Birth of a Movement: Narratives of the Haredi Feminist Emergence in Israel

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Abstract

This qualitative analysis examines the emergence of a revolutionary and novel feminist movement within Israel's ultra-conservative Haredi community. Based on interviews with leading Haredi feminist activists, four affective narratives of political becoming are identified: First, struggles for survival driven by economic need, socio-cultural pressures, and an existential threat to women's wellbeing. The second depicts disruption and becoming-broken cultural scripts and a need to reassign accountability and reimagine futures. Third, an awakening of voice despite cultural and political mechanisms of silencing and erasure at communal and national levels. Fourth, an emergence of political subjectivity and critical consciousness, coalescing various standpoints into collective identity and shared action. Read together, these narratives clarify the movement's birth and potential. Shaped by individual experiences of discrepancy and dissonance produced by the intersection of multiple broad forces-economic, political, cultural, and social, Haredi feminism endorses the reimagination of individual lives, communal structures, and Israeli society.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)70-89
Number of pages20
JournalIsrael Studies
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • Affect
  • Collective Action.
  • Critical Consciousness
  • Haredi Feminism
  • Israel
  • Narrative
  • Political Subjectivity
  • Ultra-Orthodoxy
  • Women

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