 2017

Continued Discussion on Feminism and Zionism 

In our last blog, Fresh Ideas writers Ruth Nemzoff and Janet Freedman discussed the ongoing debate on feminism and Zionism. Their blog responded to an international debate that began with op-ed in the New York Times by Emily Shire, Bustle politics editor, Does Feminism Have Room for Zionists and a response in The Nation by Palestinian-American feminist activist Linda Sarsour, Can You Be a Zionist Feminist? Linda Sarsour Says No. Since then, the debate continues.

Here is a sampling of some informative articles and interviews on the subjects of feminism and Zionism:

  • JOFA hosted an online discussion, Feminism, Zionism & Intersectionality with Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Nancy K. Kaufman, Emily Shire, Yishai Schwartz, Laura E. Adkins, Susan Aranoff and Yael Reisman.
  • Moment Magazine featured Why Feminism and Zionism Are Not Contradictory by Eetta Prince-Gibson.
  • The Nation published a second article, Can a Feminist Be a Zionist? Our Readers Respond, combining the letters they received and additional writing by Collier Meyerson while the New York Post crowned, Linda Sarsour: NYC’s queen of hate.
  • The Jewish Journal asks Why should we care what Linda Sarsour says? and Mayim Bialik, Jewish feminist actress responds to the controversy in her blog with Feminism, Zionism Definitions and Exclusions.