Past Scholars and Projects


Noya Rimalt

University of Haifa

Abortion Regulation Between Rights and Access: A US-Israeli Comparative Perspective

Noya Rimalt is a Professor of Law at the University of Haifa. She specializes in gender issues, criminal law and feminist legal theory. Her work analyzes the intersections of gender, law and feminism in both legal theory and practice. Rimalt has been a pioneer in promoting clinical legal education in Israel. In 1993 she established the first clinical program in civil rights at Tel Aviv University and served as its founding director until 1999 when she joined the University of Haifa.

Sara Ronis

St. Mary’s University, Texas

Gestating Difference: Jews, Non-Jews, and Abortion in the Babylonian Talmud

Dr. Sara Ronis is associate professor of Theology at St. Mary’s University, Texas, where she teaches courses in the Hebrew Bible and its reception, and Jewish Studies and religious studies more broadly. She holds a Ph.D. in ancient Judaism specializing in the Talmud from Yale University, and a B.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Her research interests include rabbinic subjectivity and definitions of personhood, constructions of gender and authority in rabbinic literature, and rabbinic imaginings of and encounters with the other in late antiquity. Her first book, "Demons in the Details: Demonic Discourse and Rabbinic Culture in the Babylonian Talmud" (August 2022), looks at demonic discourse in the Babylonian Talmud in its legal, narrative, and socio-cultural contexts. 

Max Strassfeld

University of Arizona

Queering and Transing the Jewish Life Cycle

Dr. Max Strassfeld is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Arizona. They are the author of the book "Trans Talmud: Androgynes and Eunuchs in Rabbinic Literature," which was published by the University of California Press is 2022. Their research interests include rabbinics, late antiquity, gender, and trans studies. Strassfeld has been published in the "Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Trans Studies Quarterly," and in popular outlets such as "The Forward." In recognition of their work in gender, they were previously awarded the Frankel Fellowship at the University of Michigan in 2013-2014. They currently serve on the board of directors for the Association of Jewish Studies. They are an associate editor of the new journal "QTR: A Journal of Queer and Trans Studies in Religion" and previously served on the editorial board of the "Journal for the American Academy of Religion."  


Adam Ferziger

Bar-Ilan University

Women's Daf Yomi [Daily Talmud Cycle] Study: The Confluence of Three Religious Revolutions

Adam S. Ferziger is professor in the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry at Bar-Ilan University, Israel and holds the Rabbi S.R. Hirsch Chair for Research on the Torah and Derekh Erez Movement. He is a senior associate at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University of Oxford and co-convener of the Oxford Summer Institute on Modern and Contemporary Judaism.


Benjamin Steiner

Brandeis University

Ketubah as a window into social and cultural change in America and England.

Benjamin Steiner was a fifth-year doctoral student in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University at the time of his residence. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Trinity College. He completed his Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University in 2020 and earned a master’s degree in Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2014. 


Shira Wolosky

Hebrew University

Plural Memberships, Accountable Selves
(Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, Jewish Perspectives on Gender and Immigration)

Shira Wolosky, PhD, is a full professor in the Department of Hebrew and American Literature at Hebrew University. She is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on American poetry and literature.

Roya Hakakian

Girl in Transit: A Refugee’s Chronicle of Escape and Waiting
(Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, Jewish Perspectives on Gender and Immigration)

A writer and journalist, Roya Hakakian works in film and print. Her reportage has been featured on network television, including CBS 60 Minutes. Her opinions and essays have appeared in Time, The New York Times and NPR’s Weekend Edition, among others. Her poetry in Persian has been translated and appears in anthologies, including the PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature. Her memoir, “Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran,” was among Publisher’s Weekly’s best books and Elle Magazine’s Best Nonfiction in 2004.

Tally Kritzman-Amir z"l

Van Leer Institute

Asylum-Seeking Women in the Jewish Democratic Israel
(Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, Jewish Perspectives on Gender and Immigration)

Tally Kritzman-Amir z"l, PhD, was an expert in the field of refugee law and policy which she studied from an interdisciplinary approach that drew on sociology, philosophical theory, and international and comparative human rights law. She was a Polonsky Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, and a Fox Fellow at the Macmillan Center for International and Areal Studies at Yale.


Ronit Irshai

Bar Ilan University

Modern Halakhah, Modesty and Sexuality
(Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, Female Interpreters of Religious Law: Women's Leadership as Clergy, Educators, Advisors and Judges)

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.

Riki Shapiro Rosenberg

Bar Ilan University

An Analysis of the 1988 Sexual Harassment Law in Israel
(Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, Female Interpreters of Religious Law: Women’s Leadership as Clergy, Educators, Advisors and Judges)

Riki Shapira-Rosenberg is an attorney and Israeli feminist Orthodox activist. She holds a LLB from Bar-Ilan University, an LLM from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as a Bachelor of Arts 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.

Avishalom Westreich

College of Law and Business, Ramat Gan

Women in the Jewish New Family: Halakhic Discourse, Ideology, and Society
(Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, Female Interpreters of Religious Law: Women’s Leadership as Clergy, Educators, Advisors and Judges)

Avishalom Westreich is a senior lecturer at the College of Law and Business, Ramat Gan, and a research fellow in the Kogod Research Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem. From 2007–2008, he was a research fellow in the Agunah Research Unit at the University of Manchester, UK.


