In the Fall of 2009, I began ethnographic research with Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women in Jerusalem, looking into their reproductive ethics. Haredi women have the highest birth rate in Israel, around 6-8 children per lifetime, and they strictly adhere to religious laws, as dictated by their rabbis. I wanted to know how they made reproductive […]
Michal RaucherMichal Raucher an assistant professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. Her research lies at the intersection of Israel studies, Jewish ethics, and the anthropology of women in Judaism. As a Fulbright Fellow, Dr. Raucher conducted ethnographic research on reproductive ethics of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish women in Israel. She has been awarded grants from the Wenner Gren Foundation for anthropological research, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Crown Family Foundation. Drawing on this research, Michal will publish her first book, Birthing Ethics: Reproductive Ethics among Haredi Women in Jerusalem with Indiana University Press in 2020. Professor Raucher’s second book is titled Tapping on the Stained Glass Ceiling: the Ordination of Orthodox Jewish Women in Israel and America. This book surrounds the recent ordination of women in Orthodoxy, comparing the phenomenon in Israel and America. Research for this book has been supported by the Israel Institute, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, the American Academy of Religion, and the University of Cincinnati. Michal has also published on sexuality and gender in Judaism, religion and bioethics, abortion legislation in Israel, and female religious advisors on the Internet. Dr. Raucher has been an assistant professor of Israel and Modern Jewish Thought in the Department of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati, a fellow at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a visiting scholar at the Hastings Center, and Yale University’s Center for Bioethics. She has consulted for the United Nations Population Fund, where she worked with colleagues from around the world on improving reproductive and sexual rights and health for women and children. Michal earned her PhD in Religious Studies with a concentration in religious ethics and anthropology from Northwestern University. She has an MA from the University of Pennsylvania in Bioethics, and graduated from the Joint Program with The Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University, earning a BA in Hebrew Bible and a BA in Religion.
In the last few days and weeks, dozens of women have come forward accusing Hollywood director Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault, and in some cases, rape. Many of these women are actors whose experiences of sexual violence originate when they were getting their start in Hollywood. Although we might be tempted to limit the […]
A curious thing happened last week regarding female Orthodox rabbis. When the umbrella organization for Orthodox Jewish congregations denounced female clergy for the third time in five years, they actually accepted that there are, in fact, female Orthodox rabbis. Eighty years ago, Regina Jonas of Berlin was the first woman ordained as a rabbi, but […]