Lisa Fishbayn Joffe named director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

Lisa Fishbayn Joffee

Lisa Fishbayn Joffe

Provost Lisa M. Lynch has announced that Lisa Fishbayn Joffe has been named the Shulamit Reinharz Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. Prior to this appointment, Joffe served as Interim Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute since July 2017.

Joffe joined HBI in 2007 to set up the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law and became associate director of HBI in 2015. She is an expert in the political philosophy of multiculturalism and on the intersection between secular and religious family law. She is also a lecturer in Philosophy and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies where she teaches "Gender, Multiculturalism and The Law." In 2014, she co-founded the Boston Agunah Task Force Project, which conducts research and provides advice, education and support to resolve disputes around Jewish religious divorce.

Joffe's publications include Gender, Religion and Family Law: Theorizing Conflicts Between Women's Rights and Cultural Traditions (2012); The Polygamy Question ((2015); Women's Rights and Religious Law (2016) and a special issue of Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's and Gender Studies on New Historical and Legal Perspectives on Jewish Divorce, (2017). She is also editor of the Brandeis University Press Series on Gender, Culture, Religion and the Law and associate editor the HBI Series on Jewish Women. A more complete list of her publications is available here.

"I am delighted that Lisa has agreed to serve in this position," said Lynch. "Her scholarship, teaching and public engagement helps advance the unique mission of HBI as an international and interdisciplinary institute that incorporates Jewish women's issues and gender issues in diverse contexts."  

Joffe holds three law degrees, from Osgoode Hall Law School and Harvard Law School, served as law clerk to Justice Frank Iacobucci of the Supreme Court of Canada, and was called to the bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Before coming to Brandeis, she was lecturer in law at the Faculty of Laws, University College, London.  

Phyllis Hammer, chair of HBI's Advisory Board, said, "This is a move I support wholeheartedly as we have all witnessed the smooth transition guided by Lisa's capable leadership in these past few months since Shula's retirement. We also share in the joy of honoring our founding director, Shulamit Reinharz, by naming this directorship for her."

Joffe said, "It is an honor to lead HBI into its next iteration.  I am fortunate to work with terrific staff and a dynamic board who share my commitment to continue and expand HBI's mission to support excellent scholarship that explores the breadth and diversity of Jewish women's experience across time and disciplines. At HBI we seek to highlight the multicultural, multi-racial and economically diverse identities of Jewish women; to fully explore the experience of LGBTQ Jews and to engage in interreligious dialogue with women of other religious traditions around shared struggles," said Joffe. "It is a great privilege to succeed Shula as director, who has been a mentor and friend since I arrived at HBI."

HBI's mission is to promote fresh ideas about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research, artistic projects and public engagement since 1997.

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences, Research

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