Dr. Gail Labovitz

American Jewish University

Rethinking Jewish Marriage: Alternatives to Kiddushin

Dr. Gail Labovitz is Associate Professor of Rabbinic Literature at the American Jewish University, where she teaches rabbinic texts and Jewish law for the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.

Hikmet Kocamaner

University of North Carolina

Female Clerics and the Turkish State

Hikmet Kocamaner is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in secularism, political Islam, mass media, gender and the politics of the family in Turkey. Currently, he is a visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Boston University and a visiting postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis and a lecturer in the anthropology department at Brandeis University.

Geraldine Gudefin

Brandeis University

Conflicts Between Jewish and Civil Divorce Law in 19th Century France

Geraldine Gudefin, a doctoral student in history at Brandeis University, is writing a dissertation entitled “Navigating the Civil and Religious Worlds: Jewish Immigrants and Marital Laws in France and the United States, 1881-1939.”


Haim Sperber

Western Galilee College

East European Rabbis Attitudes Towards the Agunot Phenomenon, 1850–1900
(Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, New Approaches to the Agunah Problem)

Haim Sperber is a senior lecturer at the Western Galilee College in Israel where he chairs the Interdisciplinary Studies department. Dr. Sperber is a historian who has investigated various topics including: 19th century Jewish deserted women (agunot), 19th century English chief rabbinate, 19th century Anglo-Jewish philanthropy and Anglo-Jewish leadership.

Susan Weiss

Center for Women’s Justice

How the Secular Arm of the Jewish State Exacerbates the Problem of the Agunah, and Why
(Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, New Approaches to the Agunah Problem)

Susan Weiss is the founder and executive director of the Center for Women’s Justice (CWJ). Weiss has been actively working to find solutions for divorce issues confronting Jewish women.

Aryeh Klapper

Center for Modern Torah Leadership

Analysis of the Work of R. David Bigman and Dr. Berachyahu Lifshitz
(Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law, New Approaches to the Agunah Problem)

Rabbi Aryeh Klapper is dean of the Center for Modern Torah Leadership and a member of the Boston Beit Din. He previously served as Orthodox rabbinic adviser and associate director for education at Harvard Hillel, Talmud curriculum chair at Maimonides High School and instructor of rabbinics and bio-ethics at Gann Academy.

Rachel Putterman

Hebrew College

Sexual Harassment and Mikveh During the Conversion Process

Rachel Putterman is currently a rabbinical student at Hebrew College and a volunteer mikveh guide at Mayyim Hayyim. Previously, she practiced public interest law, representing domestic violence survivors in family law matters. Rachel’s research focuses on how gendered power dynamics play out in the Jewish ritual sphere.


Lilach Lurie

Tel Aviv University

The Struggle for Equal Pay for Women Under Israeli Social Security Law

Lilach Lurie is a lecturer (tenure track) at the Department of Labor Studies at Tel-Aviv University. Lurie researches and teaches the fields of employment law, labor law, pension law and gender equality.


Sarah Eltantawi

Harvard University

Stoning in the Islamic Tradition: The Case of Northern Nigeria

Sarah Eltantawi is a scholar of religion and Islamic studies focused on contemporary Islam and Islamic law in Nigeria and Egypt. Dr. Eltantawi holds a PhD in the study of religion from Harvard University (2012) and is assistant professor of comparative religion and Islamic studies at Evergreen State College.

Lisa Anteby-Yemini

l’Institut d’Ethnologie Méditerranéenne Européenne et Comparative, (IDEMEC)

Negotiating Gender and Religion: Jewish and Muslim Women’s Challenges in Comparative Perspective

Lisa Anteby-Yemini is an anthropologist, researcher at the CNRS and member of the Institute of Mediterranean, European and Comparative Ethnology (IDEMEC) at the University of Aix-Marseille. She works on international migration (including Ethiopian Jews and African asylum seekers in Israel) and issues of diaspora, transnationalism and identity reconstruction. She is also a specialist in the anthropology of Judaism and has conducted research on gender and religion.

Merav Schnitzer

Tel Aviv University

An Examination of Halachic Literature of 14th and 15th Centuries Ashkenaz for Attitudes Towards Sexual Coercion

Carlotta Ferrera Degli Uberti

University of Pisa

Civil Marriage, Religion and Dowries in 19th Century Italy

Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti received her doctorate in contemporary history at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa and at the University of Paris 1 in 2006. She studies the history of Italian Jews from the end of the 19th century to WWI from an institutional and cultural perspective.


Eyal Katvan

Bar Ilan University

Women in the Legal Profession in Israel

Eyal Katvan received his doctorate from the Faculty of Law, Bar-Ilan University, where he produced his thesis, “Compulsory Examinations and Their Connection to the Oppression of Women.” He is both a post-doctoral student at the Faculty of Law and a doctoral candidate at the Interdisciplinary Program for Science, Technology and Society at Bar Ilan University.