In Jewish Feminists, Dina Pinsky recounts and analyzes the Jewish identities of selected second-wave feminists, whose stories she gathered through recently conducted interviews with the activists about their experiences during the feminist and civil rights movements of 1960’s and 1970’s. Pinsky’s interviews reveal the different ways in which beliefs concerning Judaism and Jewishness interacted, and continue to interact, with the feminist ideologies to which the interviewees were exposed in practice.
Indeed, the strongest feature of the book is Pinsky’s inclusion of a wide range of interviewees, including men as well as people from different types of Jewish backgrounds, in her study. The author also makes certain to investigate and address how the interviewees’ Jewish identities may have changed over time. At bottom, this book is about particular people and how those peoples’ experiences may be universalized for a larger conversation about Judaism and feminism in the women’s studies community.
Jewish Feminists offers a well-researched analysis of the complimentary yet sometimes tension-inducing interactions between Judaism, Jewishness, and feminism. Despite its somewhat narrow reach, this book will fascinate anyone interested in the experiences of people from Jewish backgrounds or of Jewish faith during the shifts of society that took place during second-wave feminism. Appendix, index, notes.