Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Off the Derech Parents and the Battle for Child Custody

Undergraduate/Graduate Project

Project Information

When an individual decides to leave the Orthodox Jewish community, one of the most challenging issues they may face is the resolution of custody disputes. These decisions may be complicated by "religious upbringing contracts" signed at the time or marriage or separation, in which both parents promise to keep raising the child in the same way they were being raised before the divorce. In this project, an intern will work with HBI Director Dr. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe on a project exploring how these religious upbringing agreements are used in negotiations over child custody and how they are perceived by secular family courts.  

The selected intern will closely read and summarize cases involving religious upbringing agreements.

Profile of Appropriate Candidate

  • Interest in the regulation of the family.

  • Excellent online and library research skills.

  • Strong writing and editing skills.

  • Ability to meet deadlines and complete assignments independently.