The new politics of religion and gender in Israel


This year’s Israeli elections provoked resurgent debates over religion and saw the emergence of powerful female voices in the political debate. Join the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings on June 18 to engage with two of these dynamic Israeli figures, as we launch a new agenda of research and events examining important changes in Israel’s politics and society.

In Israel, law and public life weave together secular law and religious influence in the lives of citizens. Among Jewish Israelis, Orthodox Jewish authorities play an important role in marriage, divorce, and religious conversion; with profound effects for women’s social and economic equality. Even within Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox community, now fully one-fifth of the population, debates are growing over the women’s participation in the workforce, in public life and in politics. How these questions are debated and resolved will shape Israel’s social cohesion, political coalitions, and domestic policy for years to come.

On June 18, the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted a groundbreaking discussion examining religion, politics and gender in contemporary Israel with two key figures in the field. Panelists will include:

  • Adina Bar Shalom, president and chairwoman of the Haredi College of Jerusalem, a pioneer of women’s higher education in the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) community and the daughter of the late Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef.
  • Member of Knesset Rachel Azaria, a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem and a leader on issues facing Modern Orthodox women in the city. Azaria joined the Knesset this year as a member of the centrist Kulanu party, which is part of the coalition government.

Join the conversation on Twitter using #IsraelReligion



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