October 2016

Topic of the Week: Meet our Scholars

October 21, 2016

Geraldine Gudefin, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-residence

Geraldine Gudefin, a Ph.D student in History at Brandeis University,  is writing a dissertation entitled "Navigating the Civil and Religious Worlds: Jewish Immigrants & Marital Laws in France and the United States,1881-1939." Her research interests include modern French and American Jewish history, religion, law, and the state in the period of mass migration; legal pluralism; and the separation of church and state in comparative perspective. She holds an M.A. in History from Yale University, and a B.A. in History from Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV).


Topic of the Week: Meet our Scholars

October 14, 2016

Riki Shapira-Rosenberg, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-residence 

Riki Shapira-Rosenberg is an attorney and Israeli feminist Orthodox activist. She holds a L.L.B from Bar-Ilan University, an L.L.M from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as a B.A. in Jewish History and Education from the Hebrew University. She is currently writing her doctoral thesis at the Department of Conflict Management and Resolution at Bar-Ilan University.

Over the past decade, Shapira-Rosenberg has been an active player in the most important legal struggles concerning the interface between religion and state in Israel. She provides a voice not only for an Orthodox and liberal religious feminist agenda, but also for men and women from the Haredi community. The projects she has led – such as the campaign against gender segregation on buses; the campaign against the Kol BaRama radio station, which refused to broadcast women’s voices; and the struggle against the monopoly of the Chief Rabbinate – have been driven by coalitions bringing together Modern Orthodox, Haredi, Reform, Conservative and secular Jews.

Over the past 13 years, Shapira-Rosenberg has filled senior positions in Kolech – Religious Women’s Forum. She represented Haredi women struggling to secure political representation in student unions, local authorities, and political parties. She is a board member of Women of the Wall and works as an attorney at the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), active on issues relating to human rights violations and religion and state.

Shapira-Rosenberg is an eighth-generation Jerusalemite. She is married to Dror and the mother of five children.


Topic of the Week: Meet our Scholars

October 7, 2016

Ronit Irshai, Helen Gartner Hammer Scholar-in-residence

Ronit Irshai is a lecturer in the gender studies program at Bar Ilan University and a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. She has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School during the academic year of 2007-2008.

Her research focuses on gender and Jewish law (halakhah), theology and religious feminism, bioethics, and feminist jurisprudence and its relation to Jewish law.

Her first book: Fertility and Jewish Law – Feminist Perspectives on Orthodox Responsa Literature was published by Brandeis University Press in 2012 in both the HBI Series on Jewish Women and the Brandeis Series on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law